31. August 2008 · Comments Off on Some Operas · Categories: Grumble, Oboe, Opera, Ramble

I’m just home from work. Eugene Onegin, in case any readers have forgotten.

Some operas get easier as we go along. Some get harder. For me, Eugene Onegin is the latter. And it’s a reed eater too. So far I’ve used four reeds, if I’m remembering correctly.

Tonight, though, I wasn’t happy, wasn’t comfortable, and then I mangled one run completely. What I should have played: Fourth line D# down to C double sharp, back to D# to E# to F double sharp to G# to A# to B. Sure, it sounds easy, yes? But I looked up at the conductor (or tried, he’s so high up there I really can’t see him) and when I looked back the music was just gone. Or something. The run repeats only four beats later so I at least got that, but geesh … I’m am completely unforgiving when wrong notes are played by anyone else, and much more so when I’m the culprit. But I hear that the row behind me laughed, so I guess I made them happy. I have to admit whatever it was I played must have sounded completely hysterical but, I fear, I think it was similar to how I mangled something at our daughter’s wedding.


Stuff happens. Ya just have to learn to laugh at it and then not let it happen again. (Laughing and then repeating the error is a very bad thing to do.)

No opera tomorrow. Then it’s four nights in a row. This is one demanding first oboe book. I think I’ll watch the movie of the opera that PH loaned me tonight. I’d like to get the music more firmly in this thick head ‘o mine, and seeing it would be fun.

31. August 2008 · Comments Off on When I’m Not Working In The Summer … · Categories: Ramble

and by working I mean playing (because I continue to teach through the summer), I begin to doubt my playing ability. I wonder if I really know how to produce a sound with these two skinny pieces of cane. I play with my students, and I even practice, but there is nothing like playing with my colleagues.

Playing Merola was a blessing and it helped, but it was such a short run, and nagging doubts love to reappear as quickly as possible. (Besides, the intonation there was somewhat sketchy, due to circumstances beyond our control.)

So it has been wonderful to get back together with folks this past week and the week before.

Yes, I knew how to put the instruments together. Yes, I remember how to play. Yes, reeds are still a pain. (Ah well, can’t win ’em all! That last one will never go away, I suppose.)

I know it might be unwise to post my fears and foibles here. I wonder if I lose work due to my admissions. But what to do? I just prefer to be frank about the biz. And anyway, I really don’t want to be a job hog. So I try to be happy for the person who landed a gig recently that I thought I would have been offered. Who knows if I might have been offered it, but it seemed likely. But oh well! It doesn’t really help anything to be resentful, and I do believe that things happen for a purpose. So there you go.

More opera tonight. This time it’s a run through so we’ll see how it all goes together.

31. August 2008 · Comments Off on Headaches & Oboe · Categories: Links, Oboe

A few years later, he began having headaches, mostly after performances. Kjome’s doctors eventually concluded the tremendous pressure needed to send a column of air through a tiny oboe reed was the cause.

“The doctors didn’t tell me to quit, but I knew I’d not be able to play at the same level,” he said.

He played his beloved oboe for the final time at the end of the 1997-98 season and sold his instruments.

Okay, oboe reeds can give me a headache. The making of them, anyway. Same with some musicians I’ve had to work with. Conductors too. But I don’t believe I’ve ever had a headache due to playing. I can’t help but wonder if he needed to lighten up the reeds a bit.

I read it here.

31. August 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Huh?, Links

If I inject cocaine into my arm and think I may have goofed up and injected some air too, and then think I’d better cut off my arm to save my life, well, I might just succeed (could my Landwell manage that task?) and then how in the world could I play oboe, huh?


So no cocaine for this girl. No sirree.

31. August 2008 · 6 comments · Categories: BQOD

People often tell me, “the appreciation of classical music is a definite sign that you’re getting old”, but why should that be the case? Am I doomed to middle-age at the not so tender age of 21, with senility looming by 30? Some who know me personally may respond with a resounding “yes”, but despite that, some people question why I like “classical music”.

31. August 2008 · Comments Off on Bonn & Beethoven · Categories: Links, Other People's Words

What do younger people think about Beethoven? Well, check this out and read the comments, mostly from “Bonn-ites”. (My term … I’m sure it’s not correct. But at least I didn’t call them Bonnets, right?)

Here’s a teaser for you:

Of course I like Beethoven, he was the greatest citizen of Bonn there ever was. I’m only slightly interested in classical music, I don’t really listen to it much actively, but now and then I like to. It is very important to find a great figure that can be associated with Bonn, and he is a good example.

She bought a $12,000 crystal-studded silver lace halter gown with a ruffled tulle skirt that she will wear Friday to the opening night of the San Francisco Opera.

I would have worn something similar if I was going to opening night. Alas, I’m not going. So no $12,000 crystal-studded silver lace halter gown for me. (I’m sure you are all quite relieved!)

Just how long would it take me to earn $12,000, I wonder.

Still, as I ponder this, I’m thankful for the rich & famous. And I’m not being sarcastic. They are the ones who support the arts with the big bucks. We need them. So if she wants to wear this gown, I say, “Go for it!”

If she also wants to buy me a few reeds I woulnd’t deny her that opportunity. 😉

(I read it here)

30. August 2008 · 4 comments · Categories: Ramble

I’m on facebook, but I gotta tell you, I don’t fully “get” it.

For one thing, the whole “friend” thing is odd. People I don’t know ask to be my friend. So I puzzle over the word “friend” a lot. And it’s now a verb. We “friend” people. Or we don’t. But we don’t reject anyone. We simply click “ignore”. Whew. (I’ve only “friended” one person, I think; it’s partially because I don’t want to put someone on the spot, forcing them to either become a friend when they don’t want to, or ignore me, which might hurt. Or not.) I accept anyone as a friend, because I don’t like to ignore people. Ignoring people seems sort of rude. Even if it’s some random person who smiles and says “hi” while I walk down a street. Right? But not many FacebookFolk™ ask to be my friend. Which is okay too. Since I don’t get facebook. Except that I’m not winning any facebook friend contest with my low numbers. I’m not at all like this guy:

But at least I’m far too old to ever have a facebook stalker. Or maybe that’s not good … maybe it would be flattering to have a facebook stalker. If he or she lived far, far away, that is.

Okay. Being silly here. Wasting time. When I could be checking facebook to see what everyone is up to.

30. August 2008 · Comments Off on Free! · Categories: Ramble

Amazon.com has a bunch of free MP3s for you. A ton. 3,212 songs, in fact. The categories are these:

  • Bestselling
  • Song Title: A to Z
  • Song Title: Z to A
  • Artist: A to Z
  • Artist: Z to A
  • Album: A to Z
  • Album: Z to A
  • Time: Short to Long
  • Time: Long to Short
  • Price: Low to High
  • Price: High to Low

I’m not sure what to choose. What I really wanted to see was something about “Music Taste: Good to Bad” and “Music Taste: Bad to Good” … but they don’t have that.


But anyway, not sure anyone is interested in this, but figured I’d mention it. And yes, they have some classical music. I see Mozart listed, for one. Not everything is free, but there are a good number here. (I know nothing about the recording, though.)

Yes, I’ve taken advantage now. I downloaded a few piano works I didn’t own already. I’ll continue to search ….

30. August 2008 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

We musicians aren’t in this business to make money. There isn’t very much to speak of, and the government gets most of that. Nor are we in it for personal fame (there isn’t much of that, either), or ego gratification (ditto). In fact, taken at face value, it’s a lousy deal all the way around.

Then why?

Because it’s fun, that’s why. To be sure, some folks burn out and lose that excitement and visceral joy that brought them into music in the first place. But a lot of people don’t; in fact, they just glow all the brighter with time and achievement, continually psyched about the music they’re making, whether through composing, playing, teaching, or communicating.

-Scott Fogelberg (found here)