Wednesday, September 26, 2007

On to new things

On to something besides informal audition whinging...

Right now, I'm working on the Ibert trio for Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon. Two friends and I have a little trio that meets once a week. We're hoping to hire ourselves out later but for now, we're just playing music and having a good time together. Also on my docket is endless double-tonguing practicing and the Vivaldi Bb Major Concerto. Yes, it is somewhat easy but it's what my professor wants so it is what he shall have. Too proud to play ball, I am not. If I am serious about working on my technique, I need to start somewhere.

Made a decision to not take a volunteer gig in which I am very interested. It conflicts directly with a chamber orchestra concert. Sure, we're only doing Handel's Messiah (AGAIN!), but I signed up to help ferry around the timpani so I don't think I have much choice. The volunteer project sounded so interesting that it's bothering me to have to say no. I'm trying to get more information before I officially turn it down, but it is not looking good.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

For all two of you following this blog, I didn't get the position. I was very disappointed and have sluffed off on the ol' practicing wagon a bit as a result. I've also been working and had lots of rehearsals so I would prefer to fault those commitments rather than my own attitude for the drop in time spent purely practicing. Yeah...

Anyway, my reeds all stink right now, I have a lesson tomorrow, and I am exhausted from this day. I have things other than wallowing in self-pity that I should be accomplishing.

Besides, that was last week. This week, I start taking steps towards NOT shooting myself in the foot in audition/high-stress situations.

Monday, September 10, 2007


How crazy am I to be totally smitten with this idea? It's a bassoon small enough for a seven year old to use, and my eldest just happens to be seven. It won't happen, but it's awfully sweet given her earlier dedication to the idea of becoming a bassoonist like mommy. If I ever have $3k to blow, I know where I'd want to throw it. Even the case is adorable.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

It is done.

It wasn't the best presentation of myself, but at least it's done. I was extremely nervous, as I always seem to be, and had more technique issues than I should have had but I wasn't horrible. It just wasn't my best playing. She recognized my extreme nervousness and tried to get me to breathe and calm down a bit, but I think I might have been beyond help.

My competitors report about the same result but at least one of them is known to be far too critical of her own playing so I have no idea where I stand. We are supposed to receive an email with the result and to keep me from compulsively checking my email, my husband is going to forward my email to his phone. *smirk*

If I was beaten out for the sub spot, it gives me a bit more time to turn in an incredible audition next year for the then open position. I just wish I had been beaten (IF I was!) because someone else played better than my absolute best, and not because my nerves got the better of me.

T minus 12+ hours

I played for masterclass today on both Contrabassoon and Bassoon. Much to my chagrin, the contra excerpts did not go well. I've since changed reeds and revisited everything at a much slower tempo and worked it back up. I hope not to repeat today's mistakes. Just about every piece was disappointing. I pray it was a fluke, or simply that reed begging to be euthanized! I want this so badly, I would hate to lose the audition because I played poorly.

The bassoon excerpts, however, went quite well. I played the stuff from Bartok, Bolero, and Til Eulenspiegel. Bartok was great, Bolero ok with a flub or two, and Til Eulenspiegel was surprisingly good! The last one was the only one chosen by my professor and I think I nailed it just to spite him - he knew it was troubling me. Right he was to ask for it as I would not have chosen it myself and there's no point to the exercise if I'm not going to challenge myself. I think I even caught him grinning. The rest of the studio hadn't yet heard me play anything and I hope I surprised them a bit after the horrible contra performance.

Audition is at 2pm. Think calming, steady, big-breath, lyrical, lovely thoughts for me today. :)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Excerpt happy

I played my excerpts last night for a small audience at a friend's house, and it went surprisingly well. I was nervous, but minus the shakes that I've had for every similar situation in the past. I had a few little hiccups here and there, but they were the same ones that I've been having in my practice so I know what still needs work. One person in the audience was actually familiar with the pieces the excerpts were from and thought I did beautifully. Great sign, but hopefully not enough to let me get lazy.

I still have to work up a couple of excerpts from "Also Sprach Zarathustra" and am not looking forward to it. What a monster piece! I checked out the scores last week and have a recording. I'll be spending a good part of my afternoon studying both so I may get a better feel for how that section should sound. Excerpts in a vacuum sound like just that, and I want them to picture me next to them in the orchestra rather than struggling through nonsense in an empty audition room.

Marriage of Figaro needs to be settled down a bit and Til Eulenspiegel needs to be sped up. Also need to spend some time on the contra with Also Sprach, Death, and Beethoven 5 but I am really happy with my progress. Nice to feel that way instead of scared out of my frelling gourd.