13. February 2012 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: Read Online

… one of the instructors told a story about her son who plays the oboe. One day he was complaining to his music teacher that playing the oboe was so hard, and whyyyyyyyyyyyy, why was it so hard? And the teacher replied, “If it wasn’t hard, the wrong kind of people would be playing it.” And it just made me chuckle. Apparently the oboe has a Natural Selection process.

13. February 2012 · Comments Off on FBQD · Categories: FBQD

Time to read for history then struggle to make oboe reeds, let the suffering begin!

13. February 2012 · Comments Off on Oboe Outside My Little World · Categories: OutsideMyWorld™

Muslims, Jews and Christians playing together …

(This is an 1 hour, 23 minute long video, in case you didn’t notice that.)

From the YouTube page:

We are delighted to present The Middle East Peace Orchestra at Bosjökloster — a unique collaboration between Arab, Jewish and Christian musicians playing concerts for peace. The orchestra, initiated in 2003 by Henrik Goldschmidt, principal oboist of The Royal Danish Orchestra, consists of Muslims, Jews and Christians from Israel, the Palestine Areas, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Scandinavia and the USA. They are all handpicked virtuosos representing the best of their tradition and furthermore they all have the courage to engage in this project. Ever since the very first concert in 2004 the Orchestra has been received with the greatest enthusiasm from both audience and press.

13. February 2012 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Just passed a pair of buskers, with a violin and an oboe. Upper class busking

Never be late. When you’re late, what you’re saying is that your time is more important than the other person’s time. That’s pretty egotistical.

-Alice Cooper

… and sound okay. Sometimes they look fantastic and even crow great, but don’t work at all. Reeds are a mystery and I don’t care what anyone else says. They are a mystery and that’s that.

For opening night of opera this past Saturday I played on three reeds. La Traviata is a three act opera, but we are doing it slightly differently. We do Act One as is and have an intermission. Then we do Act Two but we don’t get all the way through it before we take our second intermission. We stop right after Alfredo has his little fit about Violetta leaving him. After that intermission we do the remainder of Act Two (now renamed Act Three) and after a short break we do what Verdi called Act Three (unless he, too, had this all done differently and I don’t know about it) and we now call Act Four. Yeah, crazy to try and explain … mostly because I’m not good at explaining things!

So for Act One I used the purple reed on the right that you see below. For the second I used the red (middle) reed. I do the final two acts with the purple reed on the left. All three of those reeds look mighty awful, but they were the ones that worked so there you go. Most important with a reed is response. If it doesn’t respond well, I don’t care how good it sounds. It doesn’t get used. Of course pitch is also important, and finally we do want a reed that has a good sound. I’ve had students use reeds that are just awful when it comes to response but they like them because of their tone. The struggle isn’t worth it. Really. Make sure reads respond!

Sunday I planned on doing the same thing with my reeds, but when I pulled out the pink reed for the second act it had a crack in it. How that happens to me I don’t know. Seems as if I’m the only one who has reeds that just crack all of the sudden. I’m guessing it’s my rotten reed making technique. I pulled out another reed but I only used it when I wasn’t worried about response, since I didn’t quite trust it, so I used Act One guy for the majority of Act TWo.

Reeds. They are a curse, as far as I’m concerned. For the most part, though, I deal (and complain and whine). At least not so far.

Now we have a long break: no opera until Thursday night. I suppose I should work on reeds for the next few days. And maybe practice a bit ‘o Mahler, too! I’m still trying to figure out a reliable fingering for high-high A (you know, the one higher than the “normal” high A). Why would anyone write that for oboe? Ugh!