31. December 2006 · Comments Off on Life & Death · Categories: imported, Links

Yes. That’s where my mind is, as you might imagine. Then I read this and think of what an easy life I’ve had. Everyone dies. But I can’t imagine what this woman dealt with.

I used to feel that God wanted me to heal people through medicine. Now what I do is basically the same thing, but through music. Before I go on stage, I pray God will help me by letting his love flow through my voice. No one is exempt from pain. Singing isn’t about me. It’s about the music. That’s what makes live performance so wonderful. I want others to open their minds and hearts, to feel that I’m just like them when I sing about love and longing and pain.


Jason Heath has a link to a story by a music librarian. (Warning: language in the second link.)

I can most certainly relate!

I was a music librarian for San Jose Symphony (RIP). I even punished myself by taking the job for a second bout some hears after the first mistake gig. I do have stories. Many, many stories. And not just about conductors. BUT … just one story for today, and it is a conductor story:

We were doing a pops style concert, which usually means a LOT of music. We had already had our rehearsals and we were now at the venue (a shopping mall, believe it or not) for the performance. The (guest … so no guessing!) conductor asked me for the scores. I was rather shocked. “You have the scores,” I said. He flatly denied this. He was pretty darn angry. I was freaked—I usually order double scores, but for something like this? Not always. What to do, what to do?! Well … a bit of time later the conductor comes back to me and says that he just happens to have all the necessary scores in the trunk of his car.

What a miracle, eh?

He never appologized. And yet he didn’t ever demand “his” scores back. Go figure. Guess those amazing miracle scores must have been the ones I had “forgotten”.

Ya think?

31. December 2006 · Comments Off on Stravinsky’s Nightingale · Categories: imported, Ramble

I’m currently watching the PBS broadcast of The Nightingale (Le Rossignol). I played the orchestral work a few years back, but I’d never heard the actual opera. I’m all for videos of operas and other works, and I’m extremely glad I’m getting to hear the work.

BUT … music is sound. So when they decide to add sounds to the music, I find it tremendously annoying. Dishes falling over. Computer keyboard clicking. Other sounds. (We hear those sounds because of the animation in this movie … so they do have a point. But still ….)

Now I suppose you could say I’m listening to an opera and so stage sounds will be added and that’s just the way it is, but some of these sounds … well … they just didn’t work the same way for me (and I DO find those stage sounds distracting when I listen to a CD of an opera). Maybe I’m just overly sensitive to clicks and clacks?

Still, I’m happy to be able to hear the work (I had attempted to order a recording a while back and it never arrived and I was then informed that it wasn’t available any longer). And I really am enjoying the majority of it. I think I read a few blogger critiques and they were primarily negative. I do, for the most part, like it, and I’m recording it to DVD.

Oooh … my heart is going a little faster … must be nearing the big oboe solo. 😉

UGH. There is rhythmic clapping through the entire oboe solo. What a shame. It’s at a good and playable tempo though, so that’s nice. That was a fun (but scary) solo to play! Memories.

Man I love this music!

31. December 2006 · Comments Off on But He Doesn’t Like Accordian · Categories: imported, Ramble

This blog entry talks about Daniel Levitin and his book … the one I was reading , and plan on reading more of as soon as I can wrap my brain around anything—real life has interfered at the moment.

Reading the blog did make me want to get back to the book. I’m a bit embarrassed that I’m so slow a reader (although at the moment I think I have a legitimate excuse).

I wonder how differently a classicaly trained musician hears and reacts compared to someone with a different background. I wonder, too, if Dr. Levitin was assuming all of us look at the conductor all the time (!) because of one study he was doing. I actually can’t see the conductor clearly these days … read my glasses entry … so I wonder if I react differently now than I used to.

Actually I don’t wonder—I know! I don’t get nearly as stressed now that I miss out on the grimaces and hostile looks given out by some conductors. It’s a good thing.

In any case, I’m hoping to get back to reading, and back to “normal” … as normal as things will be when major changes in one’s life take place.

Oh … and from what I read, Dr. Levitin doesn’t care for accordian. Ah well. Maybe he hasn’t heard Quartetto Gelato?!

Yet another loss. One of my favorite oboists, Cynthia Steljes, of Quartetto Gelato, has died of cancer. This is a great loss for the the oboe community, the quartet, and, of course, especially for her family.