I’m guessing he has no issues with getting his instrument(s) on the plane, you know?
With the oboe, a woodwind instrument that sets the tuning key for an entire orchestra, it’s all about the reed, said Perry Trosclair, primary oboe player for the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra.
Demonstrating his technique, Trosclair, 53, took the double reed, made of bamboo, and attempted to play without it. No sound, just air, came out of the instrument, which looks like a clarinet but is shorter and slightly thinner.
He slipped the reed back on, took a deep breath, and performed Debussy’s “Afternoon of a Faun.”
“That’s still my favorite piece of music,” he said, nearly tearing up.
Trosclair painstakingly makes his own reeds by hand, he said.
“The best players do, anyway,” said Trosclair, who was born in New Orleans and reared in Kenner, but has Acadiana ties with friends and extended family.
“I’m a Trosclair. What do you think?” he laughed.
Trosclair lives in the Houston area. As a flight attendant for Continental Airlines since 1987, he is accustomed to jetting in from his home to perform with various orchestras.
The oboe has been known for its shrill pitch and its occasional nasal sound. Trosclair, who has traveled, played and worked for the Baton Rouge Symphony, the Ohio Light Opera and the Brazos Valley Symphony, in College Station, Texas, chuckles at that description.
“Well, yes, in the wrong hands, it can sound that way, especially with younger players who don’t practice,” said Trosclair, who earned a master’s degree in music from LSU in 1983. But he said the oboe also can account for the long melodic lines that blend well with clarinet, flute, English horn and the other woodwinds.
I’m so glad he clarified that we shouldn’t really be sounding shrill. I’m getting nearly as tired of the word “shrill” as I am of “plangent” … ;-)
Hmm … I wonder what he played from Afternoon of a Faun … I always think of that as a flute piece with a rotten trill for English horn. ;-)
I find it very difficult to make myself practice oboe during marching season.