Monday, May 17, 2010

F means cold

I'm just getting in after the best day I've ever had in Paris. This is probably my fifth time here, but the first time in quite a while that I have had a day off.
Me and a couple of friends made it over to Montmartre where a lot of my favorite artists had studios. I was over there to stop by the Vandoren reed office where I had a fantastic time trying mouthpieces and reeds (I think I'm going to have to buy a Vandoren Optimum Ligature). We then walked around taking in the most fantastic views and eating the best pastries.

I just capped off the evening with good dinner and some pretty terrible wine (can't win them all).

All that's left is some Serge Gainsbourg and Debussy's La Mer.
Je suis content.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Big Picture vs. Details

I've had to work very hard during my years as a professional musician in Brooklyn keeping focus on what I want to achieve and share with the world. In college I spent most of my time working on details (sight reading, intonation, scale patterns, ear training, vibrato, etc …). However, as I began to think about composing for and leading a band in New York, I was confronted with the feeling that there is little need for another competent saxophonist. How could I try to tap into the relevant things that I was uniquely equipped to share with the world. For me this became an important search to try to see myself from the prospective of an outsider without years of jazz training.

I’m generally pleased with the outcome of the last 10 or so years, but found myself getting a little sloppy.

The unfortunate by-product of my big picture thinking has been a lack of discipline in my craft that I have enjoyed rediscovering over the last year and a half. It has been through some lessons with some great musicians that I have been made aware of some terrible habits in my playing and breathing!

Just a few weeks ago, I made a revelation that my right hand laziness (not just my left) had been causing heaps of trouble in my clarinet technique. Better late than never, I guess.

It’s just a great reminder of the importance of Balance in life. Hope I can keep it up.