Friday, February 17, 2017

CD Release Concert!

My studio has turned into a black hole for sheet music.  Two weeks ago I lost - completely lost - an envelope of music that I'd been sent to prepare for a gig.  Fortunately, that envelope was full of photocopies, that music was public domain, and I was easily able to print it off from the internet, learn my part, and then play from the orchestra's originals when I showed up to work - but this was unprofessional and unlike me.

Then, today, I searched through three large stacks of material for my Gershwin and Debussy arrangements.  I have another CD Release Recital this weekend and I thought I'd brush them up, you know? My focus had been on the solo Bach pieces as I performed them last Monday for a South Bend Symphony press event, and somehow the other works went entirely missing.  Fortunately, they are MY arrangements, and I have plenty of copies and could even have just printed them off from the computer again - but still.

What's the next thing to go?

Possibly my brain.  Or my entire head.

BUT now let me tell you about my next event.  Paul and I will be at First Presbyterian Church in Michigan City, IN, next Sunday at 3.  That's Central Time.  I'll play some of the material from my CD (Music That SHOULD Have Been Written for the Oboe, available at Amazon, iTunes, CDBaby, and jennetingle.com!)  I'll play a great Bach duet with violinist Nic Orbovich, founder of the Michigan City Chamber Music Festival.  It clearly should have been written for the oboe.  AND I'll offer a movement of Mozart's terrific Oboe Concerto, as a preview of my performance in Northwest Indiana next month.

The concert is free and open to the public.  There will be a reception afterward, and PLENTY of CDs to purchase if you are so inclined.  I can sign them.  I'd love to chat.  This will be FUN.

Please come out and join us!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Upcoming Concert

Northwest Indiana Symphony is performing tonight out in Schererville.  I'm enjoying this concert quite a lot.

Dvorak's 8th Symphony is a classic of the repertoire.  Like everyone else, I've been playing it since I was in youth orchestra, and its not a work I usually get excited about.  But there's something really pleasant, sometimes, about playing a piece that is uncomplicatedly, unironically lovely, and well written for the instruments, and full of catchy tunes.  It surprised me how much I enjoyed the first rehearsal on it.  And the second. In general I prefer a darker work, with edge and grit, to challenge my ear and my technique - but this is a nice piece and it's nice to just play something nice.

My favorite part of the concert, though, is the concerto.  Manuel De Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain is a terrific piece that I did not know before.  It's impressionistic, rich, lush, delicate, danceable, and just a real joy to play.  Our soloist, Yana Resnik, is outstanding.  She's got a beautiful delicacy to her sound and touch, and yet plays strong, beautiful phrases and uses her rubato masterfully.



Come out and join us!  Details HERE.

Friday, January 27, 2017

A Christmas Miracle

Right at the end of last year, right as I was sailing into the last Holiday Pops concert of a long season, I made a reed.  It was a good reed - one of those reeds that is good right away, so I didn't have to wonder or waste time fussing.  I liked it as soon as I made it.  It had a perfect balance of resistance and response, the sound was rich and vibrant, and it did what I wanted without having to be forced.  It was even colored just right for a holiday pops concert.







I played four services on that reed - one right after another, for three days - and it never required an ounce of maintenance.  No cleaning, no polishing, no refine-the-corners-again-and-clip, no worries at all.  Just soak it up and play all the music.  I called it my Christmas Miracle.

Subsequently I took a couple of weeks off, and when I came back in January it was STILL a great reed.  I recorded an audition CD on it.  Played it on a Mozart concert.  Put it away for another few weeks and then used it for our exciting Muses's Workshop chamber music concert last weekend.  It was still gold Monday night and I played it for my CD release concert.

It's incredibly rare for a reed to be that good for that long, so although I am not a measurer or a saver I decided to record this one's specs for posterity.

Let me say, I'm very much a math person in my life.  Numbers are my friends. I LOVE a metronome.  But my approach to reed-making is much more intuitive, and much more about reacting to the individual piece of cane I'm working on.  I don't generally take any micrometer readings at all, and use my length benchmarks only as a guideline.   The numbers I'm going to cite here would mean more to me if I was more aware of my norms - but I'll be interested to be able to look back on this during a reed slump sometime, or to hear from other oboists as to how these compare to their own standards.

The reed was wound on a 47mm brass Sierra tube.  I would have wound it at 73mm (that's a number I stick to) although I didn't make specific note of that at the time.  Who knew it would be so good?

As you can see, the cane cracked just above the thread on both sides.  This is a thing I don't like, but I don't automatically discard a blank with this issue - and a good thing, too, in this case!

Shape: Samson+1
Finished length: 70.5 mm
Height of rooftop (at the gutter): 65 upper blade, 65.5 lower blade (It is NOT intentional that the upper blade sits lower than the lower blade.  Don't know why it happened.)
Bottom of heart: 60 upper blade, 60.5 lower blade (Again, the  asymmetry is unintentional - if this had been a reed I had to fuss with I would have fixed it.)
Thickness, center of heart: .51 mm
Thickness, center of tip (a little back from the very tip.  How do we indicate that spot, people who measure things?): .15 mm
Thickness, corner of tip: .08 mm, quite symmetrical for all four corners

So interesting, right?  At least, I mean, to the five people who are still reading, not to all of the people who clicked into this post expecting a heartwarming story of some sort...



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

CD Release Event

First of all, THANK YOU to everyone who has bought and heard my new CD, and who has called or emailed or "facebooked" to let me know about it.  I'm so grateful and so pleased to hear from you - THANK YOU!  I'm sharing a few comments here...

My friend Dimitri put a great big long comment and review on my previous post about this- and I thought I might share it more widely here because I loved it so:

Finally I received the recording of the oboe pieces performed by my peerless friend Jennet Ingle. These pieces, a delight in themselves in any concert, had been written for other instruments, but Jennet, in a moment, (actually many moments) of creative enthusiasm rearranged them for the oboe. Her own oboe. And she performed them in various venues, and I was fortunate enough to follow their creative evolution from the first performance to the completed CD.
After I listened to the recording a couple of times I started, as I had intended, to listen to the music on their original instruments. So I traveled with Debussy to the island of Capri, very popular in his day, where, maybe he saw (and wooed) a girl with flaxen hair and Syrinx! The ancient pipe whose bucolic tunes he successfully recreated. But they sounded so much more natural on Jennet’s oboe; as if they belonged there…
But the Mendelssohn violin concerto has a special place in the auditory space of my brain. When I was studying the violin as a young teenager, there was a girl, a couple of years older and much more advanced, who was practicing the concerto opening on her violin. I listened and expressed my admiration at both the piece and her playing. Next time I saw her she was practicing scales but when she saw me she started the Mendelssohn……
I heard Jennet play her arrangement for the oboe a couple of times, in a couple of venues. I never cease to marvel, with envy, at the way Jennet tries and succeeds in reaching her desired, combined goal of technique and sonority.
I truly enjoyed Bach’s violin sonata VI. All my life I have had a feeling that listening to Bach requires a certain amount of work. I really think, however that this sonata SHOULD have been written for the oboe.
The Gershwin preludes brought me back to the familiar realities of the 20eth century.
I was very impressed by the high technical quality of the recording. Even though I tried to listen I did n’ t hear any breathing referred to in Jennet’s earlier blog- only my own breath being taken away….
Maybe I expected it, sort of, to hear some introductory remarks about the pieces, because I had heard Jennet Ingle do that in live performances before. A bit unconventional but not unheard of.
Congratulations Jennet! We truly thank you. You have entered the holy temple. Approach the altar and officiate with Orpheus’ heirloom.


And this lovely note from a customer in California:

Jennet,
I am thoroughly enjoying your CD.  You’ve captured the notion of music that should have been written for the oboe, and in some cases, could be considered barely playable on the oboe!  Or, perhaps put better, playable on the oboe only with a high degree of mastery!
I’m so glad you included the Gershwin Preludes and the Ravel — these pieces are approachable by folks like me!

And this Facebook comment:

Loved it, Jennet! Played the CD yesterday! Screech oboe and awesome technique! Learned how to double and triple tongue myself with lots of practice!!

I'm just glowing, folks, I really am.

Second of all, let me mention that I still have PLENTY of copies.  Do you have oboe-loving friends?  Have YOU not ordered your copy yet?  You can get it digitally at Amazon and iTunes, and physically from CDBaby and from my own website, jennetingle.com.

Third of all, and perhaps most important this week, I'll be playing much of this material LIVE on Monday the 23rd.  I'll do a small preview recital at St Mary's College, at noon in the Little Theater, on their Recital Forum series.  But then since I'll have the fabulous Paul Hamilton in town and I'll be all warmed up, we'll host a CD Release Party at Merriman's Playhouse that night.

Merriman's is at 1211 Mishawaka Ave in South Bend.  (You can park in the Farmer's Market lot if the street parking fills up.)  Doors open at 7, we'll give a performance at 7:30, and then there will be much mingling, high-fiving, and CD signing to follow.  There will be snacks, and wine.  There will be CDs available for purchase.  This event is open to the public and there is no cover charge.  Please come on out and see us! Drag all of your friends!  We love the oboe!