Showing category "everyday music" (Show all posts)

Cracking

Posted by Elizabeth on Friday, November 16, 2018, In : everyday music 
It seems the fate of oboists to be haunted by cracks. I'm gradually getting better at checking the instrument before assuming that I have just turned into a terrible oboist who can't tune to save her life...but I definitely failed this time. I believe my oboe has been cracking since October, when I foolishly played for around 10 minutes in an unheated practice space before realizing how cold it was (I had just come in from outside, and felt warm).

All the symptoms were there:
  • my low notes felt ...

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Halloween Etc.

Posted by Elizabeth on Thursday, October 25, 2018, In : everyday music 


Somehow I have a rehearsal or concert every day from October 30th to November 4th, and only single day breaks after that until the 17th of November. No trick or treating for me I guess. The first rehearsal and sitzprobe for Oklahoma have passed...I think it will be a fun run, but I forgot how cramped pits (or in this case, loft) are for musicals. Gah. 

The singers are lovely, and I wish I could watch them! I need to go to more musicals that I'm not playing in!


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refuelling

Posted by Elizabeth on Sunday, February 22, 2015, In : everyday music 
It has been a bit of a tough time adjusting to working full time while still trying to keep up some kind of practice regimen. I tend to fall into a downward spiral of guilt culminating in late night internet manga and netflix binges. 

I forget, repeatedly, that the best way to restart the desire to play music is to listen to music. I've been lucky enough to get to see not one, but two operas this past month, and tonight had the treat of possibly the most wind-centric concert I've ever attended...
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Check the dates FIRST!

Posted by Elizabeth on Monday, November 17, 2014, In : everyday music 
I've recently moved to Toronto, which was huge. I sold all my stuff that I could possibly part with and shipped the rest via greyhound. That was June, I think. It's what, November, now? and I'm only just getting my feet under me again. It's been super hard keeping practicing, to the point where if I pick up the oboe at all it's a success.

However! I'm finally feeling like I can breathe again, and needed a way to get my practice routine back - and viola! (not an actual viola...that'd be...cruel...
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Reed Purgatory

Posted by Elizabeth on Friday, November 29, 2013, In : everyday music 
Oh, but my reeds are Terrible this month. I have been spending wayyy more time on them with wayyy less impressive results. The more I work the worse they sound and the worse I feel. It's a sneaky hate spiral of Oboe proportions.

There is, at least, two common problems:

-that awful shrieking in the high notes
- horrid flat and kazoo-like tendencies.

Must run now. Will brainstorm solutions/troubleshoot later.

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OperaFeHk

Posted by Elizabeth on Saturday, November 2, 2013, In : everyday music 
OperaFeHk is gearing up to do a show on November 30th again. I'm both terrified and excited (and mildly alarmed that I've become rather used to this particular mix of emotions).

The amount of fiddly details involved in pulling this show together each year always astounds me - I never meant to become involved with (what has really become) an opera company. You'd think the name would have alerted me to Grimey's plans, but I can be a little dense sometimes.

Singers. Actors. SINGERS WHO ARE ALSO AC...
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Who needs goals??

Posted by Elizabeth on Thursday, August 15, 2013, In : everyday music 
You know how they tell you to set goals in highschool? In university? At work? You know how you always rolled your eyes and thought 'I don't need to set goals, I work hard, I know what I want and I'm self motivated'?

Yeah. We were wrong. Lazy brain loves fooling us into not getting things done, that's for sure. I mean, yes, I work hard, and yes, to a certain extent I've always got some internal idea of what I want but...

Well, to be honest, lately I've struggled with having a reason to get into...
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Yes, it's the little things.

Posted by Elizabeth on Saturday, September 29, 2012, In : everyday music 
I've recently started a program at BCIT which involves me getting up at 5:30am every weekday. It's amazing what it's done to my productivity! Suddenly, although I have way more to do, I'm producing way more reeds, practicing more and feeling deliciously alive.

Don't listen to anyone who tells you to slow down and do less when you're doing things you love. Do as much as you can (and sometimes you can do more than you think!)

I have TWO delightful reeds and a bunch of okay ones. Such bliss!

Now I...
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Fear is the mind killer.

Posted by Elizabeth on Tuesday, August 7, 2012, In : everyday music 
For a really long time I've wanted to compose music. Why didn't I? Well, I kind of did, a little, when I was smaller and didn't really play an instrument. My friend Sarah and I wrote songs about shoes and mud and people we knew...and accompanied ourselves with the one chord I knew on guitar and usually pots and pans. It was great.

Then I started learning music. I've always been super eager to do well at things and usually end up being pretty mediocre. I applied myself and kept sort of waiting ...
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No more excuses.

Posted by Elizabeth on Saturday, April 14, 2012, In : everyday music 
There's this thing that happens when I go for too long without playing with other people. I start to hate how I sound. It creeps into my reedmaking and pretty soon I'm not happy with anything and I'm ruining what might've been perfectly good reeds with stupid anti-perfectionism.

 I'm playing with Sinfonia this weekend, and the rehearsal was very nice, even though I don't really like my reeds I still felt alright...although I was getting a lot more water in my keys than I was expecting. It's am...
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hardware malfunctions

Posted by Elizabeth on Saturday, February 25, 2012, In : everyday music 
Seriously low on reeds. Having the dull knife problem again. Ugh. I've also somehow damaged the side of my shaper tip with the razor while shaping cane, so now every time I shape a piece of cane the razor catches and it's super hard not to destroy it. AUGH. Not sure how it happened, but I might have to buy a new shaper tip - it's getting really annoying.

Playing Beethoven 4 tonight - I'm still not sure I like it (which is a horrible thing to say, I know, but it just never grew on me). Usually ...
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Stop being so Afraid and Just Play.

Posted by Elizabeth on Saturday, February 11, 2012, In : everyday music 
Making reeds under the pressure of an upcoming performance is always a little terrifying, but it seems like having a revolving cycle of different stages of reeds takes a little of the fear out of it. I've finally gotten to the point where I'll always have a few blanks, a few profiled and a few nearly finished reeds in my case, and boy does that make it easier to have a reed ready for tomorrow when I need it!

This week my student had a reed crisis at the same time as me; apparently an over enth...
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Fast and Furious February

Posted by Elizabeth on Saturday, February 4, 2012, In : everyday music 
And Suddenly I haven't got a moment to breathe. It's always the same; no work followed by what seems like every single person you know calling you for a show on the same weekend. Reeds are being challenging, too. Sunday is going to have to consist of some very intense reedmaking and practicing because I have at least one rehearsal every day after that until the next Tuesday. Yoiks.

I'm feeling surprisingly good, though, considering I took about three weeks off being sick.

I haven't been teachi...
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Sickness

Posted by Elizabeth on Monday, January 9, 2012, In : everyday music 
I've been off and on sick for the last couple of months and it's played havoc with my practicing. I'm on my second round of antibiotics for an ear infection that had just enough bite left in it to come back after my most recent brush with the flu. I am going to get the flu shot as soon as I'm well again, but DAMN ear infections are annoying.  If it were just the ear I could probably practice - it sounds really weird (like wearing one ear plug) but at least I could keep in shape and just do so...
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Violin?

Posted by Elizabeth on Thursday, December 22, 2011, In : everyday music 
That's right. For no particular reason, though maybe because I've taken a liking to the poor things, maligned as they are by all who aspire to play them, ignore them, listen to them and even, sometimes, make them, I've taken up learning to produce sounds on the violin.

I really like the violin. I feel like I should be at a WLVA* meeting, or something. Hardly ANYONE I know will admit to liking violins, or their players, or their sound. EVEN people who play them are always "ick, violin!" when pr...
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D'oh, of COURSE!

Posted by Elizabeth on Friday, December 9, 2011, In : everyday music 
I've been having a lot of reed problems lately, a lot of failed reeds, a lot of unresponsive or hopelessly flat, hopelessly sharp, hopelessly ugly....basically everything was All WRONG and I could NOT for the life of me figure out WHY.

So I took out my old india oil stone and sharpened my knife, then honed it on my ceramic sticks. 

I've only had about an hour of reedmaking time since then and I already have two very promising new reeds. Why is it that I'm always thinking it can't be my knife??

D...
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Pre-show Babblings

Posted by Elizabeth on Tuesday, November 22, 2011, In : everyday music 
One day away from the big OperaFeHk show. It's nice to be mostly just playing and not worrying so much about the logistics. Our Stage manager, Krista, is doing a great job.

The only thing that's really difficult is being part of the "Megabeth" monster. The idea behind the piece is rooted in the (often tragic) combination of Ego and lack of ability that, as musicians, we constantly wonder if we're contributing to (or maybe that's just me).  The double headed monster is harder on my self esteem ...
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October

Posted by Elizabeth on Tuesday, October 25, 2011, In : everyday music 
This month has been very busy; two concerts in one weekend and lots of activity surrounding the new OperaFeHk ensemble's concert coming up in November. With all this thinking ahead I haven't even started to think about a Halloween costume! 

One thing's for sure, though, I need to perform a piece involving a Thunder Tube

I finally broke down and bought a new reed knife - you can only re-grind the edge so many times. Now to start a new batch of brightly coloured reeds for the coming month!


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