You know that old puzzle about the fox and the goose and the grain and the guy who wants to ferry them to the other side of the river but can only take two at once and can’t leave the goose with the grain or the fox with the goose? That’s completely what I feel like this week, trying to make my baggage efficient to all the gigs I’m doing without forgetting anything.
I have one case that holds an English horn and an oboe, and one case that holds any two instruments, and single cases for everything but the EH. I needed the oboe, oboe d’amore, and English horn to teach with yesterday, as we are gearing up for this week’s St Matthew Passion over at Valparaiso University (click HERE for details and tickets) and I wanted to be able to play along and check reeds with and for my students that are involved with that. But this morning I need two oboes to teach a methods class (at Goshen College), and tonight I need just my one good oboe for a quintet recital (in Plymouth) but I need to send my d’amore in its single case to Valparaiso to be used by my sub. Tomorrow I have a gig in the morning (in Fort Wayne) which is EH alone, but I’m going straight from there back to teaching two oboe lessons (in Valparaiso) and from there straight to VU where I need all three horns again. Friday is the same. And the limiting factor to just shoving everything into the car and moving on with my life is that I still strive to be the Unfussy Oboist, so I want to be walking into every service as lightly laden as is possible (plus it’s heavy to lug them all around) and every transfer of an instrument to a different case carries with it the risk of leaving something essential behind. So I want to maximize my carrying potential while minimizing transfers and take the smallest number of instruments possible to every service.
And I cannot tell you how much mental energy I have expended on this so far. I just know there’s a way to make it perfect.