Local Bocal May 2020
An update of local Double Reed events & news in SA from the ADRSSA.
Dear Double Reeders,
What a peculiar situation we find ourselves in. Obviously, all our musical plans have come to naught but, rest assured, as soon as things get back to “normal” your Committee will be working to organise as many playing opportunities for us as possible.
It has been very heartening to see that even though most musicians have been cruelly thwarted there is a massive amount of formal and informal playing going on via social media, live streaming, Zooming and other devilishly clever feats of technology. Who knew a single bassoonist or oboist could play all the parts of a Beethoven symphony at the same time? Why not take advantage of the many offers to participate in on-line lessons from world-class players or take part in large group playing? Please let us know what activities you have engaged in.
I hope you are supporting musicians everywhere by subscribing to live streaming of concerts. It is great but strange to watch a concert on a screen in one’s own home, with all the comforts of home and no other discernible audience, but I know some would prefer to be at the concert in the flesh and with any luck, and plenty of skill that will happen again sometime in the future. I know many of us are disappointed that our usual community and professional groups have been in recess and are longing for the call back to rehearsals.
Luckily, we sneaked in our annual Quiznic on 23rd February. Thanks to our hosts, Josie(also Quizmistress) and Tom Hawkes and all who attended. As a fundraiser, it was very successful which is good as it seems there will be very little chance that we will manage to break even on other events this year. Please let us know if there are any activities you would like to see us organise. We are sure there is plenty of room for socially distancing musical get-togethers if there are any of you out there with the expertise. Let us know if you have any suggestions.
On a sad note, we are letting you know that one of our most dedicated members has died recently. Lynette Whellan was an ADRSSA Committee member for some years and attended very many of our events always participating readily and so beautifully until she became too unwell in the last couple of years. She had been a professional player in Victoria before coming to SA where she played for many years in the Burnside Symphony Orchestra and many other groups including the Arbor and Gazebo Wind Quintets. She will be sadly missed.
Here are some comments on what your Committee has been up to lately! In case you think I’ve been sitting on my hands, I smashed my elbow in February and had to have a replacement joint, so in effect went into lockdown 3 weeks before the rest of the world. Am taking baby steps towards getting back to playing.
My bassoon teaching and playing world has certainly been turned upside down in recent months and although I largely escaped the need to teach bassoon online, there have been a few challenges relating to handling, adjusting and testing reeds when teaching face-to-face!
Some of my students have been handed tools and attempted to make their own adjustments under instruction, but where that hasn't been practical I have taken to making adjustments wearing surgical gloves and then discarding then inside out, wiping tools over with miniature alcohol wipes after each use and testing out the specialised sprays that are on the market to sanitise reeds. They claim to be anti-bacterial and to kill many viruses but I’m not sure about the efficacy in the face of Covid19!
In this playing vacuum we have found ourselves in I have started some basic multi-track recording using Mixcraft7 software (the PC equivalent of GarageBand for Mac computers).
I’ve invested in a good USB microphone and had a go at playing trios and duets with myself - eventually, I’ll have a series of music-minus-one mp3s that can be emailed to my students to practise with at home.
If it isn’t bad enough listening to yourself playing one part, multiply it by three …. though I have to confess it is rather fun trying to match your own articulation and phrasing. Another way to enjoy playing with a ‘virtual’ group is to look online for Music-Minus-One Wind Quintets and other ensembles. You can purchase some excellent resources to play along with. If all else fails, practise your orchestral or band pieces with a recording of the work or the specific arrangement from the publisher’s website – it’s amazing what is out there and you’ll be really well prepared when rehearsals appear on the horizon again!
Hopefully we’ll be able to start returning to small chamber rehearsals soon, but whatever you do, find a way to keep playing along with recordings or with a friend for duets and have some fun!
Josie Hawkes OAM
Vale, dear Lynette Whellan. Her cheerful presence, perseverance, strength and yet and gentle musicianship will be missed.
Thanks to Caryl for the livestream shout out. It’s a very tough time for the Arts and yet, sadly, I think this is the time we most need to have music events. One of my (online) pupils’ mums said ‘People are yearning for live music events….’ I’ve been zoom teaching pupils both about 500 miles out of Brisbane and Perth respectively, so we are still reaching some people and there seems to be a lot of music practice going on around the world. After a year flying around, I have been at home in 2020 like all of us, and now enjoying re-creating Artaria into a Charity recording company/arts organisation. Watch this space for exciting news!
I was awarded a Fellowship by Arts SA (Congratulations, Celia, Ed) ‘Exploring New Artistic Directions’ and with a year as Resident Artist National Trust SA, I began the Fellowship by creating a bushfire response video for Kangaroo Island with Konstantin Shamray and amazing film and movie contacts (thanks to this pesky virus closing many film shoots… people were available who would normally be booked up…) which is raising money for the State Emergency Relief Fund. You can see it here , Rachmaninov Vocalise with Konstantin Shamray and me, from an upcoming album we will release later this year.
With thanks to the Angas family and NTSA, I’m spending a week in Residence at Collingrove Homestead, from which more National Trust events will emerge, gradually as social distancing allows. Some of these will be video/digital, some enabled through my Digital Artist Platform campaign now in its last two days (and ironically, drafted before the shutdown!!)
Best wishes to all music lovers and colleagues out there- it’s a tough time we are living in- now have fond memories of ADRS Quiznic: seems a lifetime ago, in another world! Hope to see you soon,
Cheers, Celia Craig
We’d love to hear how you’ve all been doing music-wise over the last few months and about any plans you have for future (not too far away, we hope) music making. Email me and we’ll publish your comments.
Best wishes, Caryl Lambourn and ADRSSA Committee