Tuesday, December 28

wimpy [ weather cane mouth | reeds ]

For those of you who have done Linear Algebra, the part on matrices, you’ll recognize the equation:
wimpy weather + wimpy cane + wimpy (tired out) mouth =  wimpy reeds….
By wimpy reeds, in this context, I also mean wimpy sound!Agressif

Many of you in the U.S.A. are experiencing weather that we, in Eastern Canada, take for granted: lots of snow and dry-cold weather. Well, over here, the weather is about as expected (between
–5 and –15°C…. sorry, I don’t do Farenheit). But that doesn’t really matter as the heating in the house keeps it at a comfortable 19°C. What is the killer, for the sound, is that the humidity in the house has been dipping below 28%…… in the summer, it goes as high as 93%, before we turn on the air conditioning, then it stabilizes at 55%.


My reeds that were playing soooooo nicely a month ago just went wimpy last week, with undependable stability. For the past few days, the sound that was sooooo mellow a few weeks ago just turned to into a buzzaphone!

One thing I have noticed regardless of the weather, though, is that when my lips get tired, I tend to bite instead of support with my gut and the sound goes (relatively) sour. Relatively, because a reed that played warmly and darkly will still do so, but will add a definite buzz to it.

Ah well, I guess I’d better leave the repertoire alone for awhile and just concentrate on long tones!Clignement d'œil Also, we can expect worse in terms of humidity with the temperatures falling to –30°C in late January and Februrary, so I’d best work on the power humidifier a bit!


Georgia Dowgert said...

hey there. I always hate it when the weather messes with my reeds. I'm from northern CA and we've been having a strange winter. One day it's warm and sunny and the next it's dropped about 10 degrees and is wet and rainy. My reeds collapse and just refuse to make a good sound. uhg... so annoying.

I've recently started a blog myself. It's mostly about me making my journey through life with the goal of becoming a professional musician. Once my tone becomes a little better I'm going to post recording of myself online to (hopefully) get feedback. I've also made a few youtube videos about me (trying) to make reeds. I only got my knife + tools a few months ago, but I've gotten to the point where I can get a (out of tune) reed to vibrate and play a few bars.

This is probably the longest comment you've had...

Anyway, if you are willing to share emails I would really like to stay in touch. I think we have a good amount in common. (or maybe the pressure from playing is getting to my head)

I look forward to reading more of your blog. Happy Holidays!


RobinDesHautbois said...

Please, your blog address is on your name so I'll sign-up for e-mail notification.

But please also share your thoughts on the OboeBBoard.... its surprizing how many people participate and seem to enjoy it: from the stictest amateur to parents of starting students, to oboe MAKERS, to thriving pros.

I'll be putting links, on this blog, to the BBoard threads that "debated" reed making.

Cheers and best of luck!