Skip to main content

Final Parks Concert - New Oboe!

Yesterday our outdoor concert moved indoors, due to torrential rain, and because we were inside and climate-controlled I could not resist playing my new oboe. 

Yes, I bought a new oboe.  Just a few days ago.  A Bulgheroni Opera model, and I was pretty sure I loved it - but playing alone in your room for a week is a great way to talk yourself into some doubts.  I was eager to get it out in public, just to make sure that it was a team player. 

After all, I could play the oboe in tune with my tuner, but matching with other players is another factor altogether.  Did every note have the flexibility I needed?  Would I be able to easily change the sound to blend with a flute or a trumpet or to bring a solo line forward?  Was it easy to USE, in other words?  I knew I liked it in isolation but needed to know how much it would fight me in the orchestra.

And it was great.  I know I’ll write more about this instrument as I get to know it better - but right now it seems to be giving me exactly what I wanted.  I was looking for an oboe that allowed me to project my ideas more without sounding ugly, and I feel great about the maiden voyage of this new horn.  It had a big, beautiful sound, and I had no trouble fitting in with the group. 

Also, I continue to enjoy the NISO’s summer parks concerts, and we have one more event tonight in Gary.  Details HERE.

Comments

  1. congratulations on your new oboe. I have a hazy idea of how it must feel,moving in and out of doubt and certainty-almost like getting a spouse....
    Enjoy,looking forward to hearing you together
    Dimitri

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looking forward to showing off the new baby! Thanks, Dimitri.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yay for 'shiny' new instrument! Do you use a cheaper student model when you are playing outside? I have a really nice wooden piccolo and am not even considering taking it outside. I'll probably get a plastic one should I need it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You know, I just use whatever my oldest (professional, wood) oboe is when I go outdoors. I'm pretty fatalistic about cracks, and I've never had one crack directly as a result of being outside. But I am cautious about the brand new ones...

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Discouraging Words

I can remember at least two old cranky violinists coming to talk to young me about NOT going into music.  There was a session, for example, during a Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra retreat in which a real RPO professional (who was probably 47 but whom I remember as ancient) told us that, statistically, no one who graduates from music school wins auditions for jobs because there are only like 4 jobs out there in the world and 7000 hotshots coming into the job market every week. 

Quit NOW. 

I may have misremembered the details of this speech, but I remember the emotional jolt.  It was designed to discourage.

Last weekend I was presenting at a Double Reed Festival, and heard some oboists grumbling about another presenter who had evidently given something of the same talk to a roomful of masterclass attendees and participants.  High school students and cheerful adult amateurs.

And look, there's an element of truth to this.  Classical music is not a growing field, and it is leg…

Shaq and the Oboe

Here’s my FAVORITE thing about that Shaquille O'Neal video everyone's sharing this week - it’s how HAPPY he is playing this silly game and how little he CARES what the oboe actually SOUNDS LIKE or how to play it. 
Almost as if the oboe is not a giant obstacle to overcome.

Instead of focusing on the CRAFT of the instrument, the precise fingerings, the quality of the sound, the finesse of the vibrato - his focus is on DELIVERING the SONG.   It’s on COMMUNICATION, not perfection.


What a LIBERATING concept!


When I am playing my best, I find that I can surpass the STRUGGLE and come to a place where my focus is on communication.   I can sing through the instrument, and I can use that voice to reach out and find someone else.  This is really what being In the Zone means for me - it's when I don’t have to engage with the OBOE and instead can be generous with my VOICE for the audience.


I seek and strive for this Zone all the time - it’s the whole point of practicing! I practice long…

Warming Up - Long Tones

I must not talk enough about warmups. I say this because recently, in my last lesson ever with a student leaving for college, I was mentioning something about my warmup regimen and his jaw dropped. Apparently long tones and intervals and scales with varied articulations are not part of his daily routine, nor had it ever occurred to him to use his band's warmup period to improve his playing. And I'm not telling this story on him, but on myself. Obviously I need to address the warm up period because it is fully half of the playing I do, and sometimes more.

Much of practicing is focused on learning a specific piece - either something you are performing at a specific time in the future, or an etude for your lesson, or the piece you're playing in band or orchestra. You are working on the specific problems or techniques that that piece requires. Of course you are working in as efficient a way as possible, and at the end of your practice period you can play the passage or pi…