03. March 2011 · Comments Off on Musical Wine · Categories: Read Online

If one Austrian’s quirky idea catches on, wine tastings could soon sound like this: Is that some Mozart in my glass? A hint of Haydn, maybe?

Convinced that music is a key ingredient for a good bottle of red or white, Markus Bachmann has invented a special speaker that exposes fermenting grape juice to classical, jazz or electronic tunes. The sound waves, he claims, positively influence the maturing process and produce a better tasting wine.

The eyebrow-raising technique is the latest in a slew of weird ways to make wine, some of which also have a melodic touch.

Take Portuguese winery Jose Maria da Fonseca that plays classical music in its century old Adega da Mata barrel hall where it ages its well-known Periquita label wines. Or French company Henri Maire that has sent thousands of bottles of red wine sailing around the world in ships to be jostled by waves. Then there’s Austrian Rainer Christ, who swears by full moon grape harvesting, saying it makes his wine more complex and gives it a longer shelf life.

I read it here.

03. March 2011 · Comments Off on NewToMyEars™: André Caplet · Categories: NewToMyEars™

André Caplet (1878-1925)

I read of Caplet in Laila Storch’s book about Tabuteau: Marcel Tabuteau: How Do You Expect to Play the Oboe If You Can’t Peel a Mushroom? (It’s really a great book!)


Part 1:

Part 2:

03. March 2011 · 1 comment · Categories: FBQD

[name here] is frantically learning to play symphonic instruments in preparation for Saturday’s Symphony Space gig. Oboe players: how? Seriously. How?

03. March 2011 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

hating the oboe..

(Believe me, we’ve all been there!)

… you can fix it!”

This is something I tell my students frequently. I usually just have to say “if you can hear it …” and they complete my sentence.

I can’t tell you how often students — and yes, I do this too! — forget to actually listen. We get so busy working on reading the music, focusing on fingerings, concentrating on rhythms … and we forget to actually use our ears. Really. And if you aren’t listening it’s very difficult to fix things like glitches. So don’t forget to listen!

And let’s see … what else do I say nearly daily?

“No flyaway fingers!” As I told a student, “It looks as if your fingers hate the oboe and are trying to get as far away as possible!” The interesting thing is that I see this with some very fine players. I really don’t know how they manage to play so cleanly. But my students have to follow my rules and no matter how “artistic” it might look to have those fingers spread out so far, it just makes me laugh. (So do those elbows some players have waving; it looks to me as if they are attempting flight while playing.)

“No finger re-placement!” If a finger that is pressing a key is needed for the following note a student sometimes picks it up the finger and places it back down. If the finger doesn’t need to be moved, don’t move it! (Yes, I break this rule at times … if I’m trying to “pop” a note out, but that’s a very rare event. I use that mostly when my reeds are rotten and low note response is poor.)

I’ve been rather lazy about this blog, so I thought I’d at least put something up that required me to think for a brief time. Now back to my regularly scheduled easy posts…!