30. April 2010 · Comments Off on Bret Beat Me (And It Didn’t Hurt At All) · Categories: News

Bret Pimentel blogs more about the possibility of an oboist on the Supreme Court. An article by Meghan Daum, author of the article Music is my Bag (an article that upset some and even made one musician get weepy, believe it or not), writes that The Supreme Court could use an oboist.

Wood is an oboist.

This is no minor detail. The oboe isn’t just an instrument; it’s a way of life. Wood plays the oboe (and its bulbous cousin, the English horn) in two orchestras, the Chicago Bar Assn. Symphony and the North Shore Chamber Orchestra in Evanston, Ill. Presumably these gigs don’t demand the concentration and practice time of the Chicago Symphony, or even of a woodwind ensemble composed entirely of members of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, but they’re pretty darn impressive. Playing the oboe means living your life entirely at the mercy of tiny wooden double reeds that crack at inopportune moments (weirder and more awful yet, you’re supposed to make them yourself as though you were a 19th century artisan). It also means blowing so hard into them that you risk a brain aneurysm every time you try to hit a high D. It also means you’re a huge nerd.

I know all this because I was an oboist myself. And I use “was” loosely. Although it’s been nearly 20 years since I bought a spit rag at Sam Ash or prayed to make it through the last movement of the Mozart Oboe Concerto, once an oboist, always an oboist.


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