31. July 2009 · Comments Off on Recital Planning · Categories: Recital, UCSC

Every other year I am required to give a recital at UCSC. I really enjoy playing chamber music, and we are allowed to do that rather than do solo works. The trouble, though, is finding the time to rehearse. In addition, most of us live distances away from each other, and teach on different days at UCSC. I’m sure this year will be a challenge, as always.

So far we have this: the date (November 6), location (UCSC Recital Hall), and four players (flute, oboe, clarinet and horn). We have to wait on what we are hoping will create a woodwind quintet, as we are having to hire a new bassoonist. I’m hopeful we’ll know who that is by next week and can get moving on all of this. What we don’t have, aside from that fifth player, is repertoire. I have some works that are good possibilities, and there is a composer who might be composing a work for oboe, clarinet and bassoon … it would be fun to do a brand new work!

Oh … and we now have the name of our recital too:

No Strings Attached

Fun, eh? 🙂

31. July 2009 · Comments Off on Another Day, Another Opera Rehearsal · Categories: Links, Oboe, Opera, Ramble

Today I have another Cosi rehearsal. I’m happy that we will finally have all the singers with us; I appreciate the orchestra rehearsals, because we do need to focus on what we have, but I adore it when the singers join us. There is nothing like the human voice!

I try to play the oboe as a singer sings. I was very flattered when a reviewer in London last year compared my playing of the Cimarosa Oboe Concerto to Montserrat CabaIIe, the Spanish soprano, and my Strauss Concerto with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in her prime. I like to be compared with singers, not oboe players.

-Ray Still

I’m with Mr. Still on this! I like to try to sing through the oboe. I’m sure I don’t come close to what he did, but I try.

After the opera rehearsal I have a wedding rehearsal. A former UCSC student is getting married tomorrow (hi Kayte!) and I like to offer my oboe playing to students as a gift. I know how expensive weddings can be, and if I can help with this one little offering I’m happy to do so. I’m doing solo oboe, and I’ll be playing Celtic music. I found a site that had a ton of free sheet music, so that was pretty handy. And I wrote one piece, as a additional little gift. I’m looking forward to the event!

31. July 2009 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

I should put a chamber group together called Americas Most Unwanted. Ensemble to have Oboe, English Horn, Bassoon, Euphonium& Bass Trombone

31. July 2009 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

Mary was wonderfully supportive all the way through. It’s hard enough just being the wife of a neurotic oboe player, somebody who’s constantly going from highs to lows depending on the reed situation, and getting terribly discouraged and feeling that he can’t go on and play a concert, that it’s too terrifying. It’s been tough on her. But she’s a very strong person. I think it must be very difficult for musicians who don’t have that support at home, who have an unstable life. There are so many musicians in our orchestra who, I feel, don’t have that kind of support.

-Ray Still

I read that quote and more here.

31. July 2009 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: Read Online

How do I dress like a jazz violinist?

I just want to get the heck out of classical music and get into jazz music. How would I dress like a jazz violinist?

Yes, I really did read this online. Honest.

30. July 2009 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

oooh. first time taking the oboe out for over a month. hope i’m still good?

30. July 2009 · Comments Off on Thriller … For Bassoons · Categories: Bassoon, Videos

While I’m busy doing another Cosi rehearsal, here’s a bassoon ensemble for you. Not quite Mozart!

29. July 2009 · Comments Off on First Rehearsal Over & Out · Categories: Oboe, Opera, Reeds

So it’s back to work … or, um, play! I had forgotten that today’s rehearsal was a 3 1/2 hour rehearsal. But of course Cosi has a lot of tacets for oboe, so it’s not like I’m playing all the time. That’s a good thing, since my embouchure isn’t at its strongest.

Reeds? Still not sure what to expect of them. I used two during rehearsal. The first was okay for a while and then it started to get a bit unpredictable if I played forte. The second was okay, but not quite what I want. One that I thought was going to be good wasn’t behaving when I played it at home. Hmmm. I think all the reeds are still deciding what they want to be.

Me too.

29. July 2009 · 1 comment · Categories: Links

Music as a weapon:

SEATTLE – The idea of using annoying music to repel loiterers is catching on a some businesses and other locations in the Puget Sound area.

Classical music has cleared the parking lot at Saar’s Market in the Rainier Beach neighborhood of Seattle where crowds of up to 25 people would hang out, leading to drug-dealing and fights.

Pierce Transit spokesman Lars Erickson told The Seattle Times that vandalism declined at the Tacoma Mall Transit Center after the classical and country music started playing in 2007.

The McDonald’s restaurant at Third and Pine in downtown Seattle also found that country music moves loiterers. The Paramount Theatre in downtown Seattle occasionally plays “It’s a Small World After All.”

Read here.

(“It’s a Small World” would probably send me away too. As does any bit of Nutcracker!)

and …

In response to constant noise caused by loud music in neighboring Arab neighborhoods, Jewish communities retaliate by playing classical music.

Found here.

But moving on to music as special …

What is it that makes music so special.. ?

Why does it seem like in some way or the other music can relate to everything. I’m not talking just lyrics, I’m talking about all aspects. The vibration of the strings, the relative pitches, major and minor notes and chords, tempo.

To read the answers, go here. Some will make you laugh. At least I think so!

28. July 2009 · 3 comments · Categories: Oops!

Directed by Ira Siff, who managed a winning “Cosi Fan Tutti” here a few seasons ago, this “Don Gio-gfgbugcw0

cw-4vanni” was highlighted by clever acting and excellent singing.

(Yes, the spacing was like that.)

Sometimes things just make me laugh. This was one of ’em. I’m going to guess it gets fixed soon, so this link my not show the problem any more.

I’m still trying to figure out how to pronounce “Don Gio-gfgbugcw0