The Rambler :: blog

Friday, March 18, 2005


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Every once in a while a friend of mine organises concerts of baroque music in various churches in central London. I say Baroque, but I mean Bach. And I say Bach, but I mean the cantatas - which is fine and dandy because that's some good music. It's also nice, 'cos I've always thought London's old churches are a core part of its identity, but you hardly get in to see them properly. The next one is on April 2nd at St Paul's (not that one) in Covent Garden, and I've been pulled in on second oboe. It's a couple of years since I last played (and it was four years before that). The last time my mate asked me to play for him, I had to borrow an oboe since mine had seized up from lack of use. One expensive service later and it's getting a proper outing. I've already had the inevitable goose chase to buy some new reeds, but when practising last night I was pretty chuffed with how much still remains in muscle memory. I mean, my lips need some work, as do my cheeks, and lungs, even my supporting right hand wrist; but all the fingering's still there, right down to those annoying alternatives that flat keys always throw up. (C-D flat, that's a weedy little trill isn't it?) The cat seems absolutely horrified at the sound and evacuates promptly with the first squeak of the reed, only returning cautiously when I've long finished. Her taste is terrible anyway, so I'm not taking this as a bad sign.

However, I shan't be offended if, in search of blogging oboists, you follow your ears elsewhere - say here, to someone who actually does all this properly, for example.

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