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Showing posts from October, 2018

Upcoming Concerts: Siegfried

I haven't shared anything about my playing work for quite a while.  These past two weeks have been overwhelmingly busy, filled with driving and performing - three different organizations, seven venues, six separate programs, very hard music - all this to say, I've been drowning in repertoire and putting in hours behind the wheel for the privilege, and I have not been able to sit and write as I normally would. Heck, I haven't even been able to lie down and sleep for seven hours as I normally would.  Late nights and early mornings should not go together like this.  Here's to the return of a civilized schedule soon!

The most fascinating bit of this craziness is a snippet of music I play from offstage at Lyric Opera's production of Siegfried.  I've written before about the stunning experience of being behind the scenes at this fantastic organization - the attention to detail, the care and integrity from everyone I see, from the amazing and hard-working musicians to…

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!

Barlines

Barlines.  We musicians love them and we hate them. 

Some students get stuck on every one of them, or seem to perceive that visible beginning of the measure as THE place to breathe over and over. 

Blow OVER the barline, I cry -  THROUGH the barline!  Don't stop there, the line doesn't mean stop! When you walk across the gym floor, do you trip on the lines painted there?  THESE aren't real, either! 

And I stand by that message.  Music doesn't communicate in four-beat chunks, but in phrases that last multiple measures.   Even the squarest, dullest piece wants you to play four bars at a time in one arc.  SOMETIMES the barline is an appropriate place to stop your air, or your line, but FAR more often it is not.  At least 75% of the time even in boring music, the barline is a thing to IGNORE. 

But on Monday, as I taught my long day, I found myself arguing the opposite to people.  Advanced students.  Over and over.  Six out of eight lessons focused primarily or partially o…