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Showing posts from September, 2014

Upcoming Concert CYCLE: Don Giovanni

Tonight is opening night of Don Giovanni at Lyric Opera.  I’m playing in the onstage banda, and I must say, it’s been FASCINATING to participate in this production.
I love playing opera.  That’s old news to readers of this blog.  Great composers have thrown their maximum energies at this medium, and some of the writing is just astounding.  Playing in the orchestra pit, you have access to some amazing sounds and you collaborate with incredible artists and it’s a great experience.  But working on the stage - even in the few tiny scenes that involve me - has been eye-opening.  It’s no wonder that this art form has stolen the hearts of so many people.  It’s no wonder that the budgets of large opera companies are almost inconceivably large and not shocking that some are struggling to stay in business.

My colleagues and I are onstage for a total of maybe eight minutes.  We are at the very back of a very busy party, which devolves into an orgy.  On a giant table in front of us there are many…

Language of Reeds

Do you remember being sick?  Feeling off, and being not sure if it was the flu or strep throat, or whether it was a bug bite or a weird allergy, or hay fever or lung cancer?  You nurse it along for a few days, and then it starts to get you so anxious that you finally go to the doctor, and you get the answer.  And even though you don’t have the antibiotics yet, or the cortisone shot hasn’t kicked in, you feel better, and more confident, because now you KNOW what is wrong with you.  There's a word for it.  It’s an enormous relief, and you often start to mend right from that moment.

This summer I again held my Oboe Reed Boot Camp, and I had five eager students.  Four were adults, two of those had been reed makers to begin with, and all four got the hang of things very fast and began to turn out reeds right away, so we spent most of the three-day session talking about nuances.  Talking about the relationship of the tip of the reed to the heart of the reed.  How different cut-in angles…

Upcoming Concert: Motown

I have to admit that I know next to nothing about Motownmusic, other than what’s just culturally in the air.  I enjoy a Marvin Gaye number, but I’ve not made a real study of this rich discography.   This Friday, the Northwest Indiana Symphony is opening  our season with a Motown concert, and it looks like fun.

I don’t always love a Pops concert, compared to an orchestral evening, but I enjoy playing with a back beat - it makes me feel cooler than I am - and working in a style and a genre that isn't really familiar.  For me, a harmless and fun challenge.  For the audience, hopefully, a magical evening.

Details HERE.


Who You Are

I’ve been watching Project Runway again as I work at my reed desk.   It’s amazing to watch the designers sweat, and struggle, and create beauty under pressure.  I notice that the competitors are always talking about being "true to themselves" as designers.  Or showing “who they are” as designers.  And they are happiest with the clothes that fulfill the challenges set to them while still reflecting their own "design aesthetic".  And sometimes, the judges fault them for just making “clothes” instead of fashion, or letting their designs be too generic. 

I recently sat through a day of string auditions for the South Bend Symphony.  As usual, I LOVED doing so. It’s always inspiring to hear the quality of the players who come, and interesting to hear the reactions of my colleagues on the committee. I suspect that most of the candidates weren’t giving much thought to presenting “who they are” as cellists.  Or making sure that their “aesthetic” came through.

Honestly, when …