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 pressed. (we won't go into the amount of oboe jokes told by oboists at this point). Poor things. I like them. 

Unfortunately, the violin is bloody hard to learn. I bought a practice mute, but it's not very fun to practice with as it eats up all the overtones and makes my (admittedly fairly cheap) violin sound like a lump of concrete with strings. I'm getting pretty tired of the one book I bought, and I can mostly play the notes in it, but the bowing is....something else. I suppose I should take another lesson. 

What? Don't look at me like that! I know. I KNOW. I'll book the lesson RIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS I promise. Really. 

The oboe is pretty sulky about the whole thing, I think.  I'll make it some nice colourful reeds for the new year, though, and I'm sure it'll forgive me**. 

*We Like Violins Anonymous 
**I may have to buy it and my housemates some nice earplugs for christmas, though! 

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??

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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 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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