I know the SolidSmack readership is filled with software-cranking, Oboe-loving instrument aficionados. And, on such a sunny/cloudy/wintery/summery afternoon as this, there’s nothing that you all like more than to see an intricate making-of video that take seemingly simple parts and shows just how complex a process making them can be. This one, in particular, is a delightful treat for those interested in instruments or the woodwind connoisseur who know what goes into making Oboe reeds; the part they may say, makes it so difficult to master. There is truly an art that goes into the making of a reed with many variables to deal with. Dorian Warneck shows us what the process is like in this short, silent, beautiful documentary.
“Slight variations in temperature, altitude, weather, and climate will change a perfectly working reed into an unplayable collection of cane.”
If you’re familiar with the Oboe, you know each Oboeist develops their own particular style of reed design. The Oboe uses a double reed design and is about 70mm long with a folded piece of cane bond to a metal staple (tube) partially covered in cork. In the video you see the Oboe player Petrea Warneck separating the cane, shaping, splitting and shaving it down, then clipping it at the exact length needed. She then folds and binds it to the tube with nylon string. The part not shown is where she tests the reed, or crows it, by inserting the reed in the mouth and blowing on it, prior to binding it to the tube. It’s on odd sounding woodwind instrument, but beautiful at the same time, and the process is just the same.
Directed by Dorian Warneck
Music: “Sonata for Oboe and Piano” composed by Daniel Schnyder.
Performed by:Petrea Warneck on Oboe, Lucinda Shields on Piano