Friday, March 11

Wave for the camera!

JapanFirstly, a moment of reflection on the tragedy in Japan....
…our thoughts, prayers and encouragements are with you!

1st (Re)Appearance on “Stage”

The previous You-Tube videos were to prove to myself that I am still capable of playing half decently. But all that playing with the microphones could let one wonder if I was really playing or did I do a bunch of software tweaking. So I finally got myself a web-cam for real You-Tube performances. When I tested it... well..... I'm not sure I want to show myself on You-Tube!!! Tire la langue

Music dances, but should the musicians?

In an Oboe BBoard thread, we had been discussing how ridiculous some oboists look by waving their bodies and flapping their arms while playing. Well you know what?  The opposite is not much better! Looking at the first web-cam video of myself, I was dismayed at sounding fine but looking like a telephone post! .... really boring!
I won’t name oboists who crack me up with their waving because the sound and feeling coming out of their instruments (well, some of them) is simply fantastic. I may not like to look at them, but I sure love to listen to them! So instead, lets see those I find have the right balance between waving and stiffness. For example:
Then I thought: "Wait a minute, when I just meditate on the piece and hum to myself, my arms, shoulders and whole body sways with the music. Surely I can do this while playing the oboe too”.
In fact, as a conductor, my choir signers and orchestra players used to like my movements because they were technically meaningful and expressive of the musical character. But it seems that when I try that on the oboe, I just get distracted and forget what I'm playing:
Many of you will be surprized to read this from me, but I also believe the perfect balance of movement while playing is in Heinz Holliger!
I know I'm repeating myself, but for me, the ideal performance is Albrecht Mayer.
And in preparation for #BachChat, here's a real treat:

Next Hobbyist Video:

So for #BachChat I'll put the recording of one Bach movement only when I get the hang of looking decent for the camera!


Anna McNonymous said...

I was a little distressed to see Carlo Romano doing things with his hands that I have been strictly enjoined by my teacher NOT to do!

On the bright side, I have that album of Albrecht Mayer. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

RobinDesHautbois said...

Don't worry about it: pros of all descriptions do things we are told not to. They've been through it all and are now able to depart from the basics. Do what your teacher says because he's making sure you don't develop bad habits: just be sure whatever you do, you're not adding strain anywhere in your body. I don't know your playing level, but eventually you'll be able to "just let go".

Paulo S. said...

I agree with you, Robin. We learn the basics with our teachers (colleagues, professionals, friends,...) so that we avoid bad habits and start "flying" on our own. Once we have some experience, we start developing our own voice, and it is this voice that makes a difference for a player. Many times, it comes with some degree of body waving and arms flapping, which in my opinion is completely fine (the stiff players make me a little uncomfortable...). In any case, the development one's voice comes in two stages: from the personal assimilation and synthesis of all of the information accumulated over time, and from the creation and expression of the voice (that in many cases, happens almost naturally).

After many years without playing my oboe, now that I'm back, I'm trying to find, or better, re-create my voice. I just haven't found the courage to record myself and post it on my blog like you are doing, Robin. One day my sound will be online too. So, keep up with your great postings!

RobinDesHautbois said...

Paulo, VERY well said!
I think lots of the "stiffness" in my own web-cam experiments, as well as with some international soloists on You-Tube happens naturally as the result of reading the music sheets! The eyes of the most wavy players are not stuck on the stand. Then again, violins, celli and even the piano encourage more body movement whereas woodwind players must converge on a literal axis.

Hey Paulo, don't tarry to long putting up your first video, you'll actually find it very liberating!

Paulo S. said...

Thanks for your comment, Robin. I'll take a deep breath and record something. Speaking about oboists "dancing," check this video out:

I didn't know this oboist, I just came across him today. Alexei Ogrintchouk is first solo oboist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. After watching the video above, I thought that he was a very good oboist, then I watched another video of him playing Bach:

In my opinion, he has a beautiful sound and all of the notes are very consistent in their sonority. I will definitely keep an eye on him (and two very attentive eyes and ears on Albrecht Meyer...).

RobinDesHautbois said...

A Russian/Sweedish Albrecht Mayer? Not quite the sound, but a really similar career!

Hey I'm looking forward to that vid. of yours. Windows Live Essentials (MovieMaker) was really useful to put a slideshow over the sound recording made with something else.