I decided not to drive anywhere today. I try to do this as frequently as possible these days. It’s not just about the gas … it’s about the distraction. If I drive somewhere, I put off all the things I need to do.

Mainly it’s about reeds.

So today I made my latté. I blogged and showered and had some raisin bran. I made the bed and did some laundry. And finally I could delay no longer. Reeds were worked on.

First it was the English horn beasts. I had a number of them in the case and I needed to go through them and see which were in the “we want to live!” category and which were in the “please, release us, we are cracking up” group. I even found a few that may have potential. But nothing that is in the “I am perfection” box. Oh well. I also worked on a few EH reeds that weren’t yet even in the “well, at least we crow” place. I kind of take my time on EH reeds. I’m just that way.

Then it was to oboe. I’d already gone through the stash; I’ve cleared out those with no hope for survival. I’ve put some in the “we don’t deserve to live but please give us a chance” area, and they will stay there. For now. (But I occasionally hold up a new reed and threaten those pesky undeserving fellows, “I’ll give you a few more days, but after that you’re history!”) Then it was time to work on the barely carved guys. And three at least tell me that they might be okay. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

I live in MaybeLand™ and MightLand™ and PotentialLand™ a whole lot of the time. I haven’t reached PerfectionLand™ … ever. Sigh.

But at least my driving decision might drive me to work on reeds more diligently. One can hope.

You can go to a concert and get a child for free!

I read it here, where I also read about a musician who seemingly does it all:

She did freelance work as first oboe with several orchestras which included a tour of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. She was the tuned percussion specialist with Lewisham Concert Band, first oboe with the Commonwealth Symphony Orchestra and worked as an oboe soloist, piano soloist and accompanist.

And I can barely keep my head above water dealing with oboe! Sigh.

But really … this is the best part: Children are free.


I know oboes are expensive, and I want a wooden one. I have a limited price range. Even though $800 isn’t much, can I still get a good oboe? My oboe teacher has given me a couple brands to look for on ebay, but only a couple have ended in my price range. What brands and types of wood would be good for me to get? I am a high schooler and intend to play oboe for quite a long time?

Now that is a very easy one to answer, don’t you think? An oboe for $800?


Try to blow an oboe, go ahead.

Potential results you’ll get, if you’re not an oboist, include the sound of your own wind, silence or an unearthly squeal. People will ask you to stop, and the muscles around your mouth will start to hurt.


I read it here.

I’m not sure “squeal” is the word I would use. Hmmm. “Squawk” maybe? But yes, the first sounds a person makes aren’t exactly lovely. And yes, mouth muscles will hurt (if you are doing things correctly), and you’ll also probably feel the reed vibrate … it “tickles” really, until you get control of the crazy thing.

Speaking of reeds: today is reed day, whether I like it or not!

(I don’t like it.)

It’s above my head (what isn’t?) but does this mean that Vienna State Opera uses microphones in their performances? I thought maybe they were talking about broadcasts or using microphones for the backstage monitors, but there’s this:

In addition to the protagonists in the individual recitals, there is another star of the stage that faithfully transmits the performance to the auditorium

I’m not one who thinks using a microphone is a bad thing. Some houses are so darn large, and some orchestrations so darn thick, that a mic can really help. As long as I can’t tell it’s being used. (I’ve been to some operas where they used microphones and the only reason I knew is because I knew, not because I heard.)

I’m only blogging about this because I keep hearing that “real opera doesn’t use microphones”.


07. October 2008 · Comments Off on BQOD · Categories: BQOD

Seriously, if you haven’t seen a live Opera in your life, you are missing out. Drop everything you are doing and go…now. I realize that most of you might think that opera is an antiquated form of entertainment, that requires hours of study before the performance, just so you can understand what’s happening. I promise it’s not.

07. October 2008 · Comments Off on Bebop Cantabile & More · Categories: Double Reeds, Links, Videos, Watch

These are from the IDRS convention. The work is by Bill Douglas and he’s on piano. Peter Cooper is the oboist, and Yoshi Ishikawa is on bassoon.




07. October 2008 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

It’s funny that we’re all still alive and playing. But, there you are.

-Steven Isserlis

I heard it here.