19 December 2011

They tried to make go to rehab, but I said, "No, no, no"

I've gotten back into the bassoon scene just about a year now, maybe a little more. Did I ever say how much I missed it? I LOVE it! I have missed the challenge of playing, of establishing chops (more on that and bad practicing habits later!), playing in an ensemble, and the grand rarity of the bassoon.

Oh, what's that? A bassoon? Never mind, just watch this from the 2:10 mark. What you hear, that "poh-poh-poh-poh" sound, is the bassoon. 

Okay, hmm, I can see that really isn't helping you. Well. Okay. This then:


Yes, that's me on the right. The cool guy on the left is Frank Morelli. Or at least what Google photo captions said he was. I still have to do research on him, but I'm sure he's a pretty fabulous bassoon player. He had is own bassoon bio and everything. ON his OWN domain. Pretty spiffy. Oh never mind. (There is absolutely no connection point between Mr. Morelli and me, only that I happened to pick up the same instrument he did, and he has probably been playing since before I was filling my diapers.)

Thanks to my experience in Quebec and my ability to find a bassoon to play here, the ginormous gap in my bassoon-playing experience (talking university days and the last year and a half) is closing. One little fact I realized, after much self-deprecation and ridiculously low confidence levels, is that WHOA HOA I can really play. I'm not just saying I could. I have produced, ese. Veni, vidi, vici. Yo.

THAT comes from years of lowering my standards and musical expectations, another story for another day, but yet another realization that it was, indeed, truly happening as I suspected and not... as I was incredulously starting to feel---fundamentally bat shit crazy.

See, not only is that me playing after a 12-year hiatus, yadda yadda, but that is me scoring an invitation to play with the youth orchestra at a conservatoire of outstanding musicians. Stellar musicians. All because I was able to acquire a bassoon, start working up (albeit piss-poorly) my chops and an audition, plus score some play time with the local city band.

I mean, seriously! It's not like I'm even this outstanding musician or bassoonist! But because I have stuck with it, because it's important to me, and because I just got sick and tired of this roladex of random people in my brain (over and along the course of I don't how many years now) repeating their negative thoughts in my brain, it has worked out. This is as life-altering for me as it is a relief to be doing what I have always wanted to do. That is, be a musician because I damn well want to (and no other reason) and just getting absolutely full-to-the-gullet tired of putting everything in a negative light. I had just let so many opinions affect me and was just so used to being negative that even when I wasn't being negative, it still oozed in between the words and my reactions. Ugh! I really saw the manifestation of that last year when I noticed that "look" on my professor's face, like I've seen elsewhere in my life: the look of, 'lady, you really are being unrealistic with yourself and your ability.' The kind of look that hits home. With just a hint of exasperation teamed up with a good dose of empathy, it almost makes you want to feel sorry for yourself, seeing what she (or he) sees---a super insecure person.

Which made me wonder where did that beast come from?

At any rate, music has healed me. And now, I am recognized in one form or another as a bassoon player. The most important part? Getting to know the people who have guided me to this point, in music and in life. Getting to know other bassoon players. Getting to maximize the sharing of what is a talent. The teachers I have studied with (Sara, Paskale), the blogs I have found (the principle bassoonist in the Columbus Ohio Symphony writes a great one!), being asked by someone younger for my advice, applying all that I have learned makes me so excited to dive back into a world I was compelled to forget. Just makes me remember that I do have experience, that I am experienced, and that oh yeah, I got this.

Be sure to check out:

And this Dave Brubeck classic transcribed for bassoon: