09. November 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Oboe

BCBGeneration “Oboe” Ankle Boot

A stylish ankle boot, the “Oboe” features:
slouchy suede upper
peekaboo toe
lightly padded footbed
4″ wedge heel

Nope … not gonna be buying this stylish “Oboe” boot. (Love how they put the word oboe in quotes … I suppose to make it clear it’s not really an oboe … in case anyone wondered? 😉

09. November 2010 · Comments Off on Other People’s Words · Categories: Other People's Words

love words. But I also love the way a skilled singer can take a phrase, a scene, a role, and create something new and vibrant and relevant through their interpretation…seeing a situation through someone else’s lens is powerful, and I think the clearest way to see similarities and differences in oneself.

But these beautiful lines, this rich subtext, the conflict has to be communicated. And to successfully communicate, there need to be two parties involved: the speaker and the listener. The listener, in this case the audience, need to free themselves of distraction (i.e. no texting during the show, running through the to-do list, or firing off the random email from the seats), and be willing to spend a good chunk of time listening. They need to suspend disbelief (in dragons, true love, the wrath of the gods, et cetera ad nauseam) and be receptive to the crux of each of these stories: the relationships therein.

The performer’s responsibilities are to create a believable, multi-dimensional character: to tell that character’s story: to believe the story 100%. They also must create two types of relationships: those onstage that facilitate the telling of the story, and those with the audience that creates the space for the telling of that story.

Part of that audience relationship is made up of those nit-picky things like vocal technique and knowing your music: because let’s face it, if those pieces aren’t in place, the story you’re telling isn’t “I’m in love with a man who walked away from me and our child and now my life is not worth living,” or “Because you’ve killed my lover I’m going to throw myself off the nearest bridge/tower/parapet,” but rather “holy CRAP I’m totally unprepared and uncomfortable.”

BIG difference in subtext, that.

Do go read the whole thing.

I think we instrumentalists can learn something from this too. We are communicating to an audience, unless we are sitting in our own private little room playing to ourselves. We need to remember that.

I won’t start my own little rant here. But I do need to remind myself, at least, that when on the stage or in the pit the way I look, the way I behave, the things I do or don’t do — they are all part of the performance. And the audience is watching.

09. November 2010 · Comments Off on FBQD · Categories: FBQD

I just found the worst website ever…. it was about Oboe jokes….

09. November 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Oboe

I’ll let this speak for itself:

Update: I should really mention that the oboist is Ryan Zwahlen, of the group Definiens Project. 🙂

09. November 2010 · Comments Off on Shchedrin: Oboe Concerto · Categories: Oboe, Videos

You’ll hear bits of the Rodion Schedrin work, and hear oboist Jonathan Small speak about the piece.

09. November 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: News

We’re always hearing sobering news about the widespread AIDS epidemic, but, until now, you’ve probably never “heard” about HIV quite like this.

Alexandra Pajak, a graduate student at the University of Georgia, has just created a whole new way of looking at the complexities of HIV by combining the biology of the disease with music.

For months, Pajak carefully studied the different types of DNA that make up the AIDS virus and assigned musical pitches to each individual strand.

What resulted was a 17-track, 52-minute album of transcribed “DNA music,” appropriately dubbed “Sounds of HIV.”

Courtesy of Alexandra Pajak
University of Georgia grad student Alexandra Pajak has composed an album of classical music inspired by the DNA that makes up the AIDS virus. It’s an interesting new way to look at — and hear — the complexities of HIV.

“I wanted to show all of the properties that the DNA in HIV contains. Hopefully it’s a whole new way for people to learn about the science behind the disease,” Pajak told AOL News.

The graduate student — who studied music as an undergrad at Agnes Scott College — said the project took her more than three painstaking months to complete because she wanted to compose the most accurate musical translation possible of the genetic code of HIV.


I have read several articles on this music. It’s interesting to me that they were very concerned that people would take offense; I hadn’t really thought about it, but I suppose if what she “wrote” is beautiful, some might not care for it, considering the awful disease.

Pajak said she wrote and composed all of the classical tunes on her keyboard first, and then called for help from an instrumental band named “Sequence Ensemble” to lay down the final tracks.

The band brought a piano, flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and cello to blend all of her rhythms and patterns together and, to Pajak’s surprise, the songs ended up sounding rather “pleasant.”

I’ve only listening to short snippets — it’s rather beautiful to my little ears. I suppose I should give it a second chance. An excerpt (all piano) is here. Below is a different clip:

So I’m curious; does knowing what this is created from change the way you hear it?

09. November 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Why is the first oboe out of tune? EVERYONE just tuned TO YOU… reminds me of college, lol.