peter meets mario!

28 02 2009


Acrobatix! Goes Live

24 02 2009
Acrobatix! Blog Is Live

Acrobatix! - Acrobat Tips, Tricks & Training

I have officially launched my Adobe Acrobat Tips, Tricks & Training blog – Acrobatix! If you use Acrobat (and everyone either does, or will) – come check it out!

sliced wrong – or maybe right finally

16 02 2009

baloneyI play on a Marigaux oboe.  It is not what most American oboists prefer, but I discovered them back in the mid 1980s, and now play on my second of these wonderful instruments.  Oboes haven’t changed much in about 100 years.  The changes to the instrument’s slow evolution have mostly been refinements to the bore, tone holes or the addition of new keys to help facilitate specific note-to-note progressions.

The first real shake-up to the design of the modern oboe has been pioneered by Marigaux.  They have completely re-thought & reingineered the disassembly points to their M2 model.  Instead of the instrument coming

Marigaux M2
Marigaux M2

apart between the top & bottom hand keys, the majority of the oboe has been redesigned to be a solid, continuous piece of wood.  Gone are the 3 critical linkage points which control the D trill, the Bb controls & the often-persnickety bridge mechanism of the F# – G# linkage.  Oboists often peek at the linkage between top & bottom joints to ensure the alignment is true.  An oboe that has twisted a tiny bit becomes a lesser instrument for the moment, and smooth passages can be distorted to clumsy messes.

The description of the new M2 model is this:

  • Head-joints can be easily changed to suit individual needs so that tuning, colour, depth and fluidity of sound are all adjustable
  • In extreme climatic conditions a phenol-resin head-joint can be used in place of a wooden one to avoid unnecessary cracks
  • The instrument is assembled by aligning the octave key pillar with the plate on the main body of the oboe
  • Ergonomically improved Bb, B and Eb keys
  • Improved positioning of G and G sharp keys, thanks to the removal of the middle joint ring
  • Long F key is height-adjustable
  • New positioning of the half-hole gives better tuning on D’s and Db’s and improved performance on top octave D’s to Eb’s

I love my “old school” Marigaux, and can’t wait to try an M2 model.  My reeds have drawn stares from fellow oboists for years – imagine the glares this would draw!

Marigaux M2 in its special case
Marigaux M2 in its special case

Well, I could dream, couldn’t I?