BASSOON: The Evolution with Guest Keith Collins

I think sometimes I choose a career in music to be surrounded by eccentric, thoughtful, and intelligent people.

It is no accident I use the word “chose” (present tense) because we all have options. And every time I have a gig that needs me to leave the house at 5 am for a rehearsal that will battle Atlanta Rush Hour Traffic OR a Show Set that in conjunction with my work at JSU means No Weekends for Three Weeks, it is a choice.

A choice I make with a Smile and Happy Heart. Because I get to be with Friends and Making Art.

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Keith and Me in-between Echoing Air Masterclass Sets at Jacksonville State University.

Along the way you take more gigs and make more friends. And then because the Music World is so small- later you are lucky enough to bump into them, get a hug and chat like no time has passed.

That’s the magic of people that Create Art. There’s an Honesty that Exists in them that Transcends Time. Conversations Flourish, Words Tumbling into Laughter.

I live for these Moments.

When I heard that Keith Collins was coming to JSU as part of a Residency with his Baroque performing ensemble Echoing Air, I was giddy with anticipation.

Keith is Hilarious! Super Smart. And Witty.

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Keith Recreating Historical Art at a gig in Colonial Williamsburg!

He is knock your socks off smart but keeps you laughing the whole time.

We met at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, arguably one of the most rigorous music schools in the United States. Keith was focusing on Baroque Bassoon and I was working on my Modern Bassoon Degrees. I still remember the random nights after studio masterclass at Stake and Shake, filled with milkshakes and stories from our lessons. We all supported one another through the good and the bad weeks.

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An Early Bassoon, the Dulcian, came in all sizes. The Soprano Dulcian could fit in a  small backpack. That’s Living the DREAM!

Now Keith not only performs with Echoing Air but he also teaches now at our alma mater Indiana University in the Early Music Department. See, I told you he was smart! 😉

He is also gracious. Gracious and Smart don’t always go hand in hand. But when I asked Keith if I could record his two hour lecture and masterclass for the bassoon studio to share on Youtube with you guys, he didn’t even bat an eye. He said, yes- without a care in the world.

JSU Students Michael and Ty working on Telemann Sonata in F Minor with Keith.

It’s taken me a month in between gigs and JSU midterms to edit the two hours of footage down to 2 short 10 minute videos. If not for Spring Break, I think I would have never made it! The first video will post this week. The second, next week.

Gorgeous Baroque Bassoon Reeds. 

We will start with the Historical Origins of the Bassoon, Baroque Bassoon Innovations and Finish with Reeds and Bocals.

I hope you enjoy this Adventure as much as I did throughout the editing process.

Be sure to Subscribe so you don’t miss out on next week when we chart Historical Repertoire, 19th Century French and German System Bassoons and Equal Temperament.

And Take a Moment to Check out the Free Recordings of Keith available on SoundCloud. The timbre and colors are so unique. It almost make the lack of keys on the Baroque Bassoon a questionable innovation. 🙂


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