10. July 2008 · Comments Off on Concert Announcement · Categories: Concert Announcements

Jack Nicholson at the symphony … not a basketball game … go figure.

TOM HANKS, JULIA ROBERTS, BRUCE WILLIS and JACK NICHOLSON are to perform a reading of ERNEST HEMINGWAY’ semi-autobiographical THE WORLD OF NICK ADAMS, backed by the SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, to raise funds for sick children.

Proceeds from the event, which will take place at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, California on 27 October will go to The Painted Turtle charity.

I found it here.

I’m gonna guess tickets won’t be cheap.

… and absolutely nothing to do with music. But I’m sorry, I can’t resist.

“I keep thinking how could I have not known it was there?” Miss Hawkins said. “I will certainly be checking my bras every morning from now on.”

Um, Well. Okay then.

I read it here. You should read it too.

10. July 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Links

When I put up this blog entry I wasn’t saying I hate all new music, and reading this which is about as harsh as can be from my very quick skimming (yeah, I’m skimming again … sorry!) some might think I’m in his camp.

Not so.

But I will tell you what I don’t particularly like to play. If I’m playing a piece that is so random I could play everything wrong and no one would know (including the composer!) I am bothered. If I’m playing a piece that is best played on your little computer with that lovely oboe sound (hah!) I am bothered. If a composer write things that are simply impossible on an oboe and doesn’t understand that, I am bothered.

I know that John Cage wrote those “you can play or not — you choose” sorts of things. And good for him. But that was a while ago, and I just don’t need more of that.


Although … hmmm … the work we played said we could play any instruments we wanted. Jeepers! I should have put in a few extra instruments and received the extra pay, eh? 😉

Anyway, I just don’t want to be lumped in with someone who wants to toss it all out. I just want to toss out what I want to toss out.

Doesn’t that seem fair and reasonable?

Oh … and I want the option of changing my mind a few years down the line. Because. You know. Sometimes music that we thought was unplayable becomes playable. And sometimes music we thought was disgusting becomes incredible. And sometimes the music we thought was the best thing ever written becomes … oh dear! … rotten.

Funny how that happens. 🙂

PS Please don’t hate me.

10. July 2008 · 3 comments · Categories: Ramble

I can now get email via my mail program … I just can’t retrieve it at the .mac site. So all’s almost well.

If anyone tries to email me, please know that .mac has been down for far too long and I might not be able to retrieve email for a while. (You can always try oboe [at] planetmitchell [dot] com.)

This sure doesn’t give me any idea of when things will be restored. I read the word “soon” when I checked at a bit before 7:00 this morning. It’s now 8:53. To me “soon” should have already happened. I’ve never had to whine about .mac before, and I had changed all my students over to using that email address because the planet wasn’t always reliable back when were were hosting the server right here at home. Now it appears that the planet may be the better choice. Maybe I should drop the .mac address after all. I wonder.

Okay, I suppose I have better things to do than whine about this, eh? I’ve just been hired to play Don Giovanni (two performances, August 1 and 3) so perhaps reed making should be part of my day. Email can, I suppose, wait.

If the tradition of the avant-garde assumes the participation of the audience, or even goes out of its way to provoke the audience, then what are the obligations of that audience? Naturally, people want to be polite. They also want to get their money’s worth. Beyond that, however, what are your obligations as a ticket-holder if the musician has abandoned what used to be considered his or her obligations: to entertain you, to engage you, to take you someplace strange and exciting.

I’m beginning to think: Not much. Spoleto audiences typically want to appear refined. But they might rediscover the value of being honest, too, and just walking out if something is not to their liking. It’ll be good for audiences, good for the festival, good for composers, and good for the art.

(Read here)

I just wrote a long comment about this, but I’ve decided to delete it. I don’t want everyone to hate me too much! But I do understand leaving sometimes. Really.

10. July 2008 · Comments Off on Musician Dreams · Categories: Ramble

Sometimes they are a bit like those dreams we have about not being able to find our classroom and yet it’s the day of the final. Had those? Bet a lot of you have!

My dream this time was similar, but not quite: I was in a huge, multi-level parking garage. It had, in fact, two separate sections. I was searching for our Prius and it was nowhere to be found. For some reason the parking garage had stairs into a shopping mall … but I was supposed to be at a rehearsal. I knew that our break was only 15 minutes (actually I think they are 20 in real life, but I never keep track, and I rarely even bother to leave my chair when we have breaks). I continued to hunt for the car, and the only thing I could remember was that I had put two glasses up on a shelf near the car. (Don’t ask me what that was about.) The entire dream was spent knowing I was late to the second half of the rehearsal and fixating on my missing car. (There were twists and turns on the way: a friend I’ve not kept in touch with for years appeared, my new son-in-law was there, and at one point I was in the wrong section of the garage, looking at tables and tables of glassware and other things that were sitting out because I was in a sort of lost and found part of the garage.)

I know, I know … not terribly exciting, and I don’t believe I played a spec of music.


But not I’m quite tired. All that searching did me in.

10. July 2008 · Comments Off on But … but … but · Categories: Quotes

… a director would never say “I don’t like the oboe.” Right?


It drives me crazy when a director…

– doesn’t like certain woodwind instruments, like the oboe. It’s like saying to a painter, “I don’t like the color blue.”
-John Debney

(I read it here.)