enter the woodwinds

For at least four years now I’ve had a student clarinet I impulsively purchased from a friend for the low, low price of only thirty American dollars!! Now before buying it, and for a considerable time after, I had never played clarinet. Or any woodwind. I think the only instrument I’d ever played that involved blowing was the kazoo. But, hey! It was only $30, why the hell not? I played with it only a couple times. I managed to evoke waaayyyy more squeaks than actual tones and actually break one of the joint corks before putting it back in it’s case and behind my speaker cabinets, never to be seen again… Until last month, when I found it while cleaning/rearranging the room! This time I was far more determined to play well because I had a vision: a song called Blustery Day, which has been in the works for years. Clarinet is the missing part of the arrangement that makes this jazzy little 5/4 number work. Of course, if I want these woodwind tracks to sound even halfway decent I had to get to work. Honestly, rather than getting the broken joint cork on my clarinet repaired, I just wrapped thread seal tape around the joint. This has worked successfully so far, but I have to change the tape after dis/reassembling every few times. If I had more than one cork broken I’d definitely just get it fixed. Probably. With this makeshift solution, and my “clarinet stand”(Made from an unused mic stand and an old bathrobe), I began furiously practicing for hours each day. Initially this annoyed my dogs to no end, but now they don’t even leave the room when I start to play near them! If that’s not a sign of progress I don’t know what is. After hours of trying to sound out a halfway decent string of notes, I finally stumbled onto something I think turned out nice. Blustery Day is listed as the first song for my new instrumental release series Daydream Sketches, which will be out sometime later this year. Expect to hear some blowing soon.

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