Random Monday: Going Dutch, Furry Footstools and The Dude


Going Dutch
Over the past month, I have been involved in a production of Wagner’s The Flying DutchmanThe staging was a bit unusual in that the orchestra was onstage as a part of the naval-inspired set. Having performed the entire Ring cycle a few times, I feel that in many ways this opera was more difficult, in terms of both mental and physical stamina.

Here is a quick snapshot from one of the many props table: a model ship, rag doll, telescope and naval whistle.


On the topic of mean horn teachers, a famous psychology experiment from 1961, done at Yale University, always comes to mind. The experiment was presented as a memory test, but it was in fact a test on obedience and compassion.

The participants received instructions to teach pairs of words to the confederate. After they had read the list of words once, the teachers were to test the learner’s recall by reading one word, and asking the learner to name one of the four words associated with it.

The experimenter told the participants to punish any learner mistakes by pushing a button and administering an electric shock; while they could not see the learner, participants could hear his screams.

The confederate, of course, remained unharmed, and merely acted out in pain, with each mistake costing him an additional 15 volts of punishment.

More on the experiment.

The secret to long tone practice
Time and patience, and the proper foot rest.


Three amigos
I have been practicing Clarke Studies recently and was tickled pink to find this literary gem from Phil Collins.

There they are, the three amigos of your right hand. Look at them! They are able to refine or hamstring your technique with just one stroke. They can break you or make you a lot of money. In their grasp they hold the keys to your success. Yet how often we fail to train those unruly digits of destruction.

We’ve heard endless sermons on air flow, embouchure efficiency, breathing concepts, sound quality, and of course proper equipment.  So how about paying some serious attention to those three undisciplined fingers which are before our eyes every day? 


Kickstarter effort
Fans of brass music are probably already aware of JD Shaw and his arranging talent. Along this sentiment, a Kickstarter project has been launched in order to record his great arrangements. The end goal is $6000.

The $6,000 will cover recording costs, travel expenses, mechanical licensing, mastering, design, replication costs and keeping The Badger fed.  Every other professional recording project we’ve done has been way more money than this but we’re trying to do this the least expensive way possible without sacrificing any quality at all.  We feel we’ve stumbled on a formula that will work!


Starting out brand new
At ClassicFM, some fun is poked at learning a musical instrument for the first time. Including:

10. You will suddenly find yourself with extra luggage

Any dreams of cycling home or taking the scenic walking route will be quashed the moment you strap that tuba or double bass to your back. Oh, and if you’re of schooling age, you might want to think about preparing some witty answers to the question, “What’s THAT?”


Random videos

So happy together. Love and peace.

Chris Castellanos performs a Golden Horns tune called “Bollydoom.”

A prenatal duet.

The Dude, and his secret for memorization.

University of Horn Matters