13. May 2010 · Comments Off on Good Night … and Goodnight! · Categories: Symphony, Videos

The concert went fine tonight … at least I think so. I never feel qualified to say how I did. But I’ve been told my solos in the Tchaikovsky Suite were fine, so I guess I’ll trust my husband and colleagues. (Who knows what a reviewer might think!)

It was great to get home before 10:00. Since we begin our Thursday concerts at 7:30, and I live such a short distance from the hall, I get home with time to relax and de-stress, play a bit ‘o Facebook Scrabble, and still get to bed at a decent hour if I so choose. Of course even with this early concerts I usually still stay up too late, wouldn’t ya know?

But now I must say good night, so I’ll leave you with the Queen’s Farewell! 😉

13. May 2010 · Comments Off on Doggie Concert! · Categories: You Gotta Be Kidding

Sydney Opera House will be reaching out to an entirely new audience demographic next month when it stages a musical event aimed at canine listeners.

The performance, which will take place on the northern boardwalk outside the venue, is the work of New York wife and husband team Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed.

The music stems from works that Anderson has been writing over the last 11 years for her rat terrier named Lollabelle. Most of the pitches will be too high for the dogs’ owners to hear, but they will be able to monitor the sounds on meters and, as Anderson points out, they will also be able to see their dog’s ears twitching.

Attention spans are quite short in the dog world, it seems, and the concert will last only 20 minutes.

And what sort of audience response is Anderson expecting? “We won’t be playing any sudden noises…We don’t want them to get super-excited. But it’s OK with me if they run in circles. They can express themselves and make a little mosh pit if they feel like it.”

I read it here.


And yes, that is “the” Laurie Anderson (and yes, I like her):

13. May 2010 · Comments Off on News To Me · Categories: News

It being reported that the UCSC Wind Ensemble has been put on hiatus due to the budget woes. This would be a great loss; so many students want to major in something else, but desire to continue with their instruments. If the news is true, they will no longer be able to do this at UCSC. Perhaps it’s all a rumor, though, that has even made it as far as the Mercury News …?

The article says that music faculty have been sent an email about this. I’ve yet to hear even one word about it.

13. May 2010 · Comments Off on Reed Reviews · Categories: Reeds

At one point I was attempting to purchase hand made reeds and write reviews here. Well, I quickly learned I couldn’t afford this endeavor. I did purchase from a few dealers. Some reeds I liked. Some I absolutely hated. I didn’t love anything, but I think most of us who make our own reeds just can’t find anything but our own that will suffice. (I now have a box full of awful, completely unplayable reeds, using the fake cork staples … not sure what to do with these things!)

If you want to see how many reed makers are out there, though, go here. Get a load of that long list! Wow. And check out the reedmaker map. If you order a reed that was made in an entirely different climate, do you think it will behave the same way when you play it? Doubtful. But how handy to get to read reviews.

Even at that site, though, I’d be tempted to take reviews with a grain of salt. You could be reading the review of a student who plays a Bundy, right? You haven’t a clue if the player has any knowledge of reeds. One review page I landed on had this review:

The best reed I’ve used (I would be disapointed if it wasn’t considering the name) The only problem was it got spit cought in the can, and had to be blown nearly 20 minutes for it to clear. Other than that, I loved it.

Um. Okay then.

13. May 2010 · Comments Off on A Response · Categories: Links, Ramble

Another musician responds to the conductor tirade I blogged about yesterday. I think it’s worth a read.

Included there are comments as well. Here’s one to consider:

By the way, I looked up the RSO’s wage chart just now (the one from the ‘07-08 season was the most recent available) – those musicians make $105 per service (a service is a rehearsal or a concert,) and they’re not guaranteed any minimum number of services per season. (Clearly, they’re also not guaranteed to receive their paychecks at all…)

The average annual income a section string player earns from the RSO is $2625 before taxes. They’re allowed one sick day per season, receive no health insurance coverage, no “mileage” payments for the long commutes many of the musicians must make from other cities in Texas, and the cost of insuring their instruments is their own. Oh, and their contract is up this year. What do you suppose are the odds they’re being asked to take wage cuts?

Many people I’ve talked to these days about how musicians live their lives do seem to understand we aren’t living in RichLand (other than the RichLand of Incredible Music) … or at least those around me are. They know we provide our own “tools” (instruments). They certainly know we double reed players make our own reeds (due to my whining!), and of course we have to purchase our own reed making tools. I’ve explained the cost of instruments, although I’m not sure they can quite comprehend the cost of those incredibly expensive string instruments. (Heck, I can barely comprehend that … especially the cost of a single bow!) They know we spend a lot of hours studying and practicing. They know we frequently have long commutes. Most know that those of us who teach privately then get hit rather hard at tax time, due to our self-employment. But I think that going to a concert and hearing us play makes them forget all of that. I wonder.

Shoot … sometimes playing my instrument makes me forget all that too! 🙂

[Side note: I just finished up with the Met’s first act of Der Rosenkavalier which I had recorded off of PBS so I could watch it on my own time … talk about incredible music! Wow. I listen to that and I think, “I can think of no other career that could bring me such incredible joy! Now off to play some English horn, preparing for tonight’s first concert of the Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3.]

13. May 2010 · Comments Off on BQOD · Categories: BQOD

I am going to hopefully major in Woodwind Performance, with an emphasis in oboe and English horn- provided I can rent an English horn

13. May 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Why is this band teacher so dumb????:(((( i hate oboe!

13. May 2010 · Comments Off on Drinking on the job? · Categories: Videos

… or smoking something?

So my goodness, this orchestra is having a good time, eh? (This is from a movie I’d not heard of, La belle verte.)