Who is Aunty Muriel?
‘Aunty Muriel’ is my alter ego. I studied as an undergraduate at King’s College London and was later awarded an MA in Literature from the University of Auckland. At present I’m a part-time distance learner with the University of Nottingham, working towards an MA in Literary Linguistics.
These days I write about the fictional prose of Muriel Spark, amongst other things. If you’re interested, you can find out more on Aunty Muriel’s Blog. This blog, however, is for all those of you out there who love the oboe.
What’s the definition of a gentleman? A chap who knows how to play the oboe, but chooses not to.
I took up the oboe when I was twelve years old, but stopped playing once I left university and didn’t touch an oboe or a double reed for sixteen years. In 2009, I heard that a friend of a friend was selling her oboe and I knew then and there that I would buy that oboe and start playing again. I’m so glad I did. These days I play on a Lorée Royal oboe, a Howarth S40 cor anglais, and a copy of an original eighteenth-century baroque oboe d’amore made in 1992 by Paul Hailperin. I study oboe and reedmaking with Philip Haworth and baroque oboe d’amore with Gerry McDonald.
What’s the definition of a minor second? Two oboes playing in unison.
The menu headings above are there to help you navigate the blog. They should be reasonably self-explanatory, but I’ve added some extra notes below…
Performance Notes: Suggestions for practising and performing various pieces: how to rehearse tricky passages, suggested interpretations of the music, and so on…
Reedmaking: Notes on equipment and method: what works for me and what’s been a miserable failure. Oboists are notorious for banging on and on about their reeds, but what non-reed players don’t understand is that when you’ve got a magic reed, the kind of reed that comes along about once every two years, a reed that will do anything you want it to…well, when that happens, it feels like the sun is always shining.
Tools and Equipment: Comments and reviews to do with all the paraphernalia oboists constantly carry around with them and which they insist is absolutely essential to their art, or How To Get Rid Of All Your Money Very Quickly.
Top Tips: Quick handy hints relating to all aspects of practising and performance, most of which I’ve picked up from better players than myself.
Next Concert: Details of the next concert in which I’ll be performing, listed with the date first in the title for ease of reference. Programme details included wherever possible.
Other Events: Details pertaining to all oboe-related and other musical events. If you’d like me to publicise an event for you, send me the details and I’ll post them here.
Please do use the form on the Contact tab to get in touch with comments and suggestions. I look forward to hearing from you.