28. February 2005 · Comments Off on MacInMusician · Categories: imported, News

Jef Raskin died of pancreatic cancer yesterday at the young age of 61. When I heard this on the radio this morning I recognized the name, but that was all. They said “the inventor of the Mac has died.” That caught my attention, of course, being a MacPerson all the way. While getting breakfast I asked my husband, Dan, if he had heard that news (knowing he knows much more than I about all things Mac). He had.

Later Dan sent me a link to Raskin’s unpublished work The Merry, Exciting Life of the Musician! with the comment: “I did not realize that he had extensive musical background.” I didn’t know this either.

Indeed he did. Check out the article. It’s worth your time.

28. February 2005 · Comments Off on Oops! · Categories: imported, Ramble

I just heard from Terry Teachout and he clarified: that post at About Last Night was written by his co-blogger, Our Girl in Chicago. My sincere apologies to OGIC and to Terry as well!

28. February 2005 · Comments Off on Reading & More · Categories: imported, Ramble

I just finished reading Norman Lebrecht’s The Song Of Names and was wondering what to pick up next. (I still have Eco’s The Name of the Rose sitting on my night stand. It’s been there for years. And still I’m not in the mood. Go figure.)

But anyway, I went to read Terry Teachout’s blog, and I guess I’ve missed a few days, because he wrote about a new novel that deals with music a few entries down from his current post. You can read his blog here. The book is called Beautiful Inez. San Francisco Symphony is the orchestra in which the main (?) character plays.

So I’m going to have to look this up. I enjoy reading novels about music, or that include music. (Robertson Davies has some of the best stuff when it comes to the arts, imo!) I also like reading novels that take place somewhere nearby.

I did enjoy Lebrecht’s book, btw; well worth the time, even if there was no talk about the superiority of oboe players and no daring descriptions of the wild world of reed making. 😉

27. February 2005 · Comments Off on Music Quote · Categories: imported, Quotes

What every true artist wants, really wants, is to be paid.

-Terry Pratchett, Soul Music


27. February 2005 · Comments Off on The Concert · Categories: imported, Ramble

After I finished with my small portion of today’s concert, I headed on up to the top of the balcony where they seat latecomers. (WHY do they seat people in the middle of a movement though, I wonder? And why do the ushers go in and out of the hall, allowing the door to shut noisily behind them?) I was able to hear a wonderful performance of Mozart’s Flute & Harp Concerto. Maria Tamburrino (flute) and Dan Levitan (harp) did a beautiful job. The instruments carried all the way up to where I was sitting … no need to try to “listen hard” to hear them. They were very musical. The second movement was really stunning.

I had a very enjoyable time, although I confess that the woman who was dressed in perfume, sitting in front of me, was a tad annoying. (Why, oh why, do these women douse themselves in this powdery, strong scented stuff anyway? I’m thinking we should have some sort of device that the audience walks by before entering a hall that causes phones and pagers to automatically shut off and de-scents them at the same time. But what to call it? Hmmm. NoRingDeScent or something like that I guess.)

27. February 2005 · Comments Off on Only Dreaming · Categories: Dreams, Ramble

In my dream last night (or, more likely, this morning, since I usually dream right before I wake) I dreamt that I was playing in Carnegie Hall. So I was thinking, “Oh good, I can add that to my bio.”

Oh well.

I seem to recall, too, that I was playing something very funky. I think it was with a high school group. But I figured that that didn’t matter. My kids’ high school has had groups perform there, and I’m sure if any of them go on they’ll use that in their bio!

Have you ever read a bio and realized that things can be interpreted in several ways? Same with when someone uses a small snippet from a review. My kids and I often play a game with these. For instance, when someone has “imaginative and fiery” as a quote, we figure it probably said “The reviewer wished he could say the performance of Carmen was imaginative and fiery but, alas, it was merely dreary.”

But anyway, I cannot add Carnegie Hall to my bio.

Oh … but if I go there and bring a Gameboy (no, I don’t own one, but I could borrow one, right?) and I play it while in the hall then I guess I could say I’ve “played in Carnegie Hall” … can’t I? 😉

26. February 2005 · Comments Off on Being Known & A Ramble · Categories: imported, Ramble

There are things I wish I could write about. But I can’t. Things I’d grumble about. But it’s not possible. Things I’d tell you, but, well, it “wouldn’t be prudent.”

I suppose I should have made this blog anonymous. Then you all would be getting an earful right now.

But on to other things …

I had a symphony concert tonight. It began at 8:00. I was home by 8:45. Yes, there are nights like these, although not very often. I actually don’t care for them all that much (although no one heard me complain as I walked in my front door); I don’t feel very connected to the orchestra when I’m there and gone so quickly.

Normally I play second oboe in the symphony. This year I’ve been playing principal on every other set (which gave me the opportunity to play, along with other works, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, the Corigliano Chaconne for Violin and Orchestra from The Red Violin, Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 and (most importantly, to me, anyway) Stravinsky’s Song of the Nightingale). It’s been a great opportunity for me, and I’m very grateful to Pam for allowing me these sets.

But this week I opted for English horn. Normally I like to play the EH chair because we often get such fabulous solos. But not this week. I’m guessing, in fact, that most of the audience was wondering if that woman sitting there with the funny looking oboe even played one note! (I did, and I even had 8 measures that might be considered a soli, with flute, if anyone was paying close attention.) We were playing Sullivan’s Pineapple Poll, a piece I would suggest would be more appropriate for a Pops concert, but maybe that’s the snob in me speaking. We’ll see what the reviewers say!

Anyway, I chose it this week just to keep my EH brain in gear. It’s not the same as playing oboe. Besides, I do love my EH! I’m hoping that some year we do the Ravel Piano Concerto again. I miss that solo.

26. February 2005 · Comments Off on Music Quote · Categories: imported, Quotes

In our street, we have friends with lots in common. We discuss new books, films, popular culture, politics – everything except serious music. That shuts everyone up. I don’t think they even know what I do.

-John Adams (American composer)

(I found this quote here.) You might want to scan the article while you’re at it.)

26. February 2005 · Comments Off on A Shorter Bit Of Ramble (maybe) · Categories: imported, Ramble

Yes, I’m supposed to get ready to teach … give me a minute, would ya?

Because Drew drew (hah!) my attention to Jeff Tsai’s site, I’m reading more of it. There’s one post where he talks about his new iPod. In that entry he writes:

Obviously, any concert/playlist with unrecorded music is incomplete (my playlist for the 1.7.05 New Jersey Symphony concert only has one song on it when four were performed). These playlists help me not only build my collection of music (easily and conveniently) but they also help me expand my knowledge of repertoire.

My students will read this and know exactly what my gripe is going to be.

It’s that darn word “song”. Unless Tsai is speaking of a song, I think he really means “work” or “piece”. But is this just the evolution of language? Will I have to relax on this one? Am I being a snob? Am I alienating everyone in the world? Is it time to jump off this dusty planet?

I remember when Penderecki was here, and he talked at my husband’s college. Someone asked him where he got his ideas for his songs and Penderecki nearly bit the poor student’s head off. It obviously bugged him as much as it bugs me. Probably even more.

Sidebar: I love my iPod too. But getting classical works from the iTunes store can be a problem: if a movement is split into sections, or if two movements should actually not have a break, you’ll have a break between them, no matter. When you put your own CDs on, you can choose to delete those breaks … but only if you remember before you transfer them to iTunes. This means you have to be attentive every time you add an opera, a Mahler symphony … etc., etc.. I’ve written to Apple about this, but so far I haven’t seen that they’ve changed the store to allow “join CD tracks”, as they allow with your own music. (Guess I should check again — maybe they’ve heard me by now?)

And of course on the iPod and on iTunes they call every track a “song”.

Sorry … this ramble was as long, or longer, than the earlier one. 😉

26. February 2005 · Comments Off on A Short Bit Of Ramble · Categories: imported, Ramble

Dreq McManus wrote some very encouraging words about my post on what I do. Thank you Drew; the voices of insecurity were very loud and reading your post helps keep those guys quiet. At least for a while.

He also wrote about musicians not really understanding manager’s duties and vice versa. This isn’t quite the case with me; there was a time when I worked in the San Jose Symphony (RIP) box office and I was also symphony librarian for a good amount of time. So I actually did see the manager (and everyone else there) work, and understood their long hours and, in most cases, their dedication to the organization. (We had one woman who worked there who didn’t like symphony music at all. She never came to a concert. She was the one who was to romance folks into giving us money. I couldn’t figure out how or why she wanted to do that for music she didn’t even like!) But anyway, maybe I’ll write on my experiences on “the other side” some time soon. We’ll see.

terminaldegree wrote a post about “musical hangovers” … yes, I experience those two. It’s especially bad if I’m doing a long run of something that requires so much of my heart. When the run is over, I’m a wreck, and those particular hangovers last very long unless I’m moving directly into something new that is equally fulfilling.

And now it’s time to get myself up and ready to teach.

See, here’s another thing; I work a good number of days. Let’s see … mostly I work every day of the week when I have rehearsals, performances and teaching on the calendar (which is most of my weeks, although March is looking a bit sad because there’s a hole in my performance schedule.) I tried to leave Mondays free, but that just didn’t work this quarter. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t appear to be full time work … many of us have our work spread out like that.