A few years back I was staying in Philadelphia with a bassoonist friend of mine, when he mentioned that he likes to practice in the airport during layovers. My first reaction was, “wait, that’s allowed?” quickly followed by, “I NEED to do this!” He assured me that it was indeed okay, and that his experiences playing in terminals have been largely positive. After a few times trying this out myself, I have to say that I’m a convert for life!
So this last weekend, I flew to California to attend my brother’s wedding, and I thought this would be a great chance to play at the airport again. Here I am, playing the oboe:
I played C.P.E. Bach and Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah. One guy actually put $10 in my oboe case for the Jeff Buckley, I’m guessing that he has a particular bond with that song. I was actually approached by a few airport employees that day, but instead of telling me to stop like I was afraid they would, they only told me to move a little bit to a better location. No one to date has told me to stop (at least not to my face!), which I like to think is because of a few self-imposed guidelines I follow when playing at an airport.
I think I have always been intrigued by the idea of playing in an airport, partially as a way to combat the difficulties of practicing on travel days, but mostly as a way to reach people with my music who I wouldn’t normally reach otherwise. Now, it might be troublesome if everyone began to play music at the airport and it became a nuisance, but by and large we could use a few more musicians spicing up the airport experience.
On that note, the quintet does have a long layover in SFO before we get to China…
This is an appropriate time for my first post, as I have finally bought all of my plane/train tickets for the Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet tour in China and for my travels after! It’s a pretty exciting time for the quintet as we wrap up classes, perform recitals, and of course prepare our tour music. And of course, we still have our concert at the end of this month before we leave. So much to do! (And so many reeds to make…)
As for my post-China plans, I spent a little more on my travels than I originally intended. I assure you there is a method to my madness, but we won’t go into that for now. What is important is that you see my final travel itinerary:
I’ve been to the Philippines before, but never by myself. On this visit, I’ll be spending Christmas with my oboe friend there and his wife. Check out this picture of him and I from my last visit in 2012 when we first met:
Yes, I had orange hair. Yes, I don’t know what I was thinking. (In my defense, I did not dye my hair with the intention of it being orange.)
In any case, that is my friend Reynato. I made friends with him over facebook by messaging him and saying that I was on my way to visit Manila and could we meet up and nerd out about oboe for a few days? It was probably one of the highlights of my trip spending time with him and playing duets! So this is the kind of stuff I get into when I travel, talking to strangers and making friends everywhere I go. It adds so much to a trip.
I hope my travels this winter go similarly well. This is going to be my first international solo trip (I mean after the first three weeks of touring are over, which should be fun– I’m just a solo wanderer by heart), so I hope to bring back many more wonderful stories. As for my next post, hopefully I will talk a little more about concerns about this trip as an oboist. Take care!