IDRS Day Two: Impressions
Oboe overload. Almost too many oboes even for me.
I attended some superb performances today, and some odd ones. It is interesting to hear the various compromises people make with their reeds and setups. Many people use noticeably flat reeds to make their low register speak more easily. Some use very heavy reeds to make their sound rich. The best players make me completely forget that they have reeds at all. I notice their music-making and their ownership of the stage.
One of the most difficult things here is to keep my mind on what is going on. There are so many events happening simultaneously that I find myself flipping through my program book as soon as I sit down and trying to plan what I will attend next - even as someone is coming on stage right in front of me. There’s a constant sense that I’m missing something - and I am - but it doesn’t help anyone for me to sit there doubting my choice. When I catch myself, I stop and force myself to enjoy the now - which is always enjoyable, after all.
Highlights of the day: The Goldberg Variations as performed by John Dee, Tim McGovern, and a couple of IU grad students. Keve Wilson’s spectacular cabaret oboe performance. I super-duper want her dress, and her gumption. And her hair, maybe. Really the whole package was great. I heard two back-to-back recitals in which I loved one piece but not its performance, and adored another’s presentation but didn’t like the piece.
I had a Body Mapping session with Stephen Caplan, the author of Oboemotions, which I’ve raved about before. As it turns out, I don’t think about my arms correctly. I love love love having something new to work on. No one has ever mentioned my arms before. My arms are going to be better than anyone else’s arms very soon. Then nothing will stop me.
I wandered the exhibition hall for as long as I could stand the noise. Play-tested a million oboes, and have now narrowed down my short list to a Howarth XL, a Bulgheroni Opera or Musa, another Yamaha with a lined top joint, or maybe possibly a Marigaux 901. In other words, I have just made my next oboe shopping experience a great deal more difficult and expensive than it was going to be.
On the whole a full and good day. This conference runs through Wednesday night and I suspect I will not make it that long. It’s nice to have my car here and know that I could escape at any time. But at least for now I am content, and ready to face another Double Reed day tomorrow.