Skip to main content

I'm Back!

I have been absent from this blog for nearly a month.  I was resting.  And working on other projects.  But I've missed long form writing, and I've missed YOU, so I'll be more active here again as we move forward.

Here's a thing that's happening - I'm playing tonight with the terrific Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and having a blast.  Mozart 41, and a new commissioned world premiere by Chen-Hui Jen, an up and coming young woman composer.  (Why is this description so hard to write?  I think it is cool that she is young, female, and a composer, and won a commission, but somehow every way I write it sounds condescending, which I don't mean.) And a Shostakovich Piano concerto that I'm not on, but that sounds amazing.

It's fun to play with a group that is new to me.  The habits are different. The way the woodwinds shape and end their notes is a little different.  It's an enjoyable challenge to fit in and match.  I always think that playing second oboe to new people calls for more flexibility than my normal principal roles do, and I love how interesting it feels to make my sound match someone else's and to make my vibrato a little different, to match, and to think about being an inner voice rather than a prominent one.  I wouldn't want to make my living as a second oboe player, but I LOVE it every now and then and I always learn a lot. 

While I've not been writing much here at Prone Oboe, I have been more active on my Facebook page - and if you're interested you should check it out.  It's not quite clear to me right now whether THIS site or that one will be the MAIN hub, the one that gets EVERY piece of content I post - so just to be safe you might want to follow both.

I've also started another Facebook Page, this one devoted to my long-standing love of the Tarot, and its usefulness as an instrument of reflection in a creative life.   I'm posting weekly cards, little stories, and details of the structure and function of the deck and of various spreads and HOW the whole thing works, etc - and you can message me from there for a reading if you would like.  Lots of people have no interest in the Tarot, but if you are mildly curious you should maybe come visit me at Crux Finder Tarot and see what you think!



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!

Never Trust an Oboe, Part 2

(Part One HERE)
(Similar story HERE)

Mercifully, THIS one didn't happen to me.  But my poor student was playing an audition for his orchestra, and reached up with his right hand to turn the page of his music.  And heard a "plink".  And when, a split second later, he returned his hand to his oboe to continue playing, he found that his entire thumb rest had fallen off onto the floor, leaving only the post it had been mounted to.

With his hand now contorted uncomfortably, he finished the audition - ably, I am sure - and tracked down the crucial little piece of metal.  Evidently the screw that secures the adjustable thumb rest into its most optimal position had come out - never to be found again - so the thumb rest itself now can escape at will.

He devised a workaround - teflon tape to keep the thing in - but let this be a lesson to all of us.




Seriously, the oboe is not your friend.  It's like a cat trying to slip out the door - it's just WAITING for an opportunity …