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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000308.txt from 1998/04

From: Roger Garrett <rgarrett@-----.edu>
Subj: Re: High & dry (climate, that is)
Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 12:30:24 -0400

On Tue, 7 Apr 1998, Jacqueline Eastwood wrote:
> Flagstaff (AZ) is around 7,000 feet elevation (I think) but it is also
> very dry. I spoke to our principal oboist yesterday; she has also done a
> lot of playing in Colorado (I believe she was a one-year replacement in
> the Colorado Phil last year?) Anyway, she said she always makes her reeds
> harder; if they're too soft, they "collapse". This sounded rather dire,
> but I usually trust an oboist's opinion about reeds, because, as we all
> know, they are the most anal-retentive of reed players. My original plan,
> as others have suggested, was to have a couple of different strengths, and
> have some partially broken in to work on after arriving. Now I am
> concerned about which way to go, since Roger G. advocated softer reeds for
> Colorado playing. Or would it be different for oboists?

I can only speak from the experience I had! I was playing on size 3.5 Bb
reeds and 3.5 Bass Clarinet reeds in IL, and when I tried to play at 9,000
ft elevation, they played like 5's.........and I was completely
unprepared. I really had to ask around to see if it was me or something
else! But.....the posting regarding air pressure from lungs......was very
interesting. If it was true, it could be that, once you have aclimated to
the elevation, your standard reed size may be usable again......what a
dilemma.

> In the Ring Orchestra information packet, they suggest arriving early and
> walking around the campus to adjust one's system to the altitude, but the
> way they word it, it sounds like we're all in imminent danger of fainting
> dead away if we try to blow our brains out on the loud passages!

It generally takes 10-14 days to adjust completely to a higher elevation -
we just got back from a four day ski trip to Winter Park, CO last week
(let me tell you, a dislocated shoulder on a fall is no fun), and when we
first arrived, it was a major chore just to carry luggage up the stairs.
Even my normally energizer battery 7 and 9 year old kids were noticeably
winded. By the time we left, we were managing much better than
initially. The percentage of oxygen is not as high......and I think you
will experience some interesting changes in how many measures you can
sustain and at what volumes. We are, of course, expecting a report when
you are done!

Roger Garrett
IWU

   
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