Monday, July 2, 2007

Lincoln Center: truly the center of the universe

I was in New York this weekend (although sadly not to the Lincoln Center et al), so there was no practicing on Saturday or Sunday. Or Thursday, but that was because I went into DC and also out to dinner, not because of NY. I did manage to practice some on Friday before I left. Were I at school, this would be bad but not unusual, but I'm only practicing half as much, if that, as I do at school. Oh well.

My reeds are dying a slow and painful death, because they're all old or just not good. I'll make more this afternoon. I bought some slightly different cane- a thinner gouge. The stuff I usually use is Jeanne gouged .60 -.48, but I'm trying some that's Jeanne .60-.45, which is at least more similar to the numbers they gave us at JMOC. I really have no idea what it'll do to the reeds I make, but hey. Summer is a good time for experimentation.


I've been practicing mostly Bach, but it's been rather fruitless practicing. I'm not concentrating very hard. I need to start working on Le Api, and Poulenc, and Vaughan Williams, or maybe start actually working on some etudes rather than just fooling around on them.

I did look through Jeff Rathbun's 3 Diversions for 2 oboes today. It's very modern, with multiphonics and stuff, and quite hard. It's so fun to play, though. Tons of huge leaps, which I like because they're something I can show off with on my oboe (yay Howarths- my low register is much easier than a Loree's, and my high register holds itself up pitchwise), and the aforementioned multiphonics. I can't really do them in the actual piece yet- it sometimes takes me a really long time to learn new fingerings/notes, but they're very...liberating to play. Also fun to play around with- see what fingers you can add or take off and what that does to them. (Scott would be so proud...) Still, I don't think super modern music will ever win me over entirely. It just can't compete with the classics.

I almost found a show to play in this summer- a theater group near me is doing Secret Garden, but I'm not free the last weekend of the show, and the music director apparently already has too many ringers for the final performances. He was excited when I contacted him because he didn't have an oboe/eh, so I guess he's back to doing the show without, unless someone else contacts him really at the last minute. (Part of me wonders why he can't just do some of the shows with oboe, since he's now going to have to do all without, but I know that you can't do that to the poor singers.)

Also, I saw Spamalot! in NY- such a hilarious show. I really should learn flute or clarinet if I want to try to get any real gigs playing in pits- I think they much prefer doublers, at least for many shows. Obviously something like Les Mis, or probably Phantom, or any of those operetta-like shows there'll be a separate part, but most things are done by "Reed 1", "Reed 2" instead.

Of course, my other plan for the summer was to try to get my friend's sister to teach me to play bassoon, which would be an incredibly un-helpful doubling instrument. But that's okay.

1 comment:

C.J. said...

I'd suggest you not get too caught up on gouging numbers, unless they're from the exact same machine, with the exact same blade curve. A gouge with .60/.45 can produce bigger openings than a .60/.50 if the rate of taper and the blade curve is set up in such away. For example, I own an Opus 1 machine made by a former Mack Student, Robin Driscoll, and the machine gouges at close to .60/.42 but produces much bigger openings than any of my 2 Grafs which gouge closer to .60/.48-.45 depending on which tip I'm using.