05. March 2010 · 4 comments · Categories: Ramble

I was thinking about insecurity earlier today. Because I had had another episode of vertigo and nausea my Romeo & Juliet colleagues have been asking how I’m feeling, and how my ear is doing. That’s to be expected, I’m sure. BUT … well, you know me! … this morning I was thinking, “What if they are asking me because my playing is so bad they are wondering if they should blame the ear? What if my intonation is horrendous and I don’t even know it?!” Years ago one of my colleagues (also a friend) and I agreed that we would be honest and tell the other when it was time to let it go and retire. But would she really tell me? What if it’s past time and I simply don’t know?!

I was thinking all that, and thinking, “Should I blog this?” I love to be honest here. I don’t mind sharing my fears and foibles. I think it’s helpful for others to see that, even after over thirty years in the business, I have fears and insecurities. But is this too much? Is sharing this during a sort of rotten time with my noisy, tinnitus trouble ear a bad idea.

Too late now, eh?

And then I ran across this article about much better artists who struggled with insecurity and self doubt.

The choreographer Jerome Robbins, in public the most arrogantly cocksure of men, left behind a journal in which he set down on numerous occasions his belief that the world would someday realize that “I’m not talented.” Even rave reviews left him full of anxiety: “I just did my work—another ballet. Now I am forced to ignore [the] reviews & go ahead & just do another, & another, & not notice that they said that the last was the capstone of my career. Great words . . . ‘capstone’—’career.’ Ugh.””

And this is funny: — funny, to me anyway — I didn’t even realize this article was written by Terry Teachout until after writing the majority of this blog. (Okay, Terry, do you suffer from insecurity? Do tell!)

05. March 2010 · Comments Off on BQOD · Categories: BQOD

I’d just like to say that I cannot promise to only listen to classical music- I will try to listen to it on a daily basis though.

This is the first blog post (dated December 22, 2009), from A Year of Classical. I am looking forward to reading these, beginning with the earliests posts to the latest, and then I’ll attempt to read what the blogger continues to write about this year long adventure with classical music.

Here’s the explanation for the blog (and the title of the blog):
A year of living classically

This is an experiment. For 2010, I will average a minimum of 2 hours per day of classical music. I have a strong background in jazz and pop music, but will now listen to only classical music for one year. Good friends will pitch in with reviews and guidance. For me, the goal is education and the tactic is immersion.

I love it! Whether or not the blogger becomes addicted to classical, how cool is it that a person is willing to give it a year’s worth of attention.

Maybe I should do the same with … oh I dunno … yard work?!

No. Isn’t gonna happen. 😉

I’m always encouraged to hear young oboists playing musically. This college junior really does a lovely job.

(I’ve decided to start a “Recital Encore” category; if I find something I am enjoying I’ll put it up here. These don’t necessarily have to be perfect. It’s just whatever I’m moved to post, due to musicality, my interest in the work, or who knows what! If you find something you’d like to share, please fill me in at pattyoboe [at] me [dot] com.)

05. March 2010 · 1 comment · Categories: Videos

The world of serious music doesn’t have much to worry about at this point, but Cope’s level of sophistication makes future Emily Howells ideal drones for film and TV composition: no tantrums, no dental benefits, ’round the clock productivity — and they can’t tell the difference between Johnnie Walker, Baby Duck and WD-40.

I read this here.

05. March 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

I had a solo contest today….the judge went on a rant about oboe “purists.”

05. March 2010 · Comments Off on Ray Still Turns 90 · Categories: Oboe

You can read an article and even attend his birthday celebration. If you visit this site, look to the right and you’ll see a link. (It’s a pdf and I don’t want to put it here).

I attended a masterclass with Mr. Still when he came to San Francisco Conservatory a few years back. He was pretty witty and had some interesting things to say. I am guessing those who studied with him have their stories.

05. March 2010 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

Matthew Barley, cellist

Different audiences need different approaches. I did a concert in Winchester prison three years ago to 40 hard-bitten offenders. As soon as I was in the room I realised that if I just started to play my cello there was no way I was going to win this lot over at all — they were tough. I sat there for a few seconds with my heart in my mouth wondering what to do. Then somebody in the crowd looked at my computer set-up and asked what software I was using, so I began talking about music technology and demonstrating how it worked.

I ended playing solo Bach. A guy at the back in his sixties had tears running down his face. “I never knew something so beautiful existed,” he said. He wasn’t aware of that type of music. He’d never seen a cello in his life.

Read more … different ideas about how to sell classical music.