Thursday, June 15, 2006

Oily scissorhands (somewhat of a rant)

There are many interesting expressions used in the merengue scene. Many of which, I suspect, only make sense to the people involved. I was reminded of them last weekend as I got through that church "concert" and will attempt to share them.

One of the expressions is tijera' or scissors (Dominicans seldom pronounce the "s" at the end of a word). The word is often used as a verb, tijerear, to mean something like " to heavily criticize other musicians or music". Though the connotation is somewhat negative tijereros who actually know what they're talking about are usually well respected. Of course, there are also many folks who should just be at home practicing but instead are out tijereando.

The other expression is aceitoso(a) which literally means "oily man (or woman)". This one is used to describe someone who has become a showoff. It's also used in a more general sense when someone is having a bad day and acting a bit distant. In fact, if you're not deemed as being down with the crowd for whatever reason you might be called an aceitoso.

Well, after above-mentioned church concert this past weekend I may have just become an oily scissorhands. In a word the whole thing was CHAOTIC. The arranger had interesting ideas but was overly ambitious given the amount of time we had to rehearse and the talent of the singers involved. Also, his harmonic ear is pretty limited. My husband and I kept encouraging him to reharmonize some things but everything we suggested sounded wrong to him because he only believes in like three chords. The sound system was atrocious. I still have no idea what people were hearing. On stage, all we heard was noise. You can't imagine how frustrating it was to try to play oboe on songs it simply didn't fit well in and then to try to be heard over a bunch of amplified instruments. We had three keyboards for God's sake. Then there were the diva attitudes. If you can't sing on pitch you should NOT be acting like a diva. Enough said. Even the MC's had an attitude. One of the them had the nerve to try to cut short the singer from my choir (who was a special guest). He was one of the few real artists there! ARG!

I really care for my friend the arranger but I don't think I ever want to be involved in something like this again. I understand that I am not a great oboist yet, but I will be damned if I am stuck playing at this level for the rest of my life!

Yes, I HAVE become a Classical music snob. My friends will just have to deal. I don't want to play other types of music on my oboe. I don't want to play crappy arrangements where my instrument isn't used well. And I don't want to mess up my embouchure trying to play ffffff.

Where are you oh other serious amateurs??

The only way I can ensure that I will NOT be stuck at that level is by becoming my best which means that I need ample amounts of TIME to practice. So this does actually tie in to my latest posts about my career junk. For now, what feels most comfortable is postponing school thoughts at least temporarily and focusing on oboe and my body.


Waterfall said...

"Where are you oh other serious amateurs??"

I'm here! I'm here! I'm a bit of a classical music snob, too, though I do love jazz. But don't get me started on new age piano music or contemporary Chrisian "praise and worship," or you will hear some really mean-sounding snobby statements coming from this normally very nice person! :)

Hilda said...

Haha! I am so glad you wrote that because we have some weird music being played at my church too and I just can't get into it. And normally I am quite nice too, but this just gets to my last nerve. :-p

Too bad we're far away!

dulciana said...

Oh, how I know how you feel! Congratulations on your resolve.