I haven’t posted any updates on the ear because, honestly, there’s not been anything much to report. It is what it is, and the hearing won’t return, so I’m learning to deal with it.

Unfortunately the new year brought new notes to it, though. My tinnitus got worse as the ear went bad, but sometime in the past few weeks I’ve been blessed with something new. I’m now hearing notes. I checked and while I only hear one pitch at a time it is all slurred … and it goes between some sort of F# (it’s been flat, it’s been sharp) and a G# (some intonation issues there as well). Microtones are heard … it’s not just a full half step or step. And it just goes on and on. The timbre is sort of a nasal, electronic sort of thing. Very strange.

My “normal” tinnitus is rather like wires that sing. Does anyone else hear that? Sometimes the wires outside the house seem to sing — not sure others have noticed that but I’ve heard them since I was a kid, so it’s not about this crazy ear — but I hear a very high pitches and just goes on and on. I can’t name those pitches (just too high for me, and I can’t quite zero in on them), but I know it’s more than one pitch and they, too, are close together.

So that’s it as far as “news”. Yes, this new issue is frustrating, but one can’t really do much about tinnitus from what I’ve been told, and at this point I’m just continuing to play and teach.

Next week I play English horn on the first and last works on the concert “Automation“, and you can bet I’ll be wearing earplugs: we are doing John Adams’s Short Ride In A Fast Machine and Richard Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra. Both can be quite loud.

I think the program is creative and I do believe it will be a crowd pleaser, but we’ll know for sure when it happens. I just hope we get an audience. Things haven’t been the same since Covid. Sigh.

03. June 2020 · Comments Off on Oh This Made Me SMILE! · Categories: Can't Stop the Music!, CovidTimes · Tags: , ,

I see some faces here I haven’t seen for oh-so-long. What a delight! Oakland Symphony presents “Lean On Me”:

04. April 2020 · Comments Off on Goodnight Music · Categories: Can't Stop the Music!, CovidTimes · Tags: ,

Sibelius: Finlandia

The Lahti Symphony Orchestra proudly presents Sibelius’s Finlandia, a piece that is dear to us all! It has been recorded with great feeling despite the distance between the players! A total of 62 Lahti Symphony Orchestra musicians participate from their own home studios. We wish everyone a wonderful weekend! #finlandia #together #sinfonialahti #themusicwillnotstop

Sinfonia Lahti ylpeänä esittää meille kaikille rakkaan Sibeliuksen Finlandian! Se on äänitetty suurella tunteella muusikoiden välimatkoista huolimatta! Mukana on yhteensä 62 Sinfonia Lahden muusikkoa omissa kotistudioissaan. Toivotamme kaikille oikein ihanaa viikonloppua! #finlandia #yhdessä #sinfonialahti #musiikkieivaikene

17. December 2018 · Comments Off on Star Wars!! · Categories: Movies · Tags: , , ,

Yes, it is official. I’ve known about this for quite some time but wasn’t allowed to share the information, but we have now been given the green light and I can fill you in.

Symphony Silicon Valley is doing Star Wars: A New Hope at the end of March. We play the music, the movie is on the big screen behind us, and it’s all quite exciting!

Go here to learn more, and grab those tickets while you can!

If you have difficulty with the ticket link be patient. It finally worked for me. Or, if you prefer, start here.

When Symphony Silicon Valley performs The Lord of the Rings trilogy, simultaneous to the movies being shown on a huge screen, there will be 250 musicians on stage, made up of the orchestral instrumentalists, chorale members and children’s chorus.

These voices and musicians will be performing a total of 22 hours in a matter of four days. That only leaves a few hours for eating and sleeping. This becomes a marathon for each of the 100 instrumentalists, the 100 adult vocalists, and the 50 members of the children’s chorus. Not only a physical marathon, but a mental one as well.

The backdrop for the concert stage is a huge screen, 20 feet high and 48 feet wide, that will be showing the three Lord of the Rings movies in high definition.

Think of it: the sheet music alone…and this is just for the conductor…is 1200 pages, printed on 11-inch by 17-inch paper. Depending on the instrument, each musician receives several volumes of sheet music to study in advance.

… eat? Sleep? Meh … been there, done that. 😉

(The only sad thing about this is that I’ll have to cancel some students. I’m hoping some will come to the shows. Getting my students to attend concerts has been a struggle forever.)

You can read much much more here.

Here’s just a bit of the music (I wanted to be sure and post a YouTube video that looked to be legal … not an easy thing to find!)

It was a really good show though I have to confess I kept thinking throughout “does Bob (Redford) like classical music? Will he like this? I sort of figured he would cause he’s black Irish so issues of life and death and such resonate.

-Jane Fonda

I wish I lived nearer New York sometimes. I’d love to see the play Jane Fonda is in that is about a musicologist and Beethoven and who knows what else. And now I learn that Jane Fonda has a blog. How cool is that? With pictures too. (Well sure, she can put up pictures of herself. She’s so darn beautiful. Me? I guess I should put more pictures of … um … oboe reeds … something … but not me!)

I also read this:

Jane Fonda has just opened on Broadway, to rave reviews, in the play 33 Variations, and I have tickets for tomorrow night, which kind of amazes me. I’ve always been a Jane fan, and even met her back in 1972, but a play about Beethoven where his music is reputedly the “real star”? Is that any place for a guy who was executive editor at the legendary Crawdaddy from 1971 to 1979, when my generation’s main exposure to Ludvig Van was via Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange?

You can read the whole article that includes the above quote here. Fun read.

Meanwhile … we just finished our dress of Barber Adagio for Strings, Schubert Symphony No. 9 (“The Great”) and some other guy … hold on while I check the symphony site … Guilmant. Anyone ever heard of him? I can’t say I’m thrilled by his organ concerto, but what do I know? Not a lot, I’m sure. But the other two works are certainly well worth the price of admission. And you do get to see a very gaudy organ … and hear the instrument too. So there you go.

Now it’s really time to hit the hay. I have students and a concert tomorrow. And I’m rather weary these days.