Bassoon

This page is dedicated to my bassoon playing, so that I can share with everyone a bit of my musical past. Before the theremin became the center of my musical focus, I played the bassoon. It was a large part of my life and I dedicated myself to the instrument as much as possible. As you may be able to hear from the sound recordings on this page, my bassoon playing helped form a strong foundation from which my technical and musical progress with the theremin could grow.

Recording of “Romance” by Edward Elgar

Recording of “Concertino” by Marcel Bitsch

The Story

I was a bassoonist from 1994 until 2004. During this time my life was headed in a direction that would eventually lead me to playing bassoon in a symphony orchestra. During and after my time as a student at the University of North Texas I did just that. I was playing and freelancing in orchestras around the Dallas, Texas area. One experience that was particularly notable was the three years from 2000 to 2002 when I played bassoon in the Richardson Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Anshel Brusilow. This period of time in my life was musically enriching to say the least, but there was something else in the front of my mind that I felt more passionate about. In 2004, I decided to change course in life. I sold my Fox Renard 240 bassoon to be able to afford a relocation to Los Angeles to pursue a totally different line of work in the music and film industries. At the time, I decided it was best to take a break from performing because my interest and enthusiasm in the technical creative arts far outweighed my interest in bassoon playing.

However… once a bassoonist, always a bassoonist. One day, I will return to the instrument, but it will depend on a great lot of variables in the future, one of which is that I need to again own a high quality instrument.  Having tried three amazing 12K series Heckel bassoons (the highest class bassoon in the world in my opinion) and because I was spoiled by their quality and playability, I don’t think I’d be able to settle for anything else. The cost of one of these instruments is far from the price range I could afford and the availability is practically nil.

The investment of time and energy that goes into bassoon playing, can only truly be understood by double reed musicians (oboe, English horn, bassoon, contrabassoon). Developing proficiency as a bassoonist, is heavily dependent on the player’s knowledge, experience, and good fortune in the hidden art of bassoon reed making. I will admit, I spent much more time making bassoon reeds than I did practicing my bassoon. Literally creating half of the instrument by hand each day and every week is a great way to develop patience. This is why I believe the best bassoon players in the world are all kind people.

Woodwind Quintet Recording of “Quintette (en Forme de Choros)” by Heitor Villa-Lobos

Woodwind Quintet Recording of “Summer Music” by Samuel Barber

A special thanks goes to my bassoon teacher from the University of North Texas, Kathleen Reynolds, for being a wonderful inspiration and guide. Also, I would like to send a warm thanks to my friend, David McGill, (former principal bassoonist of the Chicago Symphony) for recommending that I publish these old recordings for everyone to hear.

During my time as a university student I embraced another art form which was live sound recording. The audio clips I present on this page were all recordings that I made through my self-owned recording company called Stereo Gravity, which was based in Denton, Texas from 2000 to 2002.

© 2017 RGM, Z Prism
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