Thursday, September 10, 2015

Just a Few More Days

This coming Saturday marks the return to my regular Basel-based activities: I will referee two rugby games this weekend, and will begin taking lessons again at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis on Monday. Looking back at my summer activities, it seems I've had quite the experience.
I toured with Zefiro in June, Capella Mediterranea in July, I got a fright before touring with Les Voix Baroques, was a faculty member at #BVBD, and helped facilitate the premier of NewBO at the Utrecht Fabulous Fringe. Despite sometimes feeling like I'm simply fiddling around during the rest periods, it seems I have accomplished quite a bit this summer. Hopefully there will be a lot more in store for me next time - I hope I can somehow organize a trip to Canada again for BVBD 2016...

On top of my usual activities this winter, I'll be working on my second (and, cough, voluntary) Master's research project. This time I will be working on testing the properties (flexibility vs. hardness) of cane in order to find a ratio, or series of ratios which will suit best the PdK/Eichentopf copy. As the size of my reed is not drastically different from those used on the Orriols/Wietfeld, Cottet/Eichentopf, and PdK/Prudent, my findings will likely be of great use to many historical bassoon players. 

In order to have an appropriate sample size (a minimum of 200 pieces of the same diameter and gouged to plus or minus 0.02mm), the Schola ordered 4 kilograms of cane for me to process. It seems The testing phase will be completed thanks to the help of Lorenzo Masala and Udo Heng of Reeds 'n Stuff, who have already provided me with a flexibility tester. Whatever the results of the project, there is no doubt that I'll be up to my eyeballs in reed shavings this winter.

The Reeds 'n Stuff Flexter

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