This is the worst. I’m the worst. The first day back on the oboe after 11 days of vacation, following a week of wrangling students through chamber music and orchestral rep – it’s been nearly three weeks since I did any playing that I’d consider quality. And coming back hurts. I know it does, because it turns out that nearly every summer I’ve written this exact same post. HERE, for example, and HERE.
It makes it worse this year that the most recent oboe playing I’ve encountered was at IDRS, where people are just so great. I heard so many fantastic performances. And I was actively listening, and learning, and analyzing, and noticing things I wanted to work on and things I wanted to accentuate. With my most recent habit being analytical listening, and my actual last practice session being three weeks ago, I can’t help but notice just how terrible everything feels right now.
And because I’m now officially beginning my preparation time for my CD recording, at the end of August, it’s even all the more awful. I’m working up the Mendelssohn that I played two years ago, and the Gershwin, and the Bach – and these are HARD pieces, and I’m suddenly reminded of how long it took me to learn them in the first place, and they just feel so lousy today.
All of my reeds are too old and bad. My studio is too humid, and my oboe feels out of adjustment, especially compared to the spectacular brand new ones I played at the convention. My face doesn’t know how to hold itself. I forget how to do the hard technique.
This is not new. Every year I take a little time off, and I feel better for it, AFTER the miserable readjustment period which is right now. It always feels bad, but it won’t take long. The first day is the worst, and then things start to come back together. This will not be as bad as I fear.
I dragged myself through two sessions today, and will make it happen again tomorrow, and by Day Three or Four I’ll be back on this blog talking cheerfully about the tiny tweak I’m working on or about which TV rerun is inspiring me this time.
But today, please let me just stew in it. I hate the oboe, I hate reeds, and I hate myself. I hate my CD project. I want a new job, one that is easy. Who’s got one of those for me? Who?