Random Wednesday: Failure, Diversification, Diligence and Peggy Lee

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A Twitter fail-horn
The caption claims that this is a corno da caccia (no, it is not). Putting that aside, it is a pretty cool re-imaging of the Twitter fail-whale image.

The benefit of diversification
When I was a conservatory student, my career goals were fairly narrow and specialized (as if they weren’t narrow enough by choosing to play the French horn in the first place). Much later, my goals broadened in order to make a better, more sustainable living.

In this regard, The Saavy Musician Blog asks some tough questions:

What about your own career? Do you just do that one very specific thing (i.e. play classical oboe, choreograph ballet, paint landscape murals)?  Or is your mission open and flexible, ensuring that your work will remain necessary, valuable, and valued no matter how much the world evolves in any direction?


Site updates
While sometimes time only allows me to post an article once or twice a week, I am constantly tweaking Horn Matters in the background in order to improve the user experience. Visitors to the site may have noticed that the area under articles – the sharing options, related articles and visitor comments – was a lot to scroll through and it was getting fairly long-in-the-tooth.

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No need to worry – all the great stuff is still there. It is just now tucked inside some collapsible panels that help to keep things tidy.

Bruce Richards shares news of a two-day event in Belgium that will feature master classes, massed horn choirs, the “Belgian Horn Sound,” various instrument displays, workshops, and a hunting horn concert by The Greenfields.

The benefit of diligence

One of the things that has always impressed me about Steve Martin is his diligence. In his memoir, Born Standing Up, he emphasizes this theme — defining diligence not just in terms of persistence, but also in the ability to ignore unrelated pursuits.

Martin was, of course, being facetious when he pepped himself up with the idea that it would only take 40 years to get good at the banjo (he was playing at a high-level in his act within 5 – 10 years of starting his training), but this statement reflects a deeper truth: getting good at something is not to be taken lightly; it’s a pursuit measured in years, not weeks.


Unusual valve caps
If you are looking for something a little different, SMK Craftworks is offering pink valve string, and round (or even “square“) valve caps.

A horn player in Afghanistan
A new blog to keep an eye on is Karrhorn in Kabul

Andrew Karr (from Tampa, Florida) is chronicling his journey to Kabul, Afghanistan to teach and play in the Winter Festival of the Afghan National Institute of Music.

In typical musician fashion, this trip had to be squeezed between other performing and teaching obligations, so my schedule to travel here has been tight. I left my home in Tampa on the morning of Sunday the 29th, heard entry auditions for USF, where I am the horn instructor, dashed to Opera Tampa’s last performance of Cav and Pag, and then to Clearwater for a concert with The Florida Orchestra.

There, I loaded up my car with a final batch of donations from my colleagues at TFO (more on that later), and drove to Miami. Since I have performances in Miami immediately on my return to the US, it was simplest to depart from there and leave my car there. I had my last horn practice session in the US at the New World Symphony’s spectacular new facility on Miami Beach.

It seemed like an interesting juxtaposition to make use of one of the world’s best facilities for music study before heading to a place which is undoubtedly one of the more challenged!


Random videos

I would not want to live in this house.

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Getting back to nature.

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What do 45 tubas, 6 percussions, a choir & soloists of extended vocal techniques, 3 conductors & live electronics all sound like when put together? Kinda scary…

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A new video from Romain Thorel, this time covering a song made famous by Peggy Lee. (Take note of the harmon mute.)

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