08. December 2006 · Comments Off on Am I Alone On This One? · Categories: imported, Ramble

One Note. That’s really all it takes to ruin my day. One stinkin’ note!

This current symphony set is certainly not about me. I don’t play any of the three VIvaldi concerti, and several of our orchestra members (including my pal Debbie Kramer) are soloing. “Tombeau” features the oboe in a most prominent way, but I only have a few little ditties on English horn and it’s doubtful they really get noticed. I do double on oboe, and I have to admit that’s a pain; in the past the part was split so as to avoid paying the second oboist or me doubling, but now that there are only two of us in the section I “get” to play both parts. I am finding the switch in the first movement to be utterly painful. Part of it is that the oboe part there is technically difficult, and I don’t have time to really get focussed. Ah well. That’s life in the music biz, yes?

But the real problem for me—and I’m guessing it’s only me and that other second oboists don’t struggle with this—is the second movement of the Beethoven Piano Concert (#5). I have to come in on a low F# (yeah, I know … it’s not THAT low!). It’s pianissimo. And it’s after a long bit of resting.

At home? No problem! On stage prior to the work being run? No problem! But nerves. Nerves are evil. Nerves cause a person to tighten up, freak out, and feel like nothing is working. No matter how softy I play it feels too loud. And the principal oboist is on an oboe middle D (fourth line D) … so there’s no support from there either, as that note is easy as pie. Or easier than pie. (I think pie is pretty difficult, actually.)

So there you go.

It’s one note. If that comes out I’ll be happy. If it doesn’t my entire day is ruined. Woudln’t you know?

I’m up on the 17th floor of a building in downtown San Jose, at the Capital Club. (The club graciously allowed me, a non-member, free wireless!) Estetica, the Lincoln High School vocal jazz group, is singing and I’m a taxi driver for them today. I can barely hear them, as I sit in the lobby, watching over purses and jackets and all that jazz. I always hope things like this will take my mind off of one note … one note … one note ….

Fat chance.

(Oh no. I never obsess. Not I!)

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