hardware malfunctions

February 25, 2012
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 learning a piece makes me like it more, but there's not that much for the oboes in this one - a couple cool parts for second and some little first solos, but it seems to be all about the bassoon. It's...neat, but it doesn't draw me in the way some other Beethoven works do. Still, good to be playing the lesser known stuff.
 

Stop being so Afraid and Just Play.

February 11, 2012
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

February 4, 2012
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

January 9, 2012
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?

December 22, 2011
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!

December 9, 2011
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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December goes by like lightning

December 3, 2011
December is always a hectic month, doubly so if you're a musician. Add a little vitamin D deficiency to that and you have some trouble. I've been taking my vitamins, getting out skiing and playing soccer in an attempt to drive off the winter blues and it's been pretty darn effective this season!

I've never held with the mono-focused approach to music, and strongly believe that a full life adds to one's musicality and worth as a person. I'm loving the amount of other people's live music I'm get...
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Pre-show Babblings

November 22, 2011
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

October 25, 2011
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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