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Getting Up to Speed

I am merging back into the present. Revving up and returning to highway speeds.

I have on my desk eleven unread issues of the New Yorker magazine, and four Runners Worlds, and two Double Reed quarterly journals. I have just finished reading the January 18 New Yorker, and have been patiently working my way through the stack in order as new periodicals continue to arrive at their normal rate. I am not one to skip ahead. The result, of course, is that I have interesting, in depth knowledge of lots of things that were important four months ago and no idea what's happening in the actual real world of today. I can't talk to anybody about current events.

I'd just been assuming that eventually I'd catch up. That there would someday be enough leisure time in my life to read the New Yorker faster than one issue per week, on top of being a mother and a busy professional musician, maintaining my reed business, teaching twenty students a week, and training for a half marathon. Not that I ever put it to myself in those terms till just now - that looks ridiculous even to me. Honestly, now I can't believe I was keeping up with the New Yorker even before Zoe.

Here and now I reclaim the present day. I am opening my April 19 magazine. I am recycling the older ones, shamelessly sacrificing all of the articles, reviews, and works of short fiction contained therein. I admit it - I cannot catch up and life is too short. February and March are over. They are dead to me. I am back in the now. Give me a week and ask me what's new - I dare you!


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So I back them into a corner, and have them stand a foot or so out from it, facing out into the room.  And I challenge them to find a sound that resonates BEHIND them, out from the corner of the room that they are not facing, to fill the space without blowing directly into the space.

It's a weird metaphor.  I wouldn't have any idea how to describe the physical technique to do it. When I find it in myself, it feels like my back is puffy and my body is round, and large, and barrel like, and also collected and zipped up, and supremely powerful.  If you know me, you know that these statements about my body aren't remotely true.  But that's what I feel when I'm blowing well, and filling the room, and owning my resonance.

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Here's the YouTube playlist with all of my other Five Minute Reedmaker videos.  You could subscribe right there if you wanted to - I'm dropping a video each week until I run out of ideas this season.
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Here's how you can send me your own reeds to analyze and improve on video for your learning pleasure!

Never Trust an Oboe, Part 2

(Part One HERE)
(Similar story HERE)

Mercifully, THIS one didn't happen to me.  But my poor student was playing an audition for his orchestra, and reached up with his right hand to turn the page of his music.  And heard a "plink".  And when, a split second later, he returned his hand to his oboe to continue playing, he found that his entire thumb rest had fallen off onto the floor, leaving only the post it had been mounted to.

With his hand now contorted uncomfortably, he finished the audition - ably, I am sure - and tracked down the crucial little piece of metal.  Evidently the screw that secures the adjustable thumb rest into its most optimal position had come out - never to be found again - so the thumb rest itself now can escape at will.

He devised a workaround - teflon tape to keep the thing in - but let this be a lesson to all of us.

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