Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"Oboeitis enthusiasticus"

First I want to say <<Bon anniversaire, Maman!>> to my wonderful mother-in-law, whose boundless spirituality and generous heart are daily gifts to our family and to all the kids tutored through the Earthen Vessels program. I am so blessed to have such a kind and caring mother-in-law.

Thanks too to Bob Heineman for coining a name for our affliction. You're right, Bob - it's INCURABLE!

Yesterday when my teacher & I did those little duets together it brought back memories of the times when piano "wasn't so bad." I took piano from age 5 to age 12, and though I am grateful for the musical education I got taking it, I have to admit piano brought me a LOT of anxiety, especially piano recitals. I still get sick to my stomach before my daughter's recitals - whereas she loves performing! The two times I recall specifically ENJOYING piano were the times when I didn't have to play alone. One time I played a Telemann piece with an accomplished young flutist. I especially loved not being the soloist, but rather the background person, the accompanist. Another time I was accompanied for the 1st movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 17 by a fantastic adult pianist whose presence made the harrowing recital for that piece a little less agonizing. Otherwise, though, the study of piano was a morass of dread for me, probably because of my tendency toward stage fright.

Playing music WITH others is a great pleasure, though. I would have loved to play in an orchestra, to make music with others but also remain anonymous, not in the spotlight. Anesthesia's like that too - our work is so essential to what's going on, and so important, yet so anonymous and under-acknowledged. My favorite musical moments are when my husband pulls out his guitar and we sit down as a family to sing together, or when my daughter and I sit down at the piano to play together.

I got more daring during Indulgence Time at the end of my practice period and tried an arrangement of the Huron Carol / 'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime. I've always liked this carol but when I learned the words were written by Jean de Brebeuf, a Jesuit missionary to the Huron and contemporary of René Goupil, the carol acquired special meaning for me.

I've read and heard many times that oboists are (and need to be) a little obsessed. If I'm this preoccupied now, wait till I start making reeds...

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