30. November 2005 · Comments Off on Thinking · Categories: imported, Ramble

The quote below makes me wonder a bit. Does the public want to be educated? And do they want to be educated by the critic? And, even more, does the critic want to be educated … by an “artist”? Could/does the artist educate the public instead? (Or in addition.)

Can a critic be an artist? Do critics perceive themselves as artists? Of course Terry Teachout writes about this much better than I. (Maybe he’s a critic and an artist?) Are all people in the arts “artists”?

I’ve often struggled with the word “artist” when it comes to what I do. I suppose because I don’t create. I play what someone else has created, although of course I add myself into the mix (and many people seem to be able to tell when I’m the one doing the playing; we instrumentalists do have our musical personalities). I admire and envy the jazz musicians who invent on the spot. I envy composers who have music in their heads and can manage to get it down on a page. (I have music in my head—heck, I have artwork in my head!—but I sure can’t get the music on the page and when I used to try to put the art on the canvas or paper it was laughable. Or cry-able. Take your choice! It was definitely pitiable.) I envy the poet (and yeah, I tried that too) and the dancer. This isn’t a mean green envy, mind you … perhaps I should use the word “admire” instead so I don’t sound so dissatisfied; I love what I do and can’t imagine doing anything else!

Oh well. This is a silly ramble. The ears are better today (it was primarily the right ear yesterday, and it actually sent me to bed), but I’m still not feeling whole. I’ll chalk my rambling up to that. I love excuses. (I’m an oboe player, remember? How many times have you seen an oboist stare at the reed, as if it’s at fault for a wrong note, or blow into the keys, implying there was a water problem?!)

In Other News
I have a new project I’m contemplating: I’d like to compile a list of all oboe works for oboe and orchestra. It’s a large task, to be sure. I have a book called “The Oboe Player’s Encyclopedia” but it doesn’t contain newer works and has at least one error (filing what is called the Haydn Oboe Concerto under “H” for Haydn when it is now understood that he did not compose the work). But I like tasks, and I like ones that take time. So I’m pondering and planning. If anyone has suggestions about this, please do email me.

Side note
I’m at the Mission City Coffee Roasting Company, since I drop Jameson off at school and teach soon enough at SCU that it seems silly to go home. Cops often come here, and one was in line when a woman walked in and stood behind him. She just finished brushing off his shirt. I can’t imagine doing that to a stranger much less a cop! Hmmm. Am I odd … or is she?!

Maybe you shouldn’t answer that. 🙂

30. November 2005 · Comments Off on Quote · Categories: imported, Quotes

The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.

-Oscar Wilde, letter to the editor of the Scots Observer (1890)

First seen at Terry Teachout’s site, here.

29. November 2005 · Comments Off on Way To Go, BDT! · Categories: imported, Links

Barbara Day Turner (she refers to herself as BDT most often) is a conductor I’ve worked with frequently. The front cover of the Willow Glen Resident features her quite prominently. Woo hoo!

29. November 2005 · Comments Off on Music Quote · Categories: imported, Quotes

Who is there that, in logical words, can express the effect music has on us? A kind of inarticulate unfathomable speech, which leads us to the edge of the Infinite, and lets us for moments gaze into that!

-Thomas Carlyle, on Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History (1841)

29. November 2005 · Comments Off on Ouch! · Categories: imported, Ramble

Something is up with my ears. This isn’t exactly new, but today I’m going to write about it. Just because. (“Just because” is one of my favorite reasons for something. Who can argue, after all?)

I woke this morning and knew the ears weren’t happy campers. Now I’m at “my” Tuesday morning coffee shop and all I can say is … “Ouch!” When I arrived here I thought, “Do they have to have the bass turned up so darn high?” But then someone dropped an umbrella. And another person dropped his keys. And it hit me—it’s not the bass, it’s my EARS. Every sound is horrendously loud. It’s as if everything has been amplified to pain level.

At times I”ve gotten out of bed and felt a bit woozy and had ear troubles and I’ve always chalked it up to my “Tylenol PM nights”. But last night I went without (and slept fairly well too) so I can’t blame it on that. I do realize I’ve always had sensitive ears—cold air on the ears is extremely painful and any wind and I’m a goner, so I suppose it’s just the way I’m made and nothing is to be done about it. Funny, though, that I’m reacting here and now, and I don’t have this trouble in an orchestra pit. Go figure.

Okay. Ramble over and out. This was all unimportant but I’m good at unimportant so there you go.

29. November 2005 · Comments Off on I was thrilled … · Categories: imported, Ramble

to read that Lorraine Hunt Lieberson was back! Alex Ross blogs about that good news as well as some news he says is bad. (I’m sorry to say I’ve not read Richard Dyer so I guess I won’t know what I missed … or at least I wouldn’t have except that Alex Ross has supplied a link to his writing and now I’ll have to, of course, read his work.)

Anyway, I’m so happy to read that one of my favorite singers has come back, and is sounding wonderful (and looking healthy)! I haven’t blogged about all the speculation, because I didn’t want to jump on the speculation bandwagon. Enough folks had done that anyway and, I dunno, I felt like I would sound like a gossip if I did hop on. (I’m so darn good at gossip and it’s so difficult for me to avoid it. I think this is a typical performer’s plight.) But I was wondering about her, and was relieved to hear that she was back, although I’m sure sorry it wasn’t in time for Dr. Atomic. I’m selfish that way.

My little bitty connection to Lorraine is that she attended San Jose State University when I was there, we played in the San Jose Symphony (RIP) together (she on viola) as well as the Misdummer Mozart Festival Orchestra and, when we played a particular Nutcracker gig each year, she’d play her viola and then sing when we got to the dance of the snowflakes. I also heard her sing in an opera (I’m thinking it was very early opera, but I can’t say for sure) when we were in college; I’ll never forget seeing our orchestra conductor’s jaw nearly drop to the floor when he heard her voice. He knew her as a violist only. She also sang, I could swear it was as a soprano, in San Jose Symphony (RIP) performances of Messiah some years back and just blew us all away. She is one unbelievable musician, to be sure.

28. November 2005 · Comments Off on Old Stuff · Categories: imported, Ramble

I’m going back through my old site just for fun (and to make sure I’ve found all the quotes from that site that I’ve not yet transferred over to here). It was sort of fun to reminisce, starting from the very beginning (a very good place to start). And if you’re wondering why I’ve got “a very good place to start” in my head just go here and maybe you’ll figure it out! That’s one of the earliest posts from the old site. January 30, 2003, in fact. Wow. I’ve been at this since January 17, 2003. How ’bout that?

By the way, I spelled “reminisce” correctly on the first try. Amazing. Really. Anyone who would like to send oboe reeds to me as a reward feel free.

28. November 2005 · Comments Off on Oboe Is Easy · Categories: imported, Ramble

I’m listening to Eugene Izotov’s CD Sound In Motion. Clearly oboe is easy. It’s as simple as that. Easy, easy, easy.

Or at least that’s how HE makes it sound! 😉

It’s really humbling to listen to some of my recordings. I’ve been particularly humbled by his CD and Julie Giacobassi’s English horn and oboe d’amore CD.

Sigh and double sigh.

28. November 2005 · Comments Off on Music Quote · Categories: imported, Quotes

Tenors get women by the score.

-James Joyce, Ulysses

27. November 2005 · Comments Off on Thankgiving and Cuts · Categories: imported, Ramble

I was reading a new blog, Felsenmusic (which I keep meaning to add to my bloglist), I’ve found (new to me anyway) and ran across this post. Ah yes, I can relate! I managed to cut BOTH index fingers by the time I’d made it through this year’s Thanksgiving festivities. This can be a problem for anyone, but for a musician who has to use her fingers to play it’s especially troubling. Fortunately I now use liquid bandage and while it “hurts like the Dickens” (to quote my dear mother-in-law!), it sure does make playing easier. I can’t use the normal Band-aid, and if you’ve read my Les Mis cut finger horror story you know I’ve had problems figuring out what to do with a cut in the past. (That cut was much deeper and on the most important spot of my “half-hole finger”.)

Not sure why I’m rambling about this. I suppose just because I can.