Skip to main content

IDRS 2014 - Day One

It's too much.  How can you see it all?  When there are two and three and four events happening simultaneously, all over the campus in multiple buildings, and when so many of these events are ones that I would leap to attend at home, and when it is just simply not possible to be in two places at once?

Here's what I did see - a lovely recital by Minkyu Yoon, featuring four "Fantasy" works by Telemann, Bozza, Arnold, and Pasculli.  I've played three of those works relatively recently, so it was really fun to hear the different ways that he interpreted them.

A fascinating masterclass by Michael Rosenberg - in which he spoke beautifully and fluently about improving resonance and sound just by using your body differently.  Most of the suggestions that he had for people struck a chord with me - I've felt these concepts in my own body when I've been playing well, or have struggled to articulate them for students.  I am absolutely ready to apply his ideas both to my playing and my teaching.  Very exciting!

I visited the exhibitors just for a few TINY minutes - looked at a new-fangled little reed tool which failed to convince me, played a few oboes I didn't love and one I DID, chatted with some folks.  I'm praying that I have time to get back in tomorrow before I leave.

I got to hear Robert Walters and Mingjia Liu in a recital which was just outstanding.  Such imaginative, colorful, marvelous playing, in Britten's Six Metamorphoses and Temporal Variations.  These are works that have been done over and over - they are standards - but they sounded brand new today.  I also truly enjoyed a little duet by Alec Wilder for oboe and English horn - within a minute of these two master players starting the piece, I circled it in my program as one I wanted to find and learn.  As the piece went on, I began to think that it wasn't actually that amazing a work - but it was DELIGHTFUL to hear these two experts having such fun with it.  Really communicating and playing with each other in the best sense.  Fabulous.

We had another rehearsal for the large double reed ensemble concert tomorrow, and of course this morning I had my recital which was tremendous fun.  Not flawless, but you all know by now that I am not a flawless player.  I wish I could be, but that is not where my strength lies.  Anyway, I liked it, and I've met a lot of people who came to talk to me afterward, and I was happy to get to do it.

I haven't even mentioned the Gala concert this evening - THREE HOURS of oboe and bassoon concertos, by some of the greatest players in our industry.  The Francaix Concerto for Bassoon and 11 Strings, played by Julien Hardy, was a huge standout.  Just a thrilling piece which I had never heard before, and presented beautifully.  Also, Judith LeClair's Mozart Concerto was grand.  Classy and spot-on.  Everyone was great.  What a day.

Of course, every time I turn around here I see another old friend.  We chat and catch up - for a minute or two - but both of us are always scampering away to another performance, or class, or agenda.  I did manage to have a delightful lunch with composer Jenni Brandon - so nice to put a face with a name, and talk shop with a kindred spirit.  But there are hundreds of kindred spirits, and I'm leaving tomorrow night.  There's just not enough time in the day here!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Resonance

When my students get too MOUTHY with the oboe, I put them in a corner.

Really.

They tend to play the oboe only from the TOP of their body, north of the collarbone, and it winds up unsupported.  Fussy.  Weak.  And out of tune.

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.

I teach resonance.  I talk …

Five Minute Reedmaker: Length of the Windows

My Five Minute Reedmaker Season Two seems to be largely about experiments.  People ask me how LONG, how THICK, how SLOPED, etc - and I'm running the experiments for them and for you.

I've been posting these videos on YouTube, and sharing them from my Facebook Page, but haven't totally kept up with sharing here on my blog.

Here are the ones you may have missed:
Length of the Heart
Fallacy of the Long Tip
Moldy Cane

And here's the new one:




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.
Here's my website, where you can order reeds or cane or ask me questions.  Questions will keep these videos flowing! 

Here's how you can send me your own reeds to analyze and improve on video for your learning pleasure!

Everybody's Got a Thing

I went in for my yearly mammogram last week. As you know, it's not exactly a painful procedure, but it's uncomfortable, and as I was being manipulated into the unwieldy machine I got to thinking about what a peculiar job it must be to jam women into awkward positions, over and over, every fifteen minutes all day.

So after we were done I asked the technician about that, and she LIT UP, the way people do when they FINALLY get to talk about the thing they are passionate about, and she talked about the advances in the technology since she was starting out, and the things this machine was capable of.  She talked about the women it has saved, from dying of cancer, of course, but also from unnecessary surgical disfigurement.  It was completely inspiring listening to this lady love her weird job, and I left feeling fantastic about the whole ordeal. It's great to see someone who is doing what they are supposed to be doing!

Two weeks before, I had my first Mendelssohn rehearsal with…