Friday, April 22, 2005


"Oboe" in Spanish is spelled the same way and pronounced only slightly different than in English. The "e" at the end is enunciated (short vowel sound) so that it sounds something like "o-boe-eh". The accent goes on the second syllable.

My parents decided that this word is too difficult and have coined a new term for my instrument. They call it the "fututo" which is pronounced something like "foo-too-toe" with the accent on the second syllable. Don't ask me how that's easier. And don't ask them who made up the word. They both claim it!

Since I've started playing I've been trying to teach them things about the instrument, the orchestra, and the repertoire in hopes that some day they will be able to sit through a live concert. Hopefully featuring me as 9th oboist.

A conversation from a couple of months ago. Translated from Spanish/Spanglish:

Hilda: Look Dad, I'm learning to play the oboe.
Dad: Is that a clarinet?
Mom: (Eyes me suspiciously.) Another instrument?
Hilda: Well, yes. But it's sort of related to the saxophone.
Mom: Will you sound like a ship horn again?
Dad: Where's the mouthpiece?
Hilda: Uh, it doesn't have a mouthpiece. (Goes into a lecture about double reeds. Tells them how you have to keep the reed wet or else. Mentions how even the pros get nervous while they wait around and will lick their reeds unconsciously.)
Mom: That sounds hard.
Dad: Do you have to look like you're dying while you play?
Hilda: (Goes into another lecture about the embouchure and breathing.)

I've been practicing at their house on Wednesdays after class (Mom makes dinner for us that day) and on Sundays after church (because by the time I get home it's kind of late). So they've heard it all. The first few weeks of playing a very out of tune octave. Reed squeaks. The young duck. The bagpipe. And more recently, something that vaguely resembles a real musical oboe sound. They don't always understand the things that I'm into but they see my enthusiam and I think both of them are earnestly trying to appreciate my new endeavor.

So earlier this week we get a call in the late evening. I had just finished practicing and was putting the instruments away (my normal one and the trial ones).

Mom: They're playing the fututo on TV!
Dad: (yelling in the background) It's on WNYW.
JC: (turning to me) What channel is that for us here in Westchester?
Me: I don't know! Hurry! Find it! Oboes!
(We finally tune in and find the Berlin Philharmonic is playing some Beethoven overtures.)
Me: Cool! Oboes!
JC: Cool! Bassoons!
(I give JC the evil eye.)
Mom: We can recognize the fututo now!
Dad: Yeah we saw their funny faces! And I even caught one licking his reed like you said.

Haha! Aren't they too cute?


Juan Carlos said...

Hilda the Fututera! I like that.

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