A Quirky Dream CD REVIEW

I LOVE Listening to NEW MUSIC! Especially when you find a piece that GROOVES. That’s when I set it to REPEAT.

Over and Over and Over.. Driving Everyone around me Crazy! Headphones are a Lifesaver for Everyone Around Me. I always get a new pair at the holidays. 😉


Listening to Music keeps Me Inspired, It allows me to hear Different Interpretations, Develops my Inner Ear and My Artistic Intentions.

Answering the Question: What Do I Want to Create and How Do I Want to Create It?

Listening to New Bassoon Music not only Guides My Artistic Development it Keeps Me AWARE! This is Imperative in My Field Because:

I Believe We are on the Brink of a GLOBAL BASSOON SOUND!


Quirky Dream.jpg
I know we are not supposed to “judge a book by its cover…” But look at this Fantastic Album Cover by Diane Hanson, the wife of Gabriel Beavers.

And Even More Exciting when it is Demonstrated in ALL NEW BASSOON WORKS, as in the Recently Released “A Quirky Dream” by Gabriel Beavers.

A little bit about Beavers and the CD. Beavers currently serves as  Associate Professor of Bassoon at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. In the past he has served as Principal Bassoon of the Virginia Symphony, Acting Principal Bassoon of the Malaysian Philharmonic- to name only a few of his Artistic Endeavors on his Extensive Resume.


All of the tracks were recorded on a 14,000 series Heckel with various Bocal and Reed Combinations that vary to best meet the Composer’s Intentions.

From my own experiences in working with composers and new music I can say- It’s Great to get to Collaborate with a Composer to Truly Create the Sound They Hear Inside. Don’t you ever wish you could talk to Mozart? Or Weber?

Paul Hayden
Composer Paul Hayden Studying the Score During a Recording Session. Picture courtesy of Beavers. 

In reviewing this CD- I was lucky enough to ask Beavers about the Different Bassoon Accessory Combinations for each of the Pieces. Here’s what I learned…

These Bocal/Reed Variations Range from a Barton Cane Beavers GSP scraped in a Garfield/Clouser Style (think short reed 50 mm total length with thinner rails) Combined with a Heckel CD 2 Bocal on the Giselle Eastman Fantasy and the Liduino Pitombeira Fagocitose.

The Fagocitose is a great work for Bassoonists Looking for a New Advanced Piece that they could add to their upcoming recitals. The juxtapositions of bassoon and piano synchronization followed by Song Like Melodies in the bassoon offer a playful dialogue throughout the work, which Beavers and pianist Jure Rozman execute eloquently.

The Bassoon Set Up for these two works to me was almost… Predictable!

But Wait for this Magic Combination… My Jaw Dropped. 


A Leitzinger Platinum MV1 Bocal with a Jones Reed.

YES, A JONES STORE BOUGHT REED- with modifications, naturally!

The Leitzinger/Jones Reed Combo was used in My Favorite Piece of the Album, Paul Hayden Simple Serenades. This piece quickly became my favorite because of the Rockstar Bassoon Throw Down Moments accompanied by Thriller/Horror Movie String Playing. Think Alfred Hitchcock Strings with Bassoon Wailing.

“Paul Hayden wanted a huge bombastic sound on the low notes in the cadenza of his 2nd movement while balancing a lyrical singing quality throughout the rest of the piece. Furthermore he wrote a few High E’s and several high D’s juxtaposed with a lot of stuff in the low register. My regular garfield/clouser-esque style reed did not give Paul the sound he wanted so I experimented a bit and, to some degree, relied on some things I have done in the past,” Beavers noted on the combination.

Beavers Warming Up before Recording. Check Out his Sound Platform- like a Cellist! Picture Courtesy of Gabriel Beavers.

Personal Note: I am Going to Try ALL the Leitzinger bocals at IDRS this summer. Everyone  keeps talking about them and I want to Try MORE. Hope to see you there so you can give me your input on which one to choose!

Many of the modifications Beavers made on the Jones Reed I, too, make on these store bought beauties. Shortened Tip, Second Wire Moved Forward, a Thinner Tip and Windows Added at the Back.

Let me know if you would like a video on altering a Jones Reed for Professional Level Success.


Throughout the Album I was impressed with Beavers attention to detail. Each phrase had direction and intention. The sound was vibrant and made me crave a good practice session. The Piotr Szewczyk Three Episodes was no exception to this.

For the Szewczyk set up Beavers used a WOLF Grundman Bend bocal with Jones GSP.

Beavers notes it was “A rather big reed that I was experimenting with that the composer loved for the Midnight Jam movement.”

By now you hopefully want to hear the album for yourself. In my Video Review I take a Moment to Discuss My Thoughts on the Global Bassoon Sound and offer Sound Snippets from the CD for those that would prefer an audio preview.

If you are looking to hear the Album in full- It is available on iTunes, Amazon, Naxos, Spotify, and Physical CD’s can be purchased from Forrests Double Reed and Amazon (to name a few).

Here’s to Helping You Stay Inspired in All Your Bassoon Adventures!

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