27. August 2008 · Comments Off on Playing @ Work · Categories: Ramble

So I had opera today, and it was wonderful to get back together with some of my favorite musicians! What a joy to get to play incredible music with them. Tomorrow we get to meet the first batch of singers in the first sitzprobe, and there are some new names — and new voices — so I can’t wait!

My reeds that looked to be Happy Reeds on Sunday aren’t so happy right now, and I’m not sure if they’ll grow into decent things or if I’ll have to nix them. Well, I know one is a goner; I started to play on it and heard this “gclk” (yeah, that’s how you spell that) and, lo and behold, it cracked. Which means it was probably already cracked. Which explains the saggy oboe middle C.

Oh. Well.

Then, as I was cleaning my oboe later in the day I looked down the bore and saw something in the top joint. Say what? I’m not sure what it is … a piece of fabric hooked on something? A piece of cane that is stuck in there? I dunno. It’s very small, and perhaps I’ve just been blind to it forever and it’s been there all along, but I don’t think so. Sigh. I’m not sure what it means to the happiness of the oboe.

Prior to the opera rehearsal (it was a 1-4 call) I wound four reeds, after having wound 6 yesterday. One guess as to what I really want to do tomorrow morning! 😎

But now? Now I’m watching “my” Giants. 0-1, middle of the sixth, bad guys. We’ve lost two in a row already. If I blew it two days in a row I think I might be given a warning about my performance, so I’m wondering if I should send them a warning.

Okay. Baseball is different than oboe playing. I know. Just look at the salary diff. 😉

20 more minutes of this game and then I have to go back and forth between the game and … drumroll … Project Runway.

Yeah. Really.

27. August 2008 · 5 comments · Categories: Ramble


You’d think that people in the Arts would have better ideas. You’d think they’d have a clue. But this ad tells us they do not. (Thanks The Standing Room for … um … this.)

I keep hoping this is just something that was on a Comedy Central show, you know? But no such luck. They do things a bit better there.

Okay, okay, I have seen worse ads. It’s just that this one is about the arts, and I think that people in the arts should do better than this. It’s just so average in its creativity.

But it made some of you laugh, so there’s that.

(I do wonder if they could get in trouble using the Raisin Bran box so obviously. Is that legal?)

27. August 2008 · 7 comments · Categories: Ramble

I have been summoned to jury duty. And I’m not happy. Couldn’t they have snagged me in the summer, when at least I didn’t have much playing work? I’d have had to cancel students if I was called in, but at least I wouldn’t have had to worry about playing work unless it conflicted with Merola.

Here’s the thing: if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. If a contractor for a freelance job calls to hire me for those dates and I say, “Oh, by the way, I’m on jury duty,” you can bet he or she will say, “Never mind!” If I have to miss more than one rehearsal of Symphony Silicon Valley I’m out for the entire run, and I have to give them more than a day or two of notice so I’m not exactly sure how that would work. (I think it’s 21 days notice, although I’d have to check for sure.) Opera is a bit more generous with absences, but it’s still a costly thing to do and they have to have two weeks’ notice. If I miss UCSC students I have to reschedule and make up all lessons missed. This isn’t easy to do, since a quarter goes so quickly. And private students? If I don’t teach, I obviously don’t earn any income and, even worse, my students won’t know until the day before if I’m called if their lessons are on or off. If I do get called I get to go sit in a room with a bunch of people and not get chosen when I tell the attorneys I’m a professional musician. Yes, it’s happened twice already and I’ve gotten into the jury box only to be dismissed. I’ve been told (of course who knows if it’s true) that attorneys tend to dismiss professional musicians.

Surely there must be a better system?

The only good thing was that I opted to change the dates for a week when I at least don’t have symphony or opera. But still. Sigh.

Okay. I’ll stop whining now.

27. August 2008 · Comments Off on Today! · Categories: Links, Opera, Videos, Watch

Today is our first rehearsal for Eugene Onegin. This means no singers (rats!), but I’m really looking forward to the opera. I’ve not played it for quite a while … not since 1995, in fact. Wow, time has passed. Go figure.

So here, to get you ready too, are a few clips (do take note of the oboe!):

Now go get your tickets!

27. August 2008 · Comments Off on BQOD · Categories: BQOD

Here is another interesting fact, I have heard that you can’t actually listen to music and think at the same time. Your mind can’t think about two things at the same time. People who function well multi tasking are actually just great at leaping back and forth between thoughts.

So I guess I must not be listening when I’m playing much of the time. Because I’m pretty sure I’m thinking.

But next time I’m playing I’ll be sure and think on this and see if it’s true.

27. August 2008 · Comments Off on iTunes & emusic take note! · Categories: Links, Ramble

I’ve written about this before, and I’m sure I’ll write about it again. But my readership is small, and I guess I’ve never gotten emusic to pay attention. But maybe she will.

This is not the first time this kind of thing has happened to me (or you I’m sure). Music sites that tell you Beethoven is the performer, that “Allegro” is the name of the piece, that the piano soloist might be the Berlin Philharmonic. I find these experiences endlessly frustrating. I don’t understand how something so simple has to be so hard to figure out. (I take that back. I do understand. Believe me, I really, really do. But it still makes me crazy.)

I know the idea of the composer (or songwriter) and the performer being two separate but equally important people is complex for those outside the music world. And the idea that a soloist, conductor, or orchestra might all be equally important makes things a little more complicated than most folks can handle.

But hello, music services! These are essential elements to dealing with this music. You’re dissing entire genres here. Any service that bothers to offer music without taking these elements into account is a joke. Sorry dudes. I know it’s not easy doing what you do and that some music is weird. And you’ve probably figured out how to make millions off your service without giving a second thought to their metadata. But yeah, you make me sad.

Yep. I’m sad too. And frustrated.

I’ve offered my assistance to both emusic via this site. Neither have taken me up on this. Surprise, surprise.