19. October 2009 · Comments Off on Heigh Ho! · Categories: Ramble

PattyRamble™ time:

Yesterday was a first for me. I played oboe for the two church services. I’ve done that before, to be sure. But yesterday? Yesterday I didn’t bring a speck ‘o music. I decided that I was ready to go up and create. And I did. I had a basic plan and I had a tune that I was thinking I might incorporate in to my improvisation. And I truly enjoyed doing it!

Funny thing about improvisational playing on oboe. For me, at least. I don’t miss attacks! There’s something about not having anything in print. I don’t see the notes I might miss, maybe? I don’t know. But things feel not only freer, but much easier. Go figure. And of course it felt like it was coming from my heart … truly as personal as possible. For a church service maybe that’s a good thing …?

And now I move on to work …

Last week I was catching my breath after playing the Ravel set. I was also working on the recital music (the UCSC faculty recital) and trying to clean a rather messy house. I did teach, of course. But this week it’s back to PW™ (Playing Work). Symphony starts up again. Nothing stressful this time, at least as far as I know, but the schedule means I’m rather busy (and, sadly, had to cancel an afternoon of students).

It’s good to get back to symphony, and opera begins shortly after, with the recital tucked in there for good measure. But I know that this is the start of the busy season. Symphony to Opera to Symphony to Nutcracker. And probably a few extra jobs in there once contractors start lining them up.

Considering the difficult times we live in economically I’m extremely thankful for all the work. But one year … and I say this every year at this point … one year I’m going to “gift myself” and take Nutcracker off. Really. And I’m putting that here in writing so I can look back on it and remember I’ve made it very public. One year I want to take back Christmas. But not this year.

But today? Today is a “quick clean” of the house so that it doesn’t go too far downhill while I’m at symphony this week. And then it’s reeds reeds reeds. And dinner. I will get dinner started … right … now!

19. October 2009 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Rachel is drinking a pomegranate martini the size of an oboe.

(I saw the picture. It was definitely not the size of an oboe. But larger than a piccolo.)

If your goal were to introduce classical music to a teenager or young adult unfamiliar and uninterested in it?

Below are some of the suggestions (I’ve done some snipping…). I can’t say I’m impressed … although of course it’s always fun to “trick” a teenager. Um. Right?

If a teenager is uninterested in listening to classical music, you can always trick them into listening to it.

Step 1

Go buy the Walt Disney film Fantasia. It is a movie even the young at heart would enjoy watching and the music played throught the film are classical pieces….

Step 2

Take them to see ballet companies that put on shows in your town.
Swan Lake and The Nutcracker would really keep a young adult interested and in this way you’ll be doing a double favour to their senses both optical and acoustical.

Step 3

Christmas is comming up. There are classical Christmas songs that are very nice to listen to.

Step 4

Buy special packages of classical music that I am sure are available in your nearest music store. Straus is really a nice introduction to classical music as it can also be danced to. Also the Four Seasons by Vivaldi is nice as well.

Step 5

I leave best for last and that is YOU listen to classical music often enough and at a time that you know your young one is listening. This is sort of “music washing their brain” and they will become familiar even if they don’t admit they like this type of music.

And there you go. So c’mon now … get to work!

Is there any double-reed instrument with the same fingering as a clarinet?

Because I really love the sound of the oboe, but I regularly play clarinet. And I wanted to see if there was possibly a type of double-reed instrument that had the same fingering as a clarinet.
Please don’t answer saying something like, “You’re lazy why not just learn oboe” because I have tried it and there is really no time for me to learn a whole new instrument, and the only thing that could compromise is taking lessons over summer. But still… I’d like to have a similar sound with quicker playability.
Oh, gosh… now I feel like I’m going on too long….