19. March 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

So I haven’t written much about my ear lately. It seems rather silly to blog about it, and perhaps even dangerous. But I’m silly, and I can be dangerous too (only in that I write risky stuff), so here goes … or should I write “hear” goes? Hmmm.

I had an “episode” a few weeks ago, as I mentioned earlier. It wasn’t nearly like the horrible first one that happened in 2009, but of course I had to bag a rehearsal which annoys me no end. Now I’m suffering the after effects.

Noise hurts. Certain things really hurt my left ear. I can’t whistle. Stacking dishes is painful. Putting a lid on a pot hurts. And some voices hurt. It’s best if I stand to the left of a person, since my right ear is a happy camper.

I have Dizzy Days. I’m dizzy. Not always, but sometimes. It’s more frequent in the morning. Then I seem to get things figured out and things get better. But I have to be cautious sometimes, or I might just tumble over.

Tinnitus is worse. It’s loud. I mean very loud. I describe it as “wires singing” to some people and they look at me quizzically. But have you ever heard wires outside making noise when it’s rather warm out? Maybe that’s just me. It’s sort of like cicadas too. Or like having water running outside and you’re inside, except that the frequency of tinnitus is much higher. And there are now several notes. One seems to be an octave lower than the high pitch I always deal with.

Pop goes the ear! Sometimes I feel pressure in the ear. Sometimes not. And I’m hearing a popping sound — sort of like when you crack your jaw or something — and who knows what that’s about.

So, you might wonder, how can I deal with the sound of the orchestra?

Believe it or not, that’s one of the most comfortable places for me to be. I don’t notice the tinnitus, and for some reason the sounds of the instruments doesn’t hurt. (I do wear an earplug when the brass get very loud.)

I whine. My poor husband has to deal with that, as do my double reed colleagues. I’m trying not to whine, though. As I repeatedly tell myself, I am alive. I don’t have a life threatening illness. And, besides, I’m back to being able to enjoy lattés and chocolate (when these episodes hit I first can’t stomach those well).

So then I put on some lovely music, with singing by Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, and I think, “You have nothing to complain about, you whiney oboist! Listen to this woman sing. Think of what a loss it was when she died.” So there’s that.

19. March 2010 · Comments Off on George Mason University Oboe Day · Categories: Double Reed Days and Festivals

I just received this:

George Mason University

Oboe Day: “Oboe Masters at Mason 2010”
April 11, 11:00am – 6:00pm
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA

GMU School of Music • Fairfax, VA

For all beginning, intermediate & advanced oboe students

• International competition adjudicator and Howarth of London Oboe Manager, Mr. Michael Britton invites you to audition the handmade instruments on display!
• Meet master reed-maker Ms. Meredeth Rouse of Back Bay Reeds!
• 12:00pm-1:00pm – “Where do oboes come from?” A clinic by Master Oboe Builder Mr. Jeremy Walsworth of T.W. Howarth of London

• 1:30pm- 4:30pm – Master class by Mr. Joseph Robinson, Principal Oboist (Ret.) of the New York Philharmonic
All events take place in the GMU Performing Arts Building – Choral Room
Free and open to the public!

If you have any questions about this event (or about the GMU Oboe Studio), please contact: Dr. Lorrie Brown at lberkshi [at] gmu [dot] edu

• Download the flyer here: http://www.gmu.edu/depts/music/perfarts/archives/spring10/2010.04.11.oboeday.pdf

• RSVP to our event of Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=107183979300661&ref=ts

19. March 2010 · Comments Off on Standing Os · Categories: Ramble, Read Online

I rarely give standing ovations. I’m stingy that way. When I stand, I want it to mean something. If I stand at everything it’s fairly meaningless, don’tcha think?

Or maybe I’m just lazy. Hmmm.

But someone got yelled at for giving a standing ovation. Amazing:

I particularly enjoyed it, so I stood up at the end and clapped. Something often referred to as a standing ovation.

A man and woman next to me also stood up, and at once provoked the blind, spitting fury of a well-dressed couple behind them who had remained seated. “How dare you stand up and ruin my appreciation?” said the well-dressed man.


Now I can understand someone getting angry about a standing O if the performance is bad. Heck, I’ve been on stage before when an audience has stood and I want to yell out, “Stop! It wasn’t that good!” (For the record, I’ve never done that.) But for an audience member to yell at someone in front of him because he can’t see? Well, as frustrated as I sometimes am because people stand right in front of me (Yes, it really does bug me.) I would never yell at the person or people. Just as I won’t yell at the people I frequently see in audiences who don’t applaud at all. And I’ve seen a number of them recently. Similar to my wanting to yell, “Stop! It wasn’t that good!” I sometimes want to go over and shake the person not applauding and say, “Don’t you realize that what you just heard (or saw) was glorious?!” I refrain from doing that too. I hope you all are proud of me for my wonderful restraint.

19. March 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Flute, clarinet and oboe are very similar, soits easy to pick up on if you know one of them.

19. March 2010 · Comments Off on Key Change! · Categories: Havin' Fun, Videos

One of my favorite moments in the movie “High Anxiety” is when Mel Brooks yells out “Key Change!” And because of this incredible moment, I simply must share with you:

You can thank me now.

19. March 2010 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

There is nothing so terrible as the pursuit of art by those who have no talent.

-W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage

Stolen from Terry Teachout