09. July 2009 · Comments Off on Ready Or Not · Categories: Links, Ramble, Symphony

When I’m sitting at home tweeting or messaging or doing whatever it is I do on the computer, I feel fairly confident (unless someone writes and reprimands me for something I’ve written). I even feel somewhat extroverted. So I go ahead and say, “Let’s get together!” to people. Even if I’ve never met ’em.

Of course when it comes close to time to meet said people, I get nervous. I have “performer’s tummy” right now, because I am anxious. I’m about out the door to meet one person I’ve met several times (she found my blog and we communicated for a time and I gave her a few oboe lessons) as well as a clarinetist I “met” on Twitter. Both are young enough to be my children. Both are in music, so we do have that in common. But of course now I start thinking, “Ack! What are you doing?! You are old. They are young. You are goofy. They will probably be baffled by how you dress, what you say, and even how you eat.” But there you go. We set up plans. We are meeting for sushi and then going to hear Jeremy Denk play at the SF Symphony. He’s not all we’ll hear, of course, but I am pretty jazzed about getting to hear a blogger I’ve followed for quite some time. It’s an all Beethoven concert: Coriolan Overture, Piano Concerto No. 5, and Symphony No. 5, with James Gaffigan conducting. I’ll be curious to see what oboists are playing for a summer concert.

And now? … I’m off!

09. July 2009 · Comments Off on Live Music … Or Else! · Categories: Links, News

Last week, Manchester County Court was the scene of an extraordinary victory. A man called Adrian Bradbury had taken his family to see a professional staging of The Wizard of Oz at the Lowry Theatre in Salford. I know the Lowry well. It’s a superb arts centre and it usually puts on top-class shows. But The Wizard didn’t enchant Mr Bradbury for one simple reason. It had no live band.

All the songs and dance routines were performed to pre-recorded backing tracks. Mr Bradbury felt that if you had paid to see what was billed as a “magical family musical” you were entitled to expect live musicians. So he sued under the Trade Descriptions Act. And, astonishingly, he won. The Lowry argued that “133,000 theatregoers have enjoyed The Wizard of Oz at the Lowry and Mr Bradbury was the only person who expressed any concern with the lack of live music”. But the judge, in effect, said “so what?”. He ruled that Mr Bradbury’s personal expectation of hearing real musicians was genuine and reasonable. So the Lowry must now refund the £134.50 that he spent on tickets.

I was alerted to this by Charles Noble at Daily Observations. Full article is here.

Having been to a production that used synthesizers to replace an orchestra I think we should be able to sue them as well. What you heard came nowhere near a real orchestra. But somehow the audience seemed clueless.

09. July 2009 · 2 comments · Categories: Links, Videos

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve laughed when an actor has to play an instrument!

In some feeble attempt to demonstrate the concept of “unfriendly”, a front desk attendant at a hotel whips out a violin and begins to play. Not only is the attendant not using his fingers upon the fingerboard, but he’s holding the instrument on the wrong side, bow in the incorrect hand.

Please, ad folks, as a professional musician I implore you to hire actors who know how to use the instrument you’ve written into your savvy spots. Or at least take a few moments to provide genuine instruction to the person you’ve hired. It’s not so hard to learn to fake it.

You can read the whole thing and watch the video as well. Crazy!

09. July 2009 · Comments Off on Wishing · Categories: Ramble

I do wish my airport express not only allowed me to play my iTunes library via my good speakers, but would also allow any sound from my computer (YouTube, music clips, etc.) through speakers. I guess that doesn’t work though.


09. July 2009 · Comments Off on There’s Nothing To Hear · Categories: Ramble

I remember, and I’m sure I’ve blogged about this before, hearing a woman talk about bringing her grown son to an orchestra concert. He said it was enjoyable, but there was “nothing to see”.

I suggested he could have watched the orchestra members and conductor. I know that’s what most people tend to do. (I sometimes just close my eyes and listen.) It seems that watching the players could very well be “something to see”. But what do I know? And what’s so wrong with just listening?

Still, Dan was showing me something on the computer — maybe even one of his fabulous photos, but now I’m drawing a blank (hey, I’ve not finished my latté yet!) — and I wittingly responded to it by saying, “It’s nice, but there’s nothing to hear.”

Yep. I can be amazingly witty sometimes. 😉

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

Second escalator at Vienna sounds like oboe section of orchestra tuning up. I suspect overhaul coming — or quartet?