For those wondering what the suggested approach is to the Oboe Brilliance music - pedagogy and repertoire both, here it is:
There are technical and artistic aspects of approaching the music. The technical liberates the artistic ability. Technique serves the muse.
Simply put, and at the very least, approach the music as if it is a pas de deux between eternal time and linear time, sound and silence, self and Self, instrumentalist and composer, conscious self with unconscious self...
1) Observe dynamic markings for maximum artistic wind sculpting of phrases where marked, and create your own dynamics where artistic interpretation is left to the individual. Focus on wind sculpting finesse. Be elegant.
2) Even where freely is written for tempo or interpretation, honor rhythmic ratio. Make no mistake, a half note - for example - is double the length of time of a quarter note. Freely doesn't mean change the rhythm, it means be free to feel where the beat rests rather than be imprisoned to a metronome.
3) Articulate - don't mumble! One of the most remarkable aspects of the oboe is the double reeds' ability to articulate. Honoring this is strongly encouraged.
4) Phrase and use diaphragmatic support always. ALWAYS! Diaphragmatic support is the beating heart of wind playing: boom boom. Keep the blood flowing. : )
Artistically: It helps to become more conscious of the invisible aspects and ingredients of music and it's creation to aid in your recreation and self awareness.
For right now at least, Oboe Brilliance is limited to my music, (the music composed by founder Kathryn Potter). Hopefully someday in it's maturity, it will include many other composers over time (generations I hope!!!) who have graduated from the school of Oboe Brilliance and are recognized within it's repertoire.
In general, when approaching the work of any composer, it helps (from the Oboe Brilliance point of view) to ask the following questions:
1) What kind of treatment does the composer give harmony, rhythm, melody? How is the music organized and why? In other words - what is the % or predominance of those considerations? Pay attention and be mindful/sensitive/conscious use to those three components. Keep in mind that rhythm also includes how to move in and through time. Discern if one needs to be patient, floating, impatient, happy go lucky, or eternal ...etc. in approach. Keep in mind different composers, cultures, eras, phases within a composer's life have certain ways of relating to, with and within time.
2) What % of the music is mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, social, philosophical, in either your mind and/or the composer's mind? Know or simply imagine the ingredients of said list involved.
3) What is the conscious purpose (if any) of the piece?
4) What is the motivation behind the piece?
5) What are the composer's philosophical and artistic views of the piece?
6) Know which chakras are predominant employed in the overall artistic purpose of expression? (a subject which I need to write in depth within the Oboe Brilliance pedagogy and repertoire) To give a brief idea, a piece about personal/social/tribal identity, struggle or conflict, celebration would have strong first/root chakra aspects, whereas a deeply romantic work would have predominantly 4th/heart chakra aspects, whereas a work of spiritual reverence would have strong 7th/crown chakra aspects....
Since right now, it is only my (Potter) compositions comprised of Oboe Brilliance, here is my artistic advice:
1) If you're an atheist, (you know who you are) courageously exercise the willing suspension of disbelief and pretend that when you play each note, you are turning over a rock in which a muse might whisper into your heart the ultimate question which will permanently change the quality of your emotional life via your intellectual inquiry, into something higher and deeper in a fulfilling way for yourself, and if applicable, your audience, and therefor (hopefully) increase the quality of your life or/and social living.
2) If you're an agnostic, courageously pretend you are a mermaid swimming into the higher deeper sea of the muse and explore every phrase for a hidden treasure chest in which you'll find a pair of wings. Play as if you're listening to what the notes are trying to tell you. Play the music as if you're hearing it in a dream which you will pay attention well enough so that you will then paint upon awakening. Express the curiosity. In other words, enter the river with a spirit of curiosity and wonder. Be an explorer. Open your inner ears. Listen with all your senses.
3) If you're a lover of the mystery of the creative force of nature and believe in an omniscient consciousness that connects all of eternal and linear time, then put one foot in the eternal, one in the linear, open your crown chakra to the holy spirit, and worship with each note. Swim in the current and pay attention with curiosity as to where it takes you. Align personal will with WILL. Honor the microcosm in the macrocosm. Be the drop of ocean in the comprehensive ocean.
4) If you have no idea, breathe deeply, listen deeply, do everything with love and enjoy the journey.
Ultimately, pick and choose how much or little you will pay attention to the above list.
Know at least why and how you are involved with the work. Be aware that this is about relationship. At the very least, your relationship with music! Your relationship with music is a pas de deux. What are the ingredients, and what is the dance?
To the dance!
To the pas de deux.