Sunday, January 23, 2011

I Am an Oboe Too

Anna McNonymous, who blogs at Dangerous to French Fries, wrote a post about why she would be an oboe if she could be a musical instrument.

All I can say is, ME TOO, ANNA! Thanks for that great reminder of my oboe self, and how after several months of hiatus because of The Big Project, I simply MUST go back to it again.

Some characteristics of my oboe self?

-I need lots of TLC. Lots.
-I don't like the cold.
-I may not crack under pressure, but one day you'll find a little crack in me and you'll be like, "How did THAT happen?" But then take me to the right place and I'll be able to sing again. Go figure.
-I need to be handled JUST RIGHT if you want me to produce good work.
-I have nice parts. Er, ORCHESTRAL parts, you know?
-I've done a lot of ballet.
-I'm capable of ugliness that makes you groan with exasperation or throw up your hands in despair, and heart-stopping beauty that makes you sigh and feel glad that we met.
-I'm picky and particular and hard-on-myself and obsessive and critical and...oh, wait. That's the OBOIST.

Someday I want to play something with this glorious pianist (and composer). But I don't think I'll ever be competent enough!


Unknown said...

As an oboist myself, I can definitely relate.

"I'm picky and particular and hard-on-myself and obsessive and critical..."

How ironic is it that our choice of instruments reflects something about ourselves. I could describe myself the same way.

And I too have taken a bit of a hiatus to persue other passions; however, it is definitely an instrument that sticks with you and I look forward to playing again shortly.

Unknown said...

Does the way we are affect the instrument we choose, or does the instrument we choose affect the way we are? Perhaps both?

Music inspires such existential questions!

Jo said...

I can definitely relate!

I think that the type of instrument definitely reflects the type of person (though I so easily could have been a basoonist, if it weren't for the teacher not showing up for lessons!); to be a good double reed player, you need to be picky (the pitch changes so much dependent on so many conditions, for example), you need to be critical, because, as one of the most piercing instruments in the orchestra (really, only the cornet ranks at the same level for cutting across the music), you can't afford to go wrong.

But it is also the instrument which affords such rewards - you have to keep going and pushing yourself, and then suddenly it all comes together and what comes out is almost magical. I wouldn't exchange it for the world.