3 New works coming soon in 2018....

Dear Ones,

I'm happy to announce that in Spring of 2018, 3 new works will become available:
1) Oboe 4tet # 2 "Flying with Ravens into the Sun";
The second in the 4 oboe quartet series based on the poem "Flying with Ravens into the Night", the title of the first oboe 4tet.
2) 12 short, tight and tonal, two voice melodies designed for oboe and bassoon (etc.) or piano - and written out for piano - "The Mother & Son Mask Project". Each mask and duet depicts the gist of each month of the year as my son and I interpreted them the year we collaborated to create this first mask project collaboration. Each colorful mask is is 2D and an option to have digital projections available for dance performance or in background to accompany performance will become available too...
3) "Dreams of the Black Swan" a long and mysterious trio for flute, oboe and bassoon designed in 13 dream fragments. 

Stay tuned and happy oboe playing/listening!

Musically yours,
Kathryn

Oboe Brilliance 7th anniversary PARTY on Facebook

Dear Guests,

You're invited from Saturday November 4th - Saturday November 11, to celebrate the 7th anniversary of Oboe Brilliance on Facebook on the Oboe Brilliance Facebook page.

Feel free to stop by and say happy birthday, introduce yourself with a photo and/or of a video squeaking an oboe reed, or playing an excerpt from any Oboe Brilliance pedagogy or repertoire.

Feel free to express support of anyone participating.

ALL oboists, ALL ages, ALL playing levels,  ALL schools of thought are welcome at the Oboe Brilliance table. There is room and love for everyone. NO exceptions. No matter how well you do or may some day play the oboe, as long as you play the oboe you are a member of the Oboe Brilliance family simply by playing something in the pedagogy or repertoire and/or employing some of the philosophies and/or teaching practices into your oboe playing life. Oboists who play with the heart and/or music of Oboe Brilliance are what makes Oboe Brilliance SING. YOU ARE IT. 

People who support Oboe Brilliance in their own special and wonderful way other than playing the oboe themselves are equally important in making Oboe Brilliance a reality. THANK YOU and please know you are equally loved and welcome. You know who you are. From my point of view, you are life a good reed ! HONK HONK to you! xoxo

Instead of serving food and drink to my guests, I will be offering some specials:
Limited SKYPE coaching specials
(Normally $50 per hour, just $15 per half hour if ordered during anniversary week, and I plan on making this a tradition.)
Limited COMMISSION specials (maybe only for this year?)
(see Commission page Muse's Wish List)
Limited gifts of MUSIC.
(Oboists or Oboe studios who post a link of a YouTube - or video of a rehearsal and/or performance of Oboe Brilliance pedagogy or repertoire, and who provide me with their contact information, will receive appropriate music as a gift in kind, for participating in the anniversary party!)

Happy Oboe Playing!
Kathryn
 

Gratitude and flowers!

Dear Guests,

November 4th 2017 marks the 7th anniversary of Oboe Brilliance. Today as I write this (on November 3rd 2017) I take a moment to reflect and articulate gratitude for what has inspired me and motivated me. Simply put in addition to the beauty of nature expressed in flowers, OBOISTS who have shown me kindness and moral support for Oboe Brilliance have been a motivating source of inspiration as well.

100 Flower Series: Early on in Oboe Brilliance, I had an idea for a project to compose 100 sonic portraits of flowers for oboists around the world to enjoy, however, when it came time to make a list of 100 different varieties of flowers, I didn't know as many as 100 different varieties! I asked oboist I knew on Facebook for suggestions. Oboists around the globe offered help and suggestions in various ways in aid of this project. Indeed "Together we DO live in a world of flowers!"

With the exception of only one oboist, (who has also been kind to me) all the names of the oboists who I dedicated a flower in the 100 Flower Series, either asked specifically for that flower (true in most cases), offered flower suggestions OR said I could choose a flower for them for those offering moral support in other ways. Anyone who has a book from the 100 flower series will see that there are many oboists named! 

I am deeply grateful to the oboists who have taken the time to play the flowers at home for their own enjoyment and let me know about it.  At home, personal enjoyment of oboe playing for life long enrichment celebrating life and the oboe is the heart of what Oboe Brilliance is all about, and it is that feedback which gives me a good shot in the arm to keep going.

Thank you also, for the oboists who have shared these flowers with their students and communities.

Extra special thank you to oboists who have performed some of these flowers in large public events and especially to Marika Lombardi, Enrico Calcagni, Robin Tropper, and Elena Troncone for sharing these flowers via recordings with me and others. You are the "wind beneath my wings" . xoxo

Standing offer, any oboist for whom a flower is composed, is welcome to a gratuity SKYPE coaching for ANY flower in the series.

Skype sessions are professionally available for any oboist world wide for flower or any other Oboe Brilliance music coaching. Just email me to set up a  SKYPE coaching appointment.

Happy oboe playing!
Kathryn

P.S. (Feel fee to email me to inquire which book in the flower series might be best for your own home playing and/or for your oboe studio.)

 

Artistic responsibility

Dear Guests,

Simply put, what is created out of love, courage and adoration will bring joy.
What is created out of fear, domination and hatred will bring sorrow. Oboe Brilliance is devoted to increasing the level of JOY in the universe via musical creation, musical expression through the art of oboe playing. Therefor, works composed, lessons taught and concerts performed in accordance to Oboe Brilliance philosophy are acts of love, courage, and adoration. Mind you, within all of that, we can appreciate all the colors, all the emotions with respect. Sometimes works of heart splitting sorrow can ironically bring tremendous relief, shared humility, shared compassion and tremendous joy even in bittersweet ways.

As always, to the dance!
Kathryn

Oboe Brilliance performance practice

Dear Guests,

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...

Technically:
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.

Peace, Kathryn
 

The first book and overview/purpose to the Oboe Brilliance philosophies

Dear Guests and to whom it may concern,

"In Adoration of the Earth" is the title for the 1st of 8 books published and available at this time.
It is comprised of 12 progressive études for solo oboe and is designed to be suitable for an overall warm up to cover the pertinent bases of oboe playing including some techniques such as harmonics, multi phonics, quarter tones, and the comprehensive vocal range of the oboe in about 20+  minutes. (I think of it like a morning sun salutation or overall work out.)

Several études in the book were works which I composed specifically for different individual oboe students to help meet their needs at that time in their life. Others were created to provide etudes to introduce techniques such as multi phonics or quarter tones in a simple, dauntless way in general, just to have a book of that on hand.

Each work is a sonic portrait of an animal and can be used as a way to develop imagination, artistry and empathy. May this book and all books aid in helping each musician find and express his/her own unique musical voice.

This book introduces the building blocks of the Oboe Brilliance philosophies which are simply put that:
1) Time and eternity are two sides of the same coin which music bridges.
2) Invisible eternal love and organic life manifest are two sides of the same coin which musicians can deliberately honor and cherish through conscious expression.

The keystone philosophy of Oboe Brilliance is that the ultimate purpose of art is to increase the ability to love. Art is an integration of heart and mind which music gives voice. Joy is increasing consciousness through gratitude and integrity.

Keeping in mind that just like the oboe is one instrument in the orchestra, just like a galaxy is one drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of life, I think of each oboist or person is like a flower in the garden of life and it is each and every human's personal responsibility to bloom and be the unique expression she or he is destined to be - how ever remote, unrecognized by others or celebrated by a few that person may be. The way I see it and think of it, this work is about knowing and becoming thyself/Thyself  and It is my hope that the philosophical teachings, oboe pedagogy and repertoire of Oboe Brilliance will aid many oboists in that purpose for now and generations to come, not just me and my dear students. The 100 Flower Series grew in part, out of that analogy of oboists, individual people being like a flower and blooming, as representatives of knowing thyself/Thyself.

The purpose/mission of Oboe Brilliance is to increase the level of JOY in the universe through life long oboe playing. I believe it is through knowing thyself, respecting and rejoicing in life with expression, community and compassionate art, joy is increased.

Oboe Brilliance exists in order for me to honor a promise - a charge -  my mentor asked (insisted) me to make to her, shortly before she died. This promise is congruent with what I believe to be my life purpose, so, it's all good.

I hope you will get as much as you can and choose to out of these works and Oboe Brilliance. Feel free to ask me any questions, let me know what you think the oboe pedagogy and repertoire need, what you might want and last but not least, any and all support to make this endeavor more successful is certainly welcome.

On November 4th, 2017, Oboe Brilliance celebrates it's 7th birthday.
Thanks to all who've been supportive along the way (you know who you are) and I hope it's a good beginning with decades ahead of even better, more fruitful years of evolution.

May your oboe playing be a joyful journey.
In devotion,
K.J.P.
October 26th, 2017


 

Summer fun skill builder August 30th, 2017

Dear Oboists, IMAGINE what you wish to create before you create it, to take your oboe playing higher. Hear the note, phrase, piece in your head before you actually play it with the oboe.

This skill of imagine first, play next, can be developed.

If necessary, play a note first, then imagine it, then play it.
" " phrase,..."" piece.


 Imagine as much detail as you ultimately wish, in the sounds and expression you wish to create.

Enjoy! 
K.J.P.

Improving phrasing

Dear Oboists, PHRASE even better to take your oboe playing to higher heights and deeper depths.
Here are a few ways to do that:
Technical practice.
1) Play the entire phrase, all slurred and on one breath ff.
2) " " pp
3) Play the first note of the phrase mf and hold it out in a long tone while you hear the entire phrase in your head imagining it exactly as you would ultimately want to hear it performed.
4) SING the phrase as you would want to hear it performed.
5) PLAY the phrase " "
6) Play only the highest and the lowest notes of the phrase.
7) Play only the tonic and dominant notes of the phrase.
8) Play only the mediant and submediant notes in the phrase.
9) Play the phrase 4X in a row each time as if a different character with a different psychological disposition were singing it.
10) Play the phrase using all the wrong articulation and dynamics.
11) Play the phrase correctly!!
12) Imagine the phrase as if it were a sound track for different atmospheres.
13) Pretend you are playing the phrase with an oboe made out of gold,
repeat " " silver
repeat " " crystal
repeat " " bone
repeat etc....
14) Play the phrase so that the antecedent is p and the consequence is mf.
repeat this pattern using different dynamics and/or as if 2 characters were in conversation.
NOW
Using these above approaches, have fun taking a movement, then entire work of repertoire up a notch or two.
Be musical, listen to your heart and HAVE FUN.

Musically yours,
Kathryn J. Potter

Summer playing enrichment - SING

Dear Oboists,

SING to take your oboe playing to higher heights and deeper depths. If you don't already do this. If you do - then do it more!!! or just appreciate the reminder :

Sing a note - then play it on the oboe. repeat x times
Sing two notes " "                                    " "
Sing three ....  " "

Sing a scale - then play it - sing/play/sing/play
" " another scale ...."
Sing a phrase of a piece you are playing - the play it...sing/play/sing/play
Sing the entire movement....entire work - as best you can....sing/play/sing/play

Stretch the embouchure endurance by playing a phrase, singing the next one - then "leap frog" singing/playing your way through the work.

You can start out with humming if you're shy or need to warm up your vocal chords.
If you are a teacher - then SING WITH YOUR STUDENT - or play your oboe while your student sings or SING while your student plays. Be encouraging!

INDEED - get yourself comfy with singing and sing regularly as a part of your own private oboe playing practice. It will take you higher musically. It will improve your playing and relationship with music. It might also increase your appreciation of the instrument.

Remember - the oboe reed is a set of substitute vocal chords. Substitute vocal chords are an extension of yourself. SING through your oboe. The oboe is an extension of your body.

Best wishes for fulfilling and musical oboe playing<
Kathryn Potter
August 17, 2017

Oboe Playing enrichment ideas August 9, 2017

Dear Oboists,

Hello and welcome. In this blog, I'll share with you some ideas you are welcome to use to add to your private oboe playing - or other instrumental playing.

Warm ups:
While the reed soaks - practice the 5 step focus (see prior blogs in Oboe Brilliance)

Warm up: Echo half notes.
Play a low note 2 seconds forte, rest 2 seconds, repeat note 2 seconds piano.
(repeat pattern with increasing lengths of time as you wish)

Technical elegance: Crescendo 8th notes
Select one pitch, starting piano, play repeating 8th notes as you gradually crescendo to forté
 (repeat using another pitch..."" repeat exercise as many times as you wish)

Pentatonic improvisation.
Select 5 pitches and improvise playing only those 5 pitches. Feel free to think of each pitch as a color and decide to create a sonic portrait of the idea of your choice using those 5 colors.

Repertoire polishing:
Select a movement from the repertoire, and play each measure 4X in a row, each time with a different dynamic level. Feel free to breathe and rest in between each new measure as needed but strive to play the repeated measure on one breath.

Rhythm study: using any notes of your choice repeat the following rhythmic pattern:
1/2 note, triplet, dotted half note

ENJOY!
Kathryn J. POTTER

P.S. (SKYPE lessons available with prepaid appointment.)

Summer fun/enrichment ideas August 2, 2017

Dear Oboists,

Welcome! Hope you're enjoying your summer oboe playing ( OK, or Winter if you're South of the Equator!)

This week's ideas for your musical enrichment are:

Warm up: Starting on lowest D play the following scale sequence ascending, then retrograde descending: D, E, F#, G, A, Bb, C#, D

Next, if possible, with a D and A drone (pitches consistently generated - via tuners which sound pitches, or drone machines... etc.) improvise on this scale.

Echo intervals:
Play an interval of a Perfect 5th ascending forte (loudly), then repeat piano (softly)
(Ex. tonic to dominant in a Major or Minor scale. Tonic is the first degree or note of a scale and the dominant is the 5th note. So, in the D Major scale, D is tonic as it is the first degree or note of the scale, and A is dominant as it is the fifth note or degree of the scale.)

Repertoire:
Select a movement and or entire work from the oboe repertoire and pay special attention to every Perfect 5th in the melody, ascending or descending. Be hyper aware of the dynamic level of the two pitches and emotional tone this interval creates within you.

ENJOY!
Musically yours,
Kathryn Potter
 

 


 

Summer oboe playing fun July 26, 2017

Dear Oboists,

Welcome back to summer fun oboe blogs. Here I offer some ideas each week to incorporate into your summer oboe playing.

Warm ups:
1) Play low note long tones bordering on uncomfortably pushing your endurance.
2) Play a low note for only 10 seconds, then slur up one octave for 10 seconds, then back down the octave for 10 seconds. 
3) Play a low note for only 10 seconds, then slur up one octave for 10 seconds, then slur up another octave for 10 seconds. REPEAT with another note.
(variation - do the above exercise rapidly repeating each note on one breath)

Intervals:
Play a note, slur up or down a Major or minor 3rd
then slur up or down an octave
slur up or down a Major or minor 3rd
Keep pattern going on one breath as long as you care to do so

Repertoire:
Pick one movement of an old favorite work in the oboe repertoire that you can play well, or have played well in the past. Play it once or twice each evening - or preferred time of day, for a week. Express yourself differently each time you play it. Imaging a different person you know singing it. and play the movement as you would imagine how they'd sing it. Keep honest to the page.

Imagine and improvise:
A flower of your choice. You can choose to portray the appearance of the flower with sound, or you can imagine the life experience of the flower and portray the flower in keeping to the flower's unique reality. In other words, portray the flower objectively or imagine you have become the flower and sing it's being.

Best wishes for enjoyable oboe playing.
Musically yours,
K.J.P.

Summer fun ideas July 19, 2017

Dear Guests,

Hello and welcome to the Oboe Brilliance blog which today offers a few ideas to toss into your present summer practice.

Meditation:

While your reed soaks, I invite you to practice the 5 step focus.

Step 1) Sit in a manor perfect for yourself to meditate and with eyes closed, focus your attention on your breathing and posture. Notice what you can about your breathing. Just observe.
Step 2) Continue step one and add to your attention, all you can hear.
Step 3) Continue step two and add to your awareness all you can smell. Also, at this time, deliberately deepen and slow down your breathing while you also deliberately relax muscles where necessary while improving posture.
Step 4) Continue step three and add to your awareness a specific focus of your choice. For example, you may choose to pay extra attention to the quality of air - hot, cold, dry, humid etc...
Step 5) Continue step four, but with fingertips together (thumb to thumb, pinky to pinky etc.) and open your eyes.

Each step can be practiced for any desired length of time. I suggest 30 to 90 seconds approximately - without aid of timers or counting for best results - for the duration of reed soaking.
 (Note to teachers, I have found doing this at the start of each lesson enables the student to retain more of the lesson, learn more, feel more relaxed and feel emotionally more alive and open.
It also enhances the student/teacher rapport. Either the teacher OR the student can lead the 5 step focus. If both the teacher and the student want to lead the focus, I suggest flipping a coin. If neither - don't do it.)

Warm up:

Play a succession of 6 notes of your choice, how you choose. Repeat as identically as you can.
Repeat assignment with 6 a new pattern.
repeat pattern as desired

Repertoire practice:

Select one movement from your repertoire. Play it through start to finish non stop deliberately with only one select articulation and one dynamic level. Repeat 3 more time using a different articulation dynamic combination.

Enjoy your oboe playing!
Best regards,
Kathryn Potter

P.S. (International Skype lessons available to oboists or oboe teachers who are studying the Oboe Brilliance work. Request appointment.)

 


 

Summer Fun study ideas July 12, 2017

Dear Oboists,

This summer, 2017, I'm blogging once a week to share some ideas to toss into one's oboe playing.

1) Warm up:
Start with one pitch. Play it a lot in as many ways as you can. Push yourself. Get creative. What can you do with just one pitch? Be daring, without sacrificing beauty - what ever that means to you. 
Next, add one more pitch and relate the two. Keep the spirit of exploration as above.
Add a fourth pitch as above, and then a fifth.

Push yourself past discomfort and frustration into some new areas of beautiful music making.

Suggestion: Select one of the 5 pitches to emphasis and one to mostly ignore. Think relationship among a family of 5 pitches.

Next, add octaves in relationship to your chosen 5 pitches.

Do your best to stay emotionally connected with each note. Listen to the notes as if you are listening to a friend. What is the mood? Expression? What's the story unfolding?

Best wishes and regards,
Kathryn

Summer oboe playing fun #3

Dear Oboists,

Welcome to the weekly summer blog for oboists where I post an idea or two to toss and add into your oboe playing for fun.

Week 3:
m3, M6 warm up

1) Hold a mid register note, then as smoothly as possibly, slur down a m3 (minor third)
(A minor third in an interval. For example, if you think of the note you selected as the 8th note of a Major scale, slur down from the tonic, or 8th note of the scale, down to the 6th note of the scale you, create a minor third. C third space down to A for example.)
2) Repeat the first note then slur up a M6 (Major 6th) such as C up to A or the first note of a Major scale up to the 6th note of the Major scale.

Apply spot light on tonic (first scale degree) and submediant(sixth scale degree)

First, select a melody. Play aloud only the tonic and submediant notes of the melody and hear/imagine in your head in proper time, the other notes of the melody.

Next, do this exercise in reverse by imagining tonic and submediant and playing aloud all the others.

Improvise

Improvise a melody of your own by playing mostly (51% or more) minor thirds and major sixths.

Enjoy!

K.J.P.
 

Summer oboe playing fun # 2

Hello Oboists,

Welcome to the once a week blog for this summer which celebrates oboe summer playing with an idea or more a week to toss into your oboe playing to take your playing polished up and your practice time fresh.

This week:

Articulation and octave work out.
1) Start with a note in the lowest register, repeat it over an over again, first quickly in succession then gradually slowing down until you get into long tones - how long is up to you of course.
Add to the challenge with a slow controlled diminuendo.
2) Play the note again slowly then slur up an octave and repeat that note in the higher octave quickly in succession then slowing down gradually.
Add to the challenge with a slow controlled diminuendo.

Advanced: continue this practice up another octave and/or repeating this pattern starting with higher pitches.

Warm up:

Play a note
slur down a minor second
hold it for a moment
slur down a minor third
slur down an octave from your starting pitch

Repeat pattern as desired
repeat pattern in ascension

Advanced: After doing the above warm up, let yourself go and simply improvise for a while using a thoughtful interval approach until you can just fully let go allowing your mood to carry you off like a current.

Enjoy and happy oboe playing!
Best regards,
K.J.P.

Summer oboe playing fun # 1

Dear Oboists,

Happy first day of summer. (If you live North of the Equator and if not, then happy Winter Solstice to you!)

Summer is a great time to improve skills in playing octaves by polishing up and/or extending range and control of pitch, color and articulation in the outer registers.

For week one of summer oboe playing fun, I invite you to warm up with this exercise:

Play a low note holding it out,  slur up a M2, then slur up a P8. Rest and repeat pattern starting on a different note.
TIPS: in addition to consistent diaphragmatic support
1) Be attentive to the finesse and beauty of the attack of the low note articulation.
2) Hear the note you are approaching in your head before you play it in physical reality.
3) Zero into the center of the pitch and be conscious of the color of the note you are creating.

Keep working up the oboe, starting this pattern gradually on higher notes allowing you to extend and/or polish up your top register in addition to polishing up articulating the beginnings of the lowest notes.

Incorporate these improved octave intonations and high note colors along with improved or polished up articulation of lower notes into ALL you play!!

Play beautifully and have fun.
Musically yours,
Kathryn
 

 

March Madness Oboe Discipline Challenge week # 1

Hello dear ones,

Happy March oboe lovers!! Ready to polish up or spruce up or change up your oboe playing routine?

Oboe Brilliance invites you to take the MARCH MADNESS oboe DISCIPLINE challenge!

There will be 4 challenges, one per week.

Week 1:

1) While your reed soaks, pick up or create an oboe discipline journal to write down your goals and daily musical practice activities. No need to stress, if need be, pick up a piece of paper right now and then later create a folder, but write by hand on paper.
(What's ideal is a mole skin book or slender book that can slip in and stay in your oboe case front pocket.

2) Create one special personal goal for March.

3) Follow this practice routine for one week - personalize and modify as you wish:

A) Warm up routine
1) Play long tones in this pattern: (Practice perfect form and posture - fast, supported air stream - concentrate on the most BEAUTIFUL articulation control for the beginning and endings of notes and a rich round sound in between!)

play first space F, for 4 seconds, rest 4 seconds
" " 8 " " rest for 8 ""
" " 16 " "rest for 16''
" " 32 " "rest for 32"
(intense option ... "" 64)

mono dynamic suggested

2) With beauty and control, and as smoothly and elegantly as possible, play a one octave, descending Bb Major building scale
(start on third space Bb slurred to A 4x, then Bb, A, G slur 4x etc.)

repeat 1 and 2 as you wish

If you do repeat, play a one or two octave ascending Bb Major building scale

3) Think of a flower, select 5 notes and improvise a sonic portrait of it using only those 5 notes - don't worry, just have fun

4) Sight read an etude at your sight reading level (no more than 2 mistakes per line of music) and practice it

5) Learn or dust off an Handel Sonata for oboe. Play each movement as if your are singing. In fact, go ahead and alternate playing a phrase and singing the phrase. Don't cheat by humming - open your mouth and just do your best! Remember when you return to the oboe that your oboe reed is your substitute vocal chords and the oboe is an extension of your body.

You ARE singing through your oboe!!!!

ENJOY!!  xoxo KJP

PS (If you're looking for Etudes to sight read - I suggest "In Adoration of the Earth" found on the Published works page of www.composerKJP.com You will find 12 progressive etudes in that book, something for everyone. )

Aubades plus composing update

Hello dear ones, Time for a brief composing update.

Hope you're doing well.

The Mother Son Mask project (12 duets perfect for oboe and bassoon or just piano) is all finished as far as the creation stage. It still sits on back burner in terms of how to finalize, share and/or market...neither Ivan or I are in a hurry about it as we work on other projects and are not sure how to best proceed at this point. With the musical art market all crazy now - I'm just not sure.

I'm SO very close to being done with the final sketch of "Dreams of the Black Swan" a set of flute, oboe and bassoon trios in 13 consecutive movements....and I look forward to painting abstracts to accompany. This is a gift for an oboist friend. Not sure about the hows if any of future sharing.

Forgive me, with a big financial loss of being a published composer, my only hope as I can see it now is in a commissioned based income...perhaps a perk of a future commission is that the one who commissions a new work can have a formerly completed work, unavailable to the public while he/she waits for the new work to be completed....

anyway

I'm back in the river of composing the 5 5tets. I had a breakthrough earlier this week regarding the 4th quintet!!!!!!! Since all 5 5tets are related and interwoven, this opens the gates for me to fly forward with more detailed composing. Ideally the 5 5tets should be performed sequentially, but I'm designing them so they can be performed separately as well, if need be as all 5 5tets performed consecutively would take an hour give or take.... I HOPE to complete this in 2017. I will do my best providing the outcome is my best.

Yesterday I decided to gift myself and compose an Aubade for solo oboe to play in celebration for my upcoming birthday - 52! Just a nice work to play in my music sanctuary to start the day with an accompanying "Aubade" painting Well, I'm creating a specific rondo form with rules for this Aubade and for the subsequent 51 more to make a set of 52 Aubades for solo oboe.

Kindly visit the commission page and Muse's Wish List for more info. about the Aubade project.

Thank you for your interest.
Best wishes,

Kathryn Potter
February 24, 2017


 

 

 

Composing Update

Dear Ones,

Hello again, just checking in, as it's been awhile....Still here, still on my "pilgrimage" so to speak, in that I'm very withdrawn for a good while, as I am more inward reviewing and polishing up all aspects of oboe playing technique and composing in a new way.

(WORTH IT.)

Mother/Son Mask project (JOY) is moving forward as I have completed 10 of the 12 duets for oboe and bassoon (suitable for piano) and am working on the last two. I expect (hope) to be done this month with the last two. Ivan has created all 12 masks so, in the near future, we'll wrap our heads around how to present and make available....keep you posted...

I'm steeped in my third ww5et. I hear it in my dreams, upon waking, often, not always, I think about it first thing in the morning, last thing in the day and during the day when I'm doing other things. It CONSUMES me still...but less so this week. The duets are in the lead this week. They are what I heard upon waking today. 

Mapped out the 5 movements of the quintet some time ago. Have been working on sketches and sections. It's a big weaving with the movements interweaving. Lately I've been working on the 2nd movement, but will be returning to the first soon. I wish to complete the first movement by the Spring. For now though, I'm working on how the movements are connected after having defined how they are different.

I've returned to my Fantasia project this week which is serious fun and what I need to play myself.

The Love Birds trio is tapping me on the shoulder to return to redo/completely and complete. I hear it from time to time...it is marinating, growing wings and clarifying itself. These birds need to fly. BUT after so many starts and stops and interruptions historically, I'm a bit pen shy until I complete the final two masks. Still, I'm listening and "taking notice". I suspect that I'll just sit down and pour it out on the page in a short amount of time. in other words - the contents in the egg are developing. I feel a hatching in the near future.

Earlier today, I revised the Muse's Wish List. I again intensely year to write Black Sails which is a must begin in 2017...but - I require a commission to compose this one.

I don't have a commission for my WW5tet # 3, but enough interest and intense personal need that I'm willing to devote the INSANE amount of hours to compose it. I think of it as my magnum opus and I'm treating it as if it's the ONLY music that will outlive me. But don't get me wrong - I have a morbid perspective. I get how my life, like the planet itself - in all it's lifespan -  is but one tiny drop in the comprehensive ocean of universal life. HOWEVER - ironically - it is because of how insignificant and irrelevant I feel, I relish the eternal love within. When I compose, I honor and worship, what I believe is eternal love. I believe eternal love is what embodies all and what matters. I strive now, to create beauty and work in adoration of this love, harmony and beauty. As small as I may be, I appreciate and relish each moment I can to the best of my ability.

Each note, is like a pearl. An act of beauty and an act of conscious integration of heart, mind, body and spirit. So too, each piece, hour, day....

All best wishes for this holiday season/end of year.
Peace. Kathryn