(no subject)

Week: practice every day
Make and finish some reeds

Finish working through rep. Motion exersizes
Review and polish all baret melodies up to the sonatas.


For the longest time I've kept this journal mostly anonymous, but such things and my care for them are fading. I've started a new website and blog attached to it. The blog is a little more widely focused than this one, and I may still post here, but the bulk of my posts will be there if anyone is interested in reading my ramblings on music, life, and whatnot! :)

Happy oboing!

(no subject)

T-2 hours to Vancouver Island audition. I decided to do this audition to really give myself a kick in the butt after taking most of the summer off, but now I'm actually a bit excited about it.

I made the decision to take a lesson with R, and he gave me some great tips on practicing the tombeau. It's always the common sense things that blindside me - I get the "OH of COURSE" feeling, and yet I WAS NOT doing this before?!? ha. yeah. Been practicing it with the metronome in eighths and then changing back to triplets changing the slurring patterns - basically making myself think about the notes instead of just going on autopilot . really been working on the half hole D to E too and making it as clean as possible.

Now if only my good reed hadn't died yesterday. Oh well, I made a new reed between rehearsal and the concert, and although it's still a little new and has a bit too much sound in the tip (what does that even mean? But it's how it feels and how it sounds...I mean, it's nice, but the tone isn't focussed in the high notes, and I have to remind myself not to bite down on it in an effort to control it - it's in tune...just...fuzzy? uhhhgh. yeah)

I will play on the reed I have. I will make it sound as beautiful as it is capable of. I will THINK ABOUT THE NOTES that I'm playing in the tombeau. I will make the Mozart PRETTY (pretty, goddamnit, not boring like paint drying....PRETTY!) heh. yeaaah.

I'm watching this beforehand: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhygJyCvYeA
It's making me happy, so maybe there's hope for my poor benighted mozart yet.

(no subject)

Okanagan prep is going well. Excepting the two Brahms symphonies I'm pretty familiar with most of the excerpts already. I need to play along with recording for both of them soon as I'm still not really sure what I'm doing.

Reeds are coming out pretty dependably, which is nice - using a bit of a bigger shape on a few newer ones because I tried a packet of the Marigaux shaped cane - nothing stellar yet so I might just go back to the Var cane or pick up some of the Glotin from work. I may just end up playing on the reed I'm playing on now, though, so I think I'll put it away for a while to prevent killing it too early.

Sometimes on the excerpts I know really well and have been working on since I took up the oboe...sometimes I get a little depressed about them - they're not perfect, they're not seamless, and SHOULDN'T they be? BY NOW? aaaaaahahaha. Yep. And then I slow tombeau down, put on the metronome, work it back up past the reasonable tempo, and then bring it back down again - and suddenly it's music. I just have to get to that point FASTER each time so that I can play it well the FIRST time instead of the tenth. Grargh.

I want bigger openings but I don't think I have the strength to play through everything on the bigger reeds. herm.

I'm doing all my woodshedding with a neckstrap now. It really relaxes my fingers and allows me to play for much longer with absolutely no tenseness or pain (which I WAS having before, and ignoring (bad!)) I don't think I would want to perform with it, though, because it does limit my flexibility as far as positioning the reed (although there's more flexibility than I thought there would be!)

(no subject)

agh. not enough time to practice. at least got some time in with the telemann since I'll be playing that in two weeks. Making reeds tomorrow morning and spending some time with some silly time signatures.

(no subject)

Consistent reeds right now. A few smallish openings due to large diameter cane, but those will probably turn into nice student reeds.

I've let myself get a bit out of shape, playing-wise, so now it's time to throw myself back into it. Working on the Telemann fantasies, Mozart, tombeau and trying to get all the excerpts for the Toronto audition together. I won't be taking it, but I'm going to work through them anyways - there are a lot of second oboe excerpts that I haven't really worked on at all, so now is a good time to do it.

I'm arranging Zappa, and although I'm working from a guitar book it's still a daunting task. I could spend ages just listening to the improv sections and going 'ooooooh what was THAT' but, luckily, I have a deadline, so minimal geekiness is permitted.

(no subject)

shaped a whole bunch of cane and left it to dry. Warmed up on the nice reed for a treat. Played through some luft. Finally got all the way through the second one at 100, which was pretty exhilarating.

Attacked Piazzolla's first Tango Etude for a while...it's so fun but a bit brutally hard on oboe in some bits. I think I might give in and transpose the stuff that goes up to high A and G down the octave.

Played around with the mozart with the metronome...it's sounding...happier.

Fiddled with reeds. Should tie some more soon and order some staples.

(no subject)

I've been really tired lately. Trying to work through it is hard but I find if I let myself do shorter practice sessions with breaks in between I'm still okay. I need to be playing with other people more. When I'm just by myself I get way too locked into having to make the perfect reed and I don't get anything done.

Worked on the Mozart a bit - took the stupid trill in the opening right out for a while and just tried to make it pretty again. (with the metronome) Succeeded in liking it a little...put the trill back in...still tend to be late getting to the B, though. stupid fricking mozart...but I LIKE IT! I LOVE IT GODDAMNIT!!!


Yes. Anyway, worked on the whole exposition just trying to find the music in it again as opposed to really note crunching...moderately successful, I'd say.

Fiddled with reeds.

Worked on the Luft. Repetitive motion is so relaxing.

Ignored the Ferling.

Played some Rossini with Ridiculous Rubato. I recommend this; It's deliciously fun, and no one has to know! NO ONE!

Yeah. Sleep time now, methinks.

(no subject)

I have this huge fear. Most of the time I don't even acknowledge it. It's not a fear of one thing or person or situation, it's just a fear.

I remember a quote from back when I was obsessed with the stones...

Keith was the least interested in portraying himself as something other than he was. Keith is a man of belief and Mick is a man of fear. Mick works on fear, that driving thing, 'what if I fuck up?' It is a lot easier to be like Keith than it is to be like Mick

But I disagree with the last bit, I always have. I don't find belief, particularly in myself to be easy. I don't really think it should be easy, either. So many people are so full of themselves, so sure they're the best at whatever when really they're just trash. I've always felt that if you find something worthwhile you shouldn't be so disrespectful as to announce yourself the best at it when so many have gone before.

I've become a critic. Too much so. I'll play and only hear the mistakes. I love performing because it gives me the chance to just play and not critique, but even then I'll be listening and critiquing as I go. It makes music dead and awkward.

I'm done with fear. I can play the oboe, and I do have something to say, musically. I can make decent reeds and I have better tone than many more confident people. I need to stop letting my fear and my precious ego get in the way of making music.

stupidity doesn't end in school, apparently

left my good reeds in water overnight and they molded...yuck. I poured some boiling water on them and left them to dry...you never know...they might survive it!!

Started a bunch of new reeds (neon yellow) still using the var cane as I've no money for anything else. Forcing myself to get all of them crowing a C before finishing them this time. I find if I'm starting and finishing reeds at the same time I get careless with my knife strokes and end up destroying most of them. They're all sounding pretty promising, actually, which is nice, but it's often deceptive.

Working on Mozart, Rossini and the Luft studies (in the opposite order, most days) and trying to channel this ridiculousness...I do need to just have fun with it.