Skip to main content

Some Gigs are Special

I work all the time.  In addition to teaching and making reeds, I play in a different orchestra almost every week.  Most nights find me out in a rehearsal or a concert.  Different repertoire each week, different colleagues, a different commute.  I take it all in my stride.

But sometimes there's a gig that is clearly special.  That is worth getting really excited and happy about.  That gig happened last week.

Steve and I got to spend a week in New York City, playing Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet with the Joffrey Ballet at Lincoln Center, to packed and enthusiastic houses, with a great orchestra, being paid well.  It was fantastic, spectacular music which was genuinely fun to play every time, and it was the greatest city in the world.  This gig felt like the best EVER band trip, in that I got to do it as an adult with grownup social skills, sovereignty over my free time, and real money, instead of as a painfully introverted 15-year-old being dragged from site to site, trying simultaneously to be noticed and not to be noticed, and struggling to make my reeds work without the skills to fix them.

My favorite part of New York was just walking around in New York.  We'd google a site, map ourselves toward it, and explore the whole way.  Sometimes we'd get to the site.  Sometimes we wouldn't.  But we were not bored for one second.

We toured MoMA.  We toured the Hayden Planetarium.  We visited Innoledy New York Showroom and tried oboes and bought reed knives and picked up my repaired gouger.  We bought books.  We bought tarot cards.  We heard great jazz at a tiny club.  We strolled in Central Park.  We had smoothies, and sushi, and falafel, and street food, and LOTS of wine.  It was an entire week of Date Night with my husband and NO child.

You know I love Zoe.  You know she's brilliant, and loving, and precious, and I love her more than anyone.  But the unimaginable luxury of NOT feeding her, NOT entertaining her, NOT wrangling her into bed every night at 8:30  - for an ENTIRE WEEK - really reminded me of how constantly hard parenting really is.

For a week we set our own schedule (yes, we occasionally did go to work), and even though Steve wasn't interested in the new age store and I wasn't that excited about the Planetarium no one whined, or complained, or dragged their feet, or demanded to be fed.  We had awesome meals out that never involved macaroni and cheese.  When we felt like eating peanut butter in our hotel to save our appetites and per diems for better things, no one objected.  When we wanted to nap in the afternoon, no one bounced on our bed.  When we wanted to sleep in, no one bounced on our bed.   We never needed to do laundry, no one spilled food on themselves, we both showered daily without having to be told to.

What's my point? The gig was so special.  We were both so lucky to be on it.  New York is great.  Parenting is hard.  I'm happy to be home. I love you all.

Comments

  1. Sounds divine!! That wasn't a gig, it was a glorious vacation, and came back reinvigorated.(Isn't New York great, or what?)Will you be announcing TAROT card readings soon?. Btw , I don't remember when South Benders applauded more vigorously their orchestra's performance than last night.(We tend to get a little carried away by loudness).
    Dimitri

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Would you like a tarot reading, Dimitri? We could arrange that. 😀
      And I couldn't agree more about last night's concert. It surely was exciting, it was sooo warmly received - and it was LOUD.

      Delete

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…

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

We took a vacation this summer.This is not news to anyone in my life - anyone who knows me or especially Steve on Facebook followed along with all of our pictures.We took our travel trailer out to Arizona - via St Louis, Tulsa, Amarillo, Roswell, Santa Fe - and then stayed a week in Clarksdale and Flagstaff and visited some ancient pueblo ruins, Sedona, Jerome, the Lowell Observatory, the Grand Canyon.We swam in swimming pools, lakes, and icy mountain streams.We hiked.Eventually we came home again, via Albuquerque, Amarillo, Tulsa, and St Louis. (our inventiveness had somewhat worn out).After a week at home we took another trip, and drove to Vermont via western NY and the Adirondack Park (stayed an extra day to hike a mountain), lived four days in East Franklin VT, and came home via Catskill and eastern Ohio.
This vacation felt different from all of our previous ones.In the 21 years we’ve been married, I can name only one - maybe two trips we ever took that were not For Work or For …