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Showing posts from March, 2017

Coming To Terms With Mozart

There's a moment - a few weeks before the event - in which it seems like you might really surpass yourself.  That your Mozart concerto, say, could be something really special.  You have a good reed.  You're working on small sections, or you're doing slow run-throughs, or you're tossing a single movement onto a CD Release recital, and you feel pretty unstoppable.  But the closer you come to the actual performance date, the more it becomes clear that THIS is the you you are going to be, that THESE are the reeds you are going to have in your case, that miracles are not going to happen and thus THIS is how it's going to go.  And it's a sort of a disappointment, you know?

I'm not actually disappointing, I know that.  I'm playing well, and I love Mozart, and this concert will be tremendous fun.  But it probably won't be transcendent.  It probably won't live up to the potential that I sensed a month ago. It probably won't herald the dawn of a whole…

New Machine!

I bought a Shaping Machine.  It's by Reeds n Stuff, and I purchased it from Innoledy, taking advantage of Tong Cui's helpful customer service.

It's making me extremely happy, because the hand-shaping process has always been a big pain point for me.  That's an exaggeration, I suppose.  But I'm fed up with having to spend time on tasks that don't require sensitivity or skill.

When I shape by hand, I take my soaked, gouged cane, fold it in half, cut two corners off so the cane will fit between the ears of the shaper tip, then put it onto the shaper. 



I crank  the arms down to hold the cane snugly in place, then I use a razor blade to peel away all of the cane that lies outside of the shaper form itself.


 This requires four to six strokes on each side of the shaper, and I resharpen the razor blade after every two or three pieces of cane.  
In all, the process averages slightly under two minutes per piece.  In this technique, I am left with two "ears" at…