27. January 2008 · Comments Off on Auditions · Categories: Ramble

I’ve been on both sides of the screen when it comes to auditions. I’ve sat on the panel, and I’ve escorted auditionees to that horrible screen a good number of times. In both cases I have been a bit nauseous; there’s something about auditions … even though I wasn’t even auditioning I’d get that awful anxious feeling, and even knowing we made the correct decision about who we chose, I always hurt for the number we had to turn away. If someone had a particularly bad audition, I just ached for the individual. We’ve always had our bad days. Really.

I was fairly surprised to read a rather revealing post about a trumpet audition up in Canada. Some readers might find it informative, so I’m putting the link here.

Biggest “take heed” … or, okay … “take heeds” I can offer?: Know your music inside out. Study not only your part, but know what’s going on around you as well. Hear those other parts as you practice. Play for a few people you trust, and make it an uncomfortable situation, as it will be when you do the real thing. (I helped someone out with this some time ago, and I had her behind a screen, to simulate that cold and impersonal situation. As an aside, this was not an audition I was then participating in in any way; I won’t hear someone for any orchestra of which I am a member.) If it’s an opera audition, please know what the singers are doing; it’s not all about you, you know?

I never blog about the auditions in which I’m involved, other than announcing a winner on occasion. I won’t write about what I hear until … well … it would have be be years later. For instance, I feel fairly comfortable, as it’s been over 15 years and the orchestra no longer exists, writing about an audition where a player (not an oboist, btw) played a Beethoven excerpt and throughout played a painfully obvious wrong note. Over. And over. (It was a passage with a lot of arpeggios.) The player hadn’t a clue he/she had done that, and I couldn’t believe anyone wouldn’t know such a famous excerpt. I won’t write about this kind of thing again, though (although I believe that one was safe to mention). I think, in fact, our local union or players’ committee would probably call me on the carpet if I did blog about current or recently past auditions.

No, we are not “San Jose Philharmonic”! Oops.

I’m SO glad I don’t do the drives these musicians do. I couldn’t bear it!

I’m with Karla; I don’t want to commute with other musicians if I can avoid it. And since I live 7 minutes away from work I can get away with driving alone, except when I get extra jobs that are further away. When I’m driving a distance then I do want to commute with others so I’m not the only one in trouble if we are late. (So far I’ve only been late to, I think, one gig, and that was a 10 minute drive from my house … but it was Cinco de Mayo and the route I had been instructed to take was horrible. I was, I think, 30 minutes late! So were others. Whew!)

Okay … it’s over. And I’m just … oh dear … I’m nearly weepy. I’m not sure why. Is it because the film kind of nails this life (even mine, without quite so much driving)? Is it just the MUSIC? (New World Symphony does get to me.) Is it seeing people I admire there, and watching Karla deal with her injury? (I hadn’t even heard about that, btw. I had blogged about her stolen instrument, but the injury was news to me.)

I have to say that it felt pretty darn spot on with the feelings we have of the joy of music, the frustrations, the wondering if we’ll ever “make it” (I’ve decided I’ve “made it” to where I’m happy to be, but I know that some have higher aspirations, and knowing the musicians they featured I do believe they could reach their goals. They are fabulous!) … well … it really covered it all, you know?

All I would have liked was a “where are they now?” thing just for fun. Even though I mostly know where they are. 🙂

Someone in a discussion group was asking for a recording of the Hindemith Oboe Sonata.
Here’s a bit of the conversation (with a few things that might identify the people X’d out):

Person #1: Would somebody happen to have a recording of the Hindemith sonata for oboe an piano? I’m supposed to perform this piece in a few months and would like to hear it being played by someone else than my teacher :). Me being credit card-less and living in a smallish city in XX narrows down the alternatives. This Hindemith plays hard to get. So, I’d be very happy and also willing to fulfill requests of the same kind, if some beautiful soul were to upload this piece.

Person #2: I can upload a copy. Would you mind Xlocking this entry?

Person #1: Thanks :D!

Person #2: No problem, just don’t want the fact that I’m violating copyright made public. 😀 Here you go.
(link removed)
John Mack, oboe
Eunice Podis, piano

Someone is posting this and assuming it won’t be seen? Silly person. Google sent me the link. I just joined. Anyone can join. Anyone can read this person admitting to doing something that could get him/her in trouble.

No matter what any of us think about the whole copyright thing, admitting you are breaking a law online seems just a tad foolish to me.

Ya think?

So here’s a little reminder, once again: what you write online can be seen by a whole heck of a lot more folks than you might think. If you write something, just make the assumption it’s on a “worldwide billboard” … and you might reconsider what you post. (Believe me, I’ve had to remove some dumb things I’ve written!) And if you are going to break a law, you might reconsider admitting it in print!

27. January 2008 · Comments Off on OOPS! · Categories: Links, Other People's Words

Read here:

Mahler’s ‘hideousness’ cannot be ignored


January 27, 2008

I am a musician, concert-goer, opera lover and, hopefully, a compassionate human being. Therefore, I strongly disagree with Valerie Scher’s statement that Wagner’s beliefs should be separated from his music (“Looking beyond composer’s dark shadow: Wagner’s work should be separated from the taint of his anti-Semitic beliefs,” Jan. 21, Currents Monday).

As Dan just suggested, they really did separate Wagner’s hideousness from his music … referring to Mahler rather than Wagner in that headline. (Or he said something like that, anyway. I am not quoting him exactly.)

Anyway … BIG oops!

27. January 2008 · Comments Off on Tonight · Categories: Announcements

6:00 pm KQED Channel 9

Truly CA: Our State, Our Stories[#305]
Freeway Philharmonic
This documentary follows seven San Francisco Bay Area freelance classical musicians as they perform with regional orchestras across Northern California, juggling their love of music with a stressful road warrior lifestyle – which often requires traveling hundreds of miles a day to rehearse, teach, and perform. These talented musicians have an unrelenting desire to perform for a living, sometimes at the expense of their family and well-being. The film captures the dedication, perseverance, and rigorous life of the musicians, while they grapple with their desire to succeed in a hard-driving career and come to terms with their limitations in their quest for artistic accomplishment.

duration: 57:18 CC STEREO TVG

(Now if only they’d had an oboe player they would have also dealt with the quest for the perfect reed. Yeah, I know they have Karla (bassoon) on the show. But, well, it’s just not the same!)

In any case … don’t forget to watch! (I’d record it, but our DVD recorder has died. It sure didn’t last very long. Grumble.)

If you can’t watch this evening, here are some other options:

KQED Channel 9
Wed, Jan 30, 2008 — 4:00 am
Wed, Jan 30, 2008 — 11:00 pm

KQED Life-Encore
Thu, Jan 31, 2008 — 2:00 am
Thu, Jan 31, 2008 — 1:00 pm
Thu, Jan 31, 2008 — 10:00 pm

27. January 2008 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

Certain people are annoyed that I believe in God, but I want people to know that God is present in everything, in the concert hall, in the ocean, on the mountain, even on the underground.

-Olivier Messian (read in The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century)