Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dreaming dread

Awful dreams last night. I dreamed I was arguing with my instructor over my grade. She was saying she thought a B would be appropriate and I didn't agree. Three A's out of five papers and an A on the midterm spells "A" to me, even if I got a B on the final. But every time I discussed, this woman in a turban would pipe up and say, "Sounds like a B!.... B.... Yeah, that's a B!". She wouldn't shut up and as TurbanGirl is a respected colleague, I was in a pickle. Decidedly, not an awful dream but still unsettling. Good I be a wee bit nervous about finals?

What makes me say awful is the (yet another) dream of bassoony destruction. My bassoon just starts to fall apart, piece by terrible piece. First the joint lock, and then the wing joint just starts losing whole sections of wood right in my hands. The rest of it has impact damage and looks as if it is seconds from doing the same. AAAAAHHHHH! Enough, already. And in the dream I'm thinking, is this reparable? Or is this the kind of catastrophic thing that necessitates a new bassoon? Do I want a new bassoon? Will the insurance pay out for a new bassoon or will they think I did it deliberately? And why the hell do I keep having these dreams?!

So to you, dear reader. Is this a literal fear of my instrument being destroyed? Could it be a symbolic representation of something else in my life that is falling apart, or that I fear is falling apart? My bassoon is the most precious Thing that I own. Wouldn't it's dreamy destruction serve as exactly the wake-up call I would need to move on re-directing the outcome of something equally dreaded? No idea. I'm just sick of the neurosis.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hulk SMasH!


I smashed my hand this week with my bassoon. Unfortunately, I also smashed my bassoon with the floor. Except for its horrific appearance, the damage was shockingly minor and it still plays beautifully.

As you can see, the ring on the end of the bassoon was obliterated, but it seems to have absorbed most of the impact. No, it isn't ivory. It is a plastic that mimics ivory that I'm told Moosmann created himself (it's a bit translucent when you hold it up to light). Whatever it is, it saved my bassoon from a much worse fate. Aside from that loss and the hairline crack that runs down about 3 inches from the ring, the only other damage sustained is a now non-functional high e key and a bent-to-heck joint lock. I am a lucky, lucky bassoonist. I am also terribly lucky that it took me 22 years of playing to have anything like this happen and that it happened after I took the trouble of insuring it.

Hand is fine! Got an xray to prove it and spent all day Thursday and half of Friday alternately icing and soaking it. I also spent much of that time ping-ponging between "It's all going to be fine" and "Oh my god, in twenty years I'm going to be saying I had it great 'til I fell on my damn instrument!" and "My poor bassoon, I'm so sorry bassoon!" and "WaaaaaHhhhh! *blubber blubber sob blubber blubber* WAAAHHH!!". But I'll never admit I was anything other than the coolest of cool cucumbers.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

"That's my mind talkin'.. it's not saying anything, but it's talking!"



Last night's dreams were filled with unrepentant villains. Two separate dreams, one of which featured a friend's child vomiting on me and another featuring a restauranteur's bassoon-murdering offspring. The second one was apparently a serial bassoon-murderer as part of my dream contained a river of sludge in which at least 3 other bassoons had been mangled, swollen, brutalized, and abandoned and into which my freshly assassinated bassoon had been seemingly plunged. The serial killer was about ten years old and had bent, hacked, stomped on, sawed, and shaved the keys off of my precious, which was required for a very big concert the next day. Not only was the child unrepentant, the purveyor of the establishment was surprised that anyone would be sorry to see a bassoon treated thusly and insisted I leave the premises once she had forwarded the necessary $12,050 in repairs that my bassoon was going to require. No amount of screaming, crying anguish dissuaded either one of them and I couldn't figure out why on earth I had left my bassoon out of its case during dinner in the first place. And the kicker was the final realization that the instant estimate hadn't included my bocal.. where was my bocal?? (And why do I keep having these dreams of losing my bocal?!)

The first dream, of the Vomiting Unrepentant Child, wasn't nearly as interesting or emotional. You pretty much have the gist of it in those three words right there. It is only noteworthy in that it was followed by continued unrepentance, more lack of consideration, and the abject horror of watching the thing that makes up so much of what I am be destroyed by a child.

Very foreboding final sentence. I know it was a dream. I tend to think dreams are my subconscious mind talking things out. I came away thinking my mind has some fixation with Unrepentance. I think I can now also add Bocal Anxiety and Fear of Other People's Children. ;)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Reedy dreams

I dreamt I received a long, flat wooden box in the mail. Inside the box were parcels and parcels of reed cane in little cloth and plastic covered packages. I needed to cut them out but the procedure was murky and I accidentally cut more than a few in half before discovering that I was doing it wrong. BUT, there were TONS of pieces of cane, little wooden tools, and even some oboe cane. It was BEAUTIFUL! Some were from rigotti, some rieger, a few albion (blech) and a ton of Medir. Finally, I find the invoice and the entire package is a "Welcome to Medir" package with a price tag of $163! I think in my dream, it was worth it. I had cane coming out of my ears.

I had LOTS of garlic in my dinner last night after attending an English Hornist's DMA lecture recital. AND, I REALLY desperately need to order lots of cane. Thank you subconscious. I get the hint!

Monday, April 06, 2009

And I shall call you "Fluffy"..

For all.. well, zero of you that were quite concerned with what the mystical maids of the bassoon quartet were going to call themselves, the issue was resolved about two weeks ago. We are now the Maderas Bassoon Quartet, courtesy of Jessie's suggestion and Rebecca and Lisa's failure to complain about it. I quite like it. It sounds good and has a little flow to it. It's regional without being southwestern. Or related to cactus. Or mountain ranges. Or animals. During my undergrad at the big bad U, every student ensemble was "Rincon" or "Catalina". Add to all of those fabulous positives the fact that I now have a name and heading under which to file all things bassoon quartet related, and you've got bassoon quartet gold!

We wrapped up public concert no. 2 on Thursday afternoon to a much more satisfying crowd of 30 or so (versus the mom and two kids that came to our rug concert last month) who seemed to enjoy our antics as well as our music. I'll hopefully figure out how to put sound files on here sometime after my solo(ish) recital next Wednesday.

My friend Rebecca (not the bassoonist) was kind enough to share her thoughts about the recital somewhere that I could share it with you! All zero of you! Thanks, Anna, Kevin, Mom, and Rebecca for coming!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

What's in a name?

Bocal Soup is the name of the bassoon quartet we went to competitions with in my undergrad. I LOVED the name so I kept it and stuck it on my very neglected and under-utilized bassoon-centered blog. I think I have a gmail account with the same name even. Anyway, I understand why a new bassoon quartet might not wish to plunk this name onto its identity.

So, what to name a newly formed bassoon quartet? We don't want anything southwestern or having to do with the mountain ranges around Tucson - boRING! We don't have a restaurant sponsor and even then, I'm not sure we'd want to be the "In 'n' Out Bassoon Quartet". Any ideas? There must be someone out there with the right mix of magic, music, humor, and class. We're getting gigs now, surprisingly enough, and we're not bad so "Bassoon Quartet" just isn't going to cut it any longer.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Two fer the time of one!

Thanks to the great Anna Banana, I think I have a successful loaf of Amish Friendship Bread!

And thanks to the time it took to bake and the fabulous Other Rebecca, I think I have a flier for my recital!

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

"That's not MY bocal.. don't you understand? That will never be the right bocal!"

About a month ago, my friend spilled her bassoon out onto the floor from about waist level. Twice now, I've had very vivid dreams of calamity befalling my beloved bassoon.

In the first, I'm practicing at home and suddenly just let go of my bassoon. It falls to the floor after hitting a cabinet. The bell is in two severed pieces and I can't make out what happened to the rest of it but it is very Not Good.

The second was last night. I'm in chamber orchestra and our former conductor is at the podium again. We take a break and as usual, I rest my bassoon safely in its stand and wander offstage. I return to find a large orchestra-pit size gap where I had been sitting. The stage crew gave us insufficient notice of this stage change and the conductor has moved my bassoon for me. Fine. Actually, not fine but better than than down the hole. We are now about 30 feet to the left of the strings, have a very small walkway to navigate, and there is a large black curtain obstructing our view. Worse yet, I sit down in time for a stage crew member to grab and mangle my bassoon and bocal right in front of me. A small split starts at the cork, slowly unraveling the entire length of metal until I have this curly mangled metal thing before me. I then realize this is NOT my bocal. The conductor has cavalierly misplaced my bocal and the owner of the hall only points me to a pile of misshapen, non-Leitzinger bocals, and is of no help whatsoever. Like the not-my-bocal, I come completely unraveled and am crying and wailing inconsolably.

I stayed in bed an extra 45 minutes trying to sleep my way to a resolution on that one.