After a while on my blog, I’ve decided to come BACK to WordPress.com, but I’ve started a new blog at cooperwrightreeds.wordpress.com. Come visit me there!
I am now no longer blogging on THIS website. I recently had my website redone, and the blog has been incorporated into it. So if you care to read my blog, feel free to come join me over at http://cooperwrightreeds.com/index.php/blog/.
Thanks for the two years WordPress!
Well, I don’t usually advertise stuff very often. But I am gladly offering a reed deal as a celebration of my sister’s new children’s book which is coming out soon!
So, buy her book (which is only $12 preorder here at Barnes and Noble) and for every reed you purchase, I’ll send you two! This will be limited to 4 reeds/person.
If you do purchase her book, forward me the online receipt and order and share in the joy of our family as we celebrate our first author!
So my website template design has run out, so I was looking at other reedmaker’s websites for ideas. I was looking at Meg Cassell’s reedmaking business website and noticed she had a blog. It had an interesting topic about different kinds of crows.
Do you know that there are two basic styles of American oboe reeds? Question is, is it an oboe reed style or an embouchure style? Kind of a ‘chicken or the egg’ thing.
The two styles of reeds can be categorized, at least in part, as to where the reed is crowed. For those of you who don’t know what the “crow” might be, that is the term we use to check the vibration of the reed we are playing or making.
Many of you may already know all about this, but to me, it is a relatively new way to look at it. Do you crow the oboe reed near the bottom of the thread, with a very passive embouchure, or do you crow it at the bottom of the scrape at the top of the thread, with more of a normal embouchure (slightly looser)? Both kinds of crowing should be a double octave C but where and how the crow is executed seems to reflect an embouchure style. The two styles of reeds/embouchures are NOT compatible with each other, by and large.
The next blog entry will talk about oboe embouchure styles as they relate to the placement of the crow. Meanwhile, you can experiment with it. Knowing what kind of crow you do and being able to execute both (to distinguish one from the other) may help you determine what kind of reed will work best for you, may help you in your reed making and reed adjusting, and may also help you with your students. If you have any thoughts about this topic yourself, please feel free to email me.
Anyways, I thought this was worth thinking about, and am trying to make sense out of it.
Meanwhile, I’m hoping to have a new website up by next January/February!
At the IDRS convention this past summer, Laila Storch gave my mentor David Weber a DVD of the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival‘s Commemorative 10 year anniversary DVD/CD. Mr. Weber watched the DVD that night and told me that I should buy it immediately, which I did when I got back.
Well, I had some terrible luck with shipping. The first one that was sent got lost, never to be found again. The second one got sent out, without my apartment number, and was returned to the sender. Fortunately, they were kind enough to send it back out, and I’m glad they did.
There’s some great clips on this DVD which tells the tale of how it got started. Aloysia Friedmann is the artistic director and her husband, Jon Kimura Parker is the Artistic Advisor of this chamber music, which likes like a lot of fun. It tells the story of Aloysia’s parents, Oboist Laila Storch and Martin Friedmann raising her in a musical family and building the love for chamber music.
The DVD has a lot of great clips for oboists. There are sections where Robert Atherholt of Rice University and Aloysia play the Loeffler Deux Rhapsodies with Kimura Parker, and several sections with Laila play with others.
Perhaps the greatest gem for oboists falls under the “Bonus Chapters” which shows a 10 minute section of John Mack making a reed. Mr. Weber told me that “everyone can learn a thing or two” by watching this section. While the section goes by fast, and fast forwards through some steps, everyone can gleam a thing or two about how he listens and judges the reed by the crow. The $25 CD/DVD is well worth the price just for this 10 minute section.
Life has been extremely busy for me, particularly since the end of the school trimester is coming to a close which means concerts! My quintet played on a recital last week, a program which we performed the Sweelinck Variations on a Folk Song (this youtube is not us) and the Muczynski Quintet. Last weekend, the Wind Ensemble also performed Holst Suite no. 1, and the West Side Story Synphonic Dances, an arrangement which just came out a month ago and was created to be as close to the original parts as possible. Let me just say that piece was perhaps the hardest piece in Wind Ensemble I’ve ever played. After playing for 27 minutes, you get to play a ppp solo which starts on high Bb, and just goes high, hanging out on high Db, Eb, and finally ending with a decrescendo up to high F! Yeah… Right… Glory me.
This Sunday we’re doing Death and Transfiguration and Corgliano’s Gazebo Dances. I’m just playing English Horn on the Strauss, but that piece goes onand on and on and on… What a chop killer!
For my “Oral Traditions in Music” class, I’ve been researching for my final project which will be on the topic of Korean Pansori. It’s a musical storytelling artform originally taught orally, but nowadays with technology, it’s been written down, notated, taught with textbooks, CDs, and video. I’m not only writing about what it is, but the current state of transmission of pansori, and how using technology has helped or hindered the artform. Tuesday, I presented the topic for about 45 minutes, and when I get back, I need to complete my 30 page paper, due December 12th.
The project comes at a good time since Monday, I’ll be leaving for Korea for a week and a half for my brother-in-law’s wedding. The wedding itself is a bit tough, since I’ll get back December 3rd, just in time to take my finals and play my jury, but such is life.
Meanwhile, I’m trying to get all of my ducks in line, and reed orders on the way before I leave. My wife left Wednesday morning to spend some extra time with her family, and I’m looking forward to seeing them soon enough.
A while back Patty tagged me on this and I never responded, so here it goes!
- I love strategy games! When I was in high school, my friends and I joined the chess team. We had a great “friendly competitive” atmosphere which pushed us to study and get better together. By my junior year, the team won 7th in the USA finals, and my senior year they won 3rd. This probably comes from my father, who raised us playing card games and board games, from monopoly to cribbage. I still love a good card game, or a long game of risk on a winter’s night.
- I am the youngest of 4 children. I have THREE older sisters, who used to do unspeakable things to me. We are now all happily married, and 3 of us have now moved back to the Pacific Northwest which has made our parents very happy (but we still have to call and ask permission in order to stop by the old house!)
- My passions in life other than oboe include hockey, hockey and hockey! Living in Michigan for 4 years, you can’t help but catch the hockey bug. I didn’t discover it until around my junior year of college, and have loved it ever since. When I was at Michigan State, we were #1 in the country while Michigan was #2. Ryan Miller (of the Buffalo Sabres) was our starting goalie and won the Hobey Baker award. I’m a die-hard Red Wings fan.
- Three greatest “oboe excerpts” composers = Barber, Brahms, and Ravel
- I get on these weird snack streaks. I discover something and start eating it like a chipmunk for months until I get sick of it. Past snack streaks include Chinese Ginger candy, David Sunflower Seeds, and Yogurt Covered Raisons.
- As I child I used to have asthma problems chronically. I’d get plugged up to this nebulizer (which now have nice designs, but in my day it was an ugly brown box) twice a day and sit there for five minutes inhaling this misting medicine. Once I hit 6th grade and began playing oboe, it cleared up all Asthma symptoms I ever had, and the last time I went to my Asthma/Allergist, I was told I have 200% average lung capacity.