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!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Upcoming Concert - MLK Day Celebration!

The South Bend Symphony's MLK Day concert will be tomorrow night.  As always, my favorite thing about this event is the new music we get to perform.

This year we are featuring a 1991 work by Michael Abels, Global Warming.  I had presumed from the title that the work was about climate change, and I was on board with that message.  But as I worked on my part, it just seemed too chipper and cheery, too folksy and happy for that.  So I did my research.  

Abels is quoted as saying:

"Global Warming was written around the time of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, when the Cold War was ending. Living in Los Angeles, I've been able to learn about music from around the world simply by opening the window; among my neighbors are immigrants from every corner of the world. I was intrigued by the similarities between folk music of divergent cultures, and decided to write a piece that celebrates these common threads as well as the sudden improvement in international relations that was occurring. Since the piece was commissioned for an orchestra in the desert city of Phoenix, AZ, "global warming" was the title that seemed to incorporate all these ideas best."

And how delightful that the message of this piece is actually one of unity, celebration, and optimism! What a wonderful way to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, and how timely to offer this message of global unity, given the terrifying reality of our current political situation.  Music SHOULD be something that brings us together, and SHOULD be something that inspires and engages us.

I'm an hour away from our first rehearsal.  Reality has not yet asserted itself - I don't know how the overall arc of the concert will feel, how our guest conductor will be, whether everyone will be prepared with the tricky rhythms and grace notes in the Abels, how the overall presentation will come together - so for now I can revel in my optimism, and my enjoyment of the concept and the plan.

Come on out tomorrow night, and hear how we do!  Details HERE.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Upcoming Concert

The South Bend Symphony has a concert this afternoon. We're playing Mozart, which of course is always great stuff. Don Giovanni Overture and Symphony no. 40. I have no complaints.

But the star of the show is Scott Metlicka, our piccolo player, featured in the Liebermann Concerto for Piccolo and Orchestra. It's a beautiful piece - romantic and flowing. It sounds like pastoral movie music one minute, and in the very next it becomes a virtuoso flourish for the piccolo. I'm really enjoying hearing and playing it.

The great thing about Scott's playing is that he really makes the piccolo sound like an instrument.  Far too many people play this tiny flute like an unpleasant toy, but the Liebermann Concerto is a real piece of music, and Scott gives the picc a real range of color, and a range of dynamic. He phrases on the thing. The piece is virtuosic but also rhapsodic and beautiful, and for me it's the highlight of the concert.

Come on out and see for yourself!  Sunday at 2:30, at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at Notre Dame.  Details and tickets HERE.

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Tool!

Happy New Year, everyone! I know I fell off this blog at the end of the year - the schedule got overwhelming and getting my CD released took up a lot of my time.  But I'm back now.  I love the oboe, I love writing, and I love you all.

Over the holiday Steve and I visited the Smoky Mountain Knife Works.  It's on that giant, congested strip of attractions in Sevierville, TN, and it's a very... outdoorsy store, so I didn't have high expectations of finding anything for me.  But ooooh we had a great time.  I've never seen so many knives and tools and the staff were super knowledgeable and friendly and helpful and we were there for hours learning and shopping.

The inexpensive folding pocket reed knife I purchased didn't end up working out for me.  It had the right shape, and I loved the size, and I felt like a real bada$$ whipping it out of my pocket to scrape a reed - but once I started really working I couldn't keep an edge on it and fell out of love pretty quickly. I'm on the lookout for another folding option, though, now that I see what is possible.

I DID discover a spectacular sharpening stone which is about to become my primary tool - and for a crazy low price and in a teensy travel size.



I've experimented with diamond stones before but haven't found one this fine.  The coarser ones I've used have made a fairly jagged edge on my knife - no good for reed-making.  So I generally work with diamond stones only to reset a VERY dull knife, and follow that up with substantial work on my finer grit stones.  This tiny green strip, though, is giving me a terrific edge on my (already sharp) knife, with only a few light swipes.  I find that I'm addicted to the burr it gives me, and it's so easy to achieve that I swipe much more frequently than I did before, but that doesn't make me resentful at all.  It doesn't feel like having to WORK to keep an edge on, more like choosing to use the absolute best edge I can have instead of the adequate blade I already had.

And for my purposes, as a traveling oboist and teacher, the tiny size is a huge bonus.  It's even smaller and lighter than the spyderco doublestuff stone which I have always sworn by.  I don't see myself actually attaching it to my keychain - but I COULD.  That's the size.

I've only been using it for a week or so, but I'm all in at this point.  Great sharpener, great price, everything I need.

Happy January to us all - it's time to get back to work!

Update: my previous post on knife sharpening is HERE.


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means that if you click on them and place an order I get a tiny commission at no cost to you.