Renting the Contraforte

contraforte

This contraforte is rentable! I have been so lucky in the last few years to get some great gigs but I can’t do every one of them. Many times there are enough bassoon players in the section to cover all of the parts but no one has a contra. So I rent out the contraforte on a short term basis. To rent the horn I need a few weeks notice and the player is required to come to the house for a brief lesson on assembly and maintenance. The rental is for use in California only, pricing is based on the project.

If you are interested in renting the contra just send me a message through the “connect” page

Green Reed!?

Green Reed

I tried an experiment last week involving a Green Reed for Contraforte. I just harvested some cane in early January and decided to try to immediately make a reed out of it instead of letting it dry. And this is what turned out! I regular reed that sounded and acted like any other reed but it was fresh green cane and didnt need to be soaked in water before I played on it. The texture was similar to a very hard piece of cane so I had to make this thinner than I would normally. After a few days it started to dry out and warp and is now is playing very sharp. Next I’m going to try this on regular bassoon.

I would suggest trying it to all of the cane harvesters out there!

Recital options

Suite V

This fall I am returning to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for a PSD (professional studies degree) in bassoon & contrabassoon. I am really excited to be studying with both Steve Paulson and Steve Braunstein and I think that my contrabassoon skill will increase significantly!

I am planning out a few recitals, and since this degree doesn’t require any academic requirements, I can program some difficult works. I haven’t decided on the order of the recitals yet but I have planned four recitals, two for fall and two for spring. So these are the possible programs in no particular order:

 

Paris Conservatory Commissions

Jolivet Concerto

Saint Saens sonata

Dutilleux Sarabande et Cortège

 

Villa Lobos (or just loosely South American themed)

Concerto

Duo (oboe, bassoon)

Bachianas Brasileiras bassoon No. 6 (flute, bassoon)

maybe a few Mignone Waltzes

 

Solo Baroque

Bach Cello Suite V

Bach Cello Suite II (possibly on contra)

Telemann Fantasias (some on contra)

 

IDRS repertoire

Vivaldi Concerto C Major RV477

Hummel Concerto

Dutilleux Sarabande et Cortège

Carter Retracing

 

 

Reeds Finally!

I have been putting out reed orders for the past few months with great success and have had a great time connecting with customers. However it has been a hassle to manage reed orders along side regular gig emails etc. so I decided to create a reed website! It is a site that will be constantly updated with new products and cane sources. So feel free to check it out!

There is an icon (will make more sense in a few updates) at the bottom of the webpage linking to my eBay store. That is where I sell sale reeds or inventory that I need to move, usually at a reduced price.

kingbassoonreeds.com

International Double Reed Society 2013

This year was my first IDRS conference yet and it was amazing! I met so many legendary players and nice people. There was an entire room of vendors and instruments to try as well as a room full of music provided by trevco. The bassoon selection was impressive and included:

Püchner

Fox

Moosmann

Walter

Wolf

Schreiber

and oboes were brought by

Marigaux

Buffet

Fox

Püchner

It was odd that even though there were Loree oboes and Heckel bassoon at the conference. Loree and Heckel were not there only their used instruments were sold through other sellers.

Legère reeds were there and many more bassoons were hooked onto some synthetic reeds. Other innovations were brought by Guntram Wolf. They brought a Lupophon and the Contraforte.

Now this is particularly interesting to me because I have been seriously getting into contrabassoon and I feel a strong pull towards the contraforte. I am now raising funds to buy a contraforte to take auditions with. I have a list of repertoire to perform and record on it and was a great treat to get to play another one this week. If you ever get a chence to get your hands on a contraforte, test it! the dynamics, range, note connection is all much easier.

contrafortekris

 

 

Lupophonkris

 

 

 

Baroquecontrabassoonkris

musicals

A Little night music

 

This last month I have been playing in a musical. I am playing in a Stephen Sondheim show called “A little night music” it’s being produced with a reduced score.

I have never played a musical before! I’ve been in many operas and symphony shows but never a musical, so I was initially very confused as to how the woodwind part worked. This is so far what I have learned…

Reed 1 is flute, piccolo, alto flute, and maybe clarinet

Reed 2 is flute, clarinet, and maybe alto sax

Reed 3 is clarinet, bass clarinet or tenor sax

Reed 4 can be oboe/english horn

Reed 5 is baritone sax, bassoon, bass clarinet

this is basically what I know about musical scoring so far. I think that the reed parts are different for every show and what I gather is that most people who play in musicals regularly are able to double on many instruments. Basically everyone can play flute and clarinet and sax, but only one person has to have/play the oboe, the bassoon, and the bass clarinet.

A Little night music has me on Reed 5 and for this show this means that it is only a bassoon part, which is rare.  What is also specific to musicals is having a long run of a shows. Most projects have a weekends of concerts but musicals can have multiple weeks of shows.

Woodwind Oddities

Woodwind players often try new things to “spice up” their playing. Even new instruments emerge with the amount of experimentation, new compositions, technology, and new materials available. Here are a few of my favorite double reed innovations of the last ten years.

German bassoon system add ons:

Moosmann low A belllow a

wing joint system to high G

high G

more about Robert’s bassoon can be found at his website

http://www.robertronnes.com/MyBassoons.html

Guntram Wolf Instruments

Kontraforte (revised contra bassoon)

kontraforte

Kontraforte

Lupophon (revised bass oboe)

lupophon

more information about Wolf instruments and products can be found at:

http://www.guntramwolf.de/englisch/instrumente.html

Loboe (low A oboe)

Full Oboe Comparison

The new Püchner oboe bell

puchnerbell

Marigaux plexiglass oboe

MarigauxClear

Fox plexiglass bassoon

Fox