Well, my preference would be to start playing with some ensemble, preferably chamber music. But I don’t know a whole lot of people right now with whom I can play – and not many people can introduce me to musicians seeking oboes right now. But – TA-DA! – You-Tube is out there where people are posting themselves left and right! Hey, maybe there’s some potential there for me?
Why play in public?
That’s an excellent question because I really don’t have an answer. Of course, some psychologists would argue that I need to be heard because of some childhood trauma or for some narcissistic need to expose myself… yyeeaaaahhh NO!
But some time ago, Hannah’s Oboes was selling a really special (and expensive) Oboe d’Amore and I was rather disappointed when someone else bought it (sigh!). I told her that I was glad it was sold to someone who would play it in concert: such a special instrument deserves to be heard.
THAT’s why I want to play in public. I don’t think I’m so great or anything, but I believe the oboe is an amazing instrument, music speaks directly to the soul and people need – especially in these parts – to share in its spirit. MP3s, streaming radio and CDs will just never compare with even a mediocre live performance: there is a connection that occurs. Of course all artists need to express themselves, and expression needs an audience, but its the shared experience that matters.
The stage still lures me strongly, in part because I want to make-up for some failings and in part because I live in denial that I have ever left it. In my soul, I "hear" the sound that I want, the character that the music should have, the voice that should be expressed when I play. Although it is very aggravating to miss the mark when I take my instrument and listen to myself in a recording, I cannot stop aiming for that voice, that character, that soul.
Now, what to play?
I have always been wild about the baroque, finding it easier than the post-impressionist or contemporary repertoire most players in my circles would usually prefer; they thought baroque was harder. But surprize, surprize, it seems now that the other way around is happening! It might be that, since the summer, I’ve been concentrating on sound so much that this is now best reflected by the likes of Debussy and some lesser known ones. At any rate, I have to limit myself to the one MMO CD I have and a few MIDI files: my “ensemble” will either be the CD or my Digital Piano played by the virtuoso Hewlett Packard (though less impressive than Angela Hewitt!!!). I’ll keep playing around and see what comes out well on my recordings.