52Blogs: Week 27: Old

The oldest thing I own, except this jumper that I bought from C&A a very long time ago, is my clarinet*.

She’s a beauty. A Buffet Crampon E13 with stained African Blackwood body and silver plated keywork. So easy to play and achieve a wonderful tone.

Which is why I am so sad that she’s sat in her case in dire need of a full service and clean, and she never gets played.

I think I got her in about 1993. It was certainly before 1995 when I went up to High School and joined the Orchestra. I had high hopes of becoming 1st Clarinet and playing all the fast and interesting bits in pieces, maybe even getting to do a solo performance. But alas, my lack of commitment, practice and possibly talent let me down and I stopped my musical career advancement at 2nd Clarinet with no chance of soloing.

I’ve played clarinet in church bands since but for the musically uninitiated the clarinet is tuned differently to most other instruments so it requires a little bit of preparation or on-the-fly transposing of the music. Or the talent just to hear what note someone else plays and work out what you should be doing.

I would absolutely love to find somewhere that I can play again. I’d even be happy sitting as 3rd Clarinet if it meant that my gorgeous girl could see the light of day again.

My collection of musical instruments (and associated collection of half learned musical skills) has expanded since the early days of clarinet lessons. I’ve since added flute and saxophone not to mention singing, but clarinet will always be my first love.

I look back so fondly on the days of playing Aker Bilk’s Stranger on the Shore for my Granny and her shivering at the really low notes.

I remember finding my dad sat on the stairs nearly in tears as he heard me practicing Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in my room. (Note it was not even close to being as well played as the video I’ve linked to!)**

I can remember the times I sat slowly moistening a reed so that it was just right for my upcoming exam.

I remember the sore and nearly gnawed through bottom lip from practicing so much in order to get ready for an exam I was withdrawn from because despite the hours put in, I still wasn’t good enough.

My old friend carries some wonderful memories but she also haunts me with my failures.



*It might in fact be that our house is older than my clarinet but I feel the clarinet has a slightly more interesting story. And in honesty we don’t own the house. Only the front door so far. And that new toilet seat Husband just bought. We own that.

** I believe I have actually played in the concert hall in that video on an Orchestra tour we did. The wonderful places that a musical instrument can take you.


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