03. June 2007 · Comments Off on Wow · Categories: imported, Videos

(WOW, upside down, is MOM. And I just want you to know that.)

But anyway … WOW is really for this which I found thanks to Terry Teachout.

03. June 2007 · Comments Off on Another Oboe Blog · Categories: imported, Ramble

Via Scott I’ve now added James Roe to the reed blog link list. (He’s ceratinly working with the bigger names in NYC … I’m humbled. As is often the case.) I’ve added him to my RSS feed (his site is white type on black and my eyes can’t handle that). I’m always happy to add another oboe blog!

Anyone else out there?

03. June 2007 · Comments Off on Opera at UCSC · Categories: imported, Ramble

I’m back from seeing and hearing the UCSC production of Magic Flute. It was great! Director Brain Staufenbiel always does something new and creative, and Nicole Paiement conducted wonderfully as always. My oboe students played beautifully. Bravas to Alicia and Becky! Super job!

And brava tutti to the entire cast and crew. Great work!

03. June 2007 · Comments Off on More of the Story · Categories: imported, News

There is a longer article in the Merc today about the Irene Dalis Vocal Competition. Part of this appeared yesterday, but today you get more and pictures as well. Enjoy!

I had meant to write more than I did following the SCU concert I attended Friday night.

Yes, my students did a great job. As did some other musicians. The soloists, a clarinetist and bassoonist with whom I’m unfamiliar, played professionally in Bulgaria before relocating here. They did a very fine job as well, although I prefer having university students solo rather than bringing in outside players; I think the audience, composed primarily of parents and students, enjoy seeing someone they know on stage (not that the Santa Clara Mission has a stage!). But in any case, everyone heard some nice playing by these guys. (The Stamitz is a sweet little piece, although I’d have to hear it again to fully understand it all; the Mission is a bit of a muddle because of the reverb—reverb that makes even a bad reed sound mighty fine, by the way!)

But I was surprised at the number of orchestra players who looked as if they were in zombie land.

I don’t like to see musicians moving around so much it looks like they came to the concert buzzed on ten cups of coffee. (I have been told that some aditions in other countries judge players on their movement and they really want a lot of moving around. I watched one video of a wind chamber ensemble from Germany, and one oboist nearly bounced off his chair as he was playing!) But no movement whatsoever just looks bizarre to me. I’m not talking a little bit of sway … I’m talking absolutely no movement at all, aside from the requirements to play the instrument. I’m talking absolutely no facial expression. Nada. As if they were empty of everything, someone pushed the “play” button, and the bowing arm moved, the fingers fingered, the wind player blew some air (although you really couldn’t even sense that, and that was it.

It was pretty weird, to be honest. Do they not feel the movement of the music? Do they not realize the life of the music? I wonder.

(And I wonder, too, as I have in the past, why it is that I move back and forth, but so many clarinetists I’ve seen move side to side. Just a curiousity.)

I’d love to sit in on more juries and see if the players then start to look a bit more alive, or if what looks to me like “disconnect” is still there. (This year I’ll only attend oboe and clarinet juries.)

Music is alive, folks. At least that’s the way I see it. It’s kind of nice if you look like you are alive too.

03. June 2007 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: imported, Quotes

And I know this could all end tomorrow. I could be injured or something could happen, and this will all be gone. So I should enjoy whatever I do and play the best I can and be thankful every time I walk out on stage, wherever it is. Because some of the smallest stages that I’ve played on have been the most rewarding.

-Jon Nakamatsu

There’s more in this article. Having played with Mr. Nakamatsu several times I have to say this article sounds just like him. He’s a great guy, and has never come across as a jerk. (Not that any solist would ever do that … right?)