31. May 2011 · 2 comments · Categories: FBQD

Fever-induced dreams are crazy ****. Had a dream I was working at a school, and we were suddenly under military attack from something unknown, and I was beating up enemies with an oboe and 2 clarinets =X I just wish I could get the sound of the planes firing overhead out of my head, that’s a sound I don’t ever want to hear.

31. May 2011 · 5 comments · Categories: Ramble

When you meet someone in a coffee-shop and say you’re a classical musician,” she observes, “they may say, ‘I love it, but I never go to concerts.’ People today don’t necessarily know what to do with classical music. And I believe that’s because of the way it’s usually presented in concert venues.”
This unhappy situation, Jacobson points out, is the polar opposite of the way things used to be.
“A few hundred years ago, chamber music was made by friends getting together in someone’s home, or a tavern, for a fun, informal evening. For me, the purpose of Classical Revolution is to go back to that ideal but with a modern twist.”

I read it here.

I fight change. I admit it. I don’t feel comfortable changing my schedule. I don’t like changing my hairstyle (Heh … what style?!). I’m sort of a control freak, I like consistency, and I am not usually up for surprises. And I have a confession to make …

I am uptight about the younger musicians telling us we are doing it all wrong. I’m annoyed with a few older folks too (for there are some) who tell us that we are idiots for continuing to do what we do. They love to tell us that the symphony is dying, and seem to take glee in every orchestra’s death or financial crisis.

Yep. now I’ve said it. I’m sure everyone else already figured that out, but I’ve never openly stated it.

I see it a lot on Twitter. I read it a lot in blogs. And, truth be told, it sometimes ticks me off.

Many have implied that we older folks are out of it, stupid, and should disappear so they can repair what they think we’ve created in the field of classical music. Some suggest we should step down because we are old and they deserve a chance. I’ve also read that they think we treat them with disdain or disregard, that we have put them in a box and said that they act entitled. (Having taught for nine years at the university level I can say that many do act entitled, but it could be that university students have always seen themselves that way and I’m only now seeing it because I began teaching at the uni only nine years ago!) I offer a free lesson sometimes to those who read my blog, and I offer a free lesson to students thinking about attending UCSC. Rarely do students act as if I’ve done anything generous and rarely have I received a thank you for doing so. Some even come back, thinking they are entitled to more free lessons. Again, this may be a behavior that has existed forever; I could easily have been unaware of it before. It’s quite possible I act the same way and don’t see it in myself. Ack! I tend to do that — to criticize someone for a something when I could actually be describing myself!

So grumble grumble, I start sounding my age and I appear to be a grumpy old girl.

Still, I’m just being honest here. If there’s one thing I want this blog to be, it’s honest.

BUT — and yes, there’s always that, right? — there are some truths they tell and change isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I’m all for breaking down the wall between the performer and the listener when the listener wants that! I say that because some listeners really do want the formality of the event and that’s okay too. I think we can have both. I’m all for being more casual in dress when appropriate. I’m even for letting folks clap when they are excited about something as long as those who have paid for the event are in agreement about that.

Oh … but wait! I just wrote “those who have paid for the event,” didn’t I?

And there’s one of the issues that does cause me to stop and ponder.

Classical Revolution events are free, if what I’m reading is correct.

So are we moving into “play for free and get a real job!” mentality, as so many, both old and young, outside of our profession frequently have suggested? Is this our future, and is it already here? Because what I’m seeing with so many of these kinds of events is that either they are free or the pay is so low it only covers parking and/or transportation costs. I have played for free, and will continue to do so, but if that’s expected all of the time my career becomes a hobby and I’m out of work.

Or are these free concerts causing these new listeners to embrace classical, causing them then to attend concerts they have to pay for and, if that’s part of the idea, is it working?

Just so you know, I’m really just spitting these thoughts out, as I try to look at things from a bunch of different angles. (Please do excuse this crazy ramble!) I’m trying to see both sides as much as possible.

I like seeing younger people attending musical events. I especially like it when they also listen at the musical events — some say “I went to see a concert,” and I want to say, “Yes, but did you listen, too?” I know we need to change things up sometimes. But I don’t want to lower the quality of what we do. Quite frankly, I don’t want to play oboe as a hobby, either. Yes. I mean it. I want to earn a living with what I do. I think I do it well enough for that. I don’t ask to live extravagantly. I just want to be able to put food on the table and clothes on my back, and maybe take a vacation now and then. Okay, and my dream is that I see Europe before I die. Is that asking too much? Maybe so. I’ve been to England and Scotland, but I dream of getting to Germany to see my brother and family. I dream of Italy.

Dear oh dear this is one crazy pattyramble™ and it’s probably sounding insane. Maybe I’ll come back, read this, and decide it’s too silly to keep up on the blog. Maybe not. We’ll see. Or maybe a younger musician will pop in and tell me I’m full of it. Dunno.

31. May 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: ACappellaTuesday™

Here’s a version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, a song that has always moved me. Now you may think even less of me after I confess something (but HOW could you think even less, right?) … when I hear English spoken or sung with a foreign accent I kind of melt. Is that nuts? (Of course I also melt if you sing anything in Italian — heck, you could be singing the phone book — and I’d still melt. So there’s that.) No, it’s not perfect. Sure, I could probably find stronger renditions. But I’m not gonna.

But I really do love this. (I see “Bu” attached to every video by this group … maybe that’s their name?)

31. May 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Videos

Stressed? Feeling weary or anxious and need a bit of calming music? Sure, we all do at times.

But … this kindergarten teacher in Monterrey, Mexico calms her students by singing while a gunfight is going on outside the school. Amazing.

Thanks to Bob Kingston for the heads up.

31. May 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: TQOD

When asked what double reed instrument was two octaves below an Oboe, this lady on Cash Cab answered beat box. What?!