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Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 16:07:02 -0700
From: Grant Green
Subject: [CB] The Oddities of Mental Processes...

I was reading "Mapping the Mind" over lunch, a book that essentially
summarizes the current state of research regarding which parts of the
brain do what, and encountered a passage that struck me as
particularly curious.  There is a form of  disorder called "agnosia",
in which one loses the ability to recognize certain objects due to
brain damage.  Typically, one loses the ability to recognize a
particular class of objects, like faces, or tools, or pets.
Apparently, one of the more common varieties results in one not being
able to recognize non-human "animate" objects (such as animals,
insects, etc.).  The interesting thing is that people with this form
of the disorder also frequently have difficulty recognizing food
(even where it doesn't resemble anything animate, like a cube of
butter or a brick of ice cream) *and musical instruments.*  The
author was unable to think of any convincing reason why our brains
should categorize musical instruments, pets, and food into one
high-level category...



Grant Green
Professional Fool ->

Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 20:06:14 -0800 (PST)
From: JJ McLallen
Subject: Re: [CB] [CB Digest]

I have a small story that will amke you all cringe.

The other day in the repair shop, Greg (the boss) was just
finishing up a plastic Selmer EEb Contra-alto clarinet that is
less than a year old. It was playing pretty well, and he was
just about to put it back in the case when he noticed the
unthinkable: it had a large crack in the top of the lower joint.
Tha crack was a u-shape that was about three inches wide at the
tenon receiver and went about 3 inches down into the body. The
piece was loose, but still intact. The crack did go into the
bore, but evidently it doesn't affect the sound much. Wierd.
Anyway, we thought about gluing it together, but that would have
voided the warranty. We called Selmer and found that the part
would cost $800, BUT... the instrument is still under warranty,
so there is a chance it could be replaced as such. The only sad
part is that we need to either send them the joint to inspect,
or buy it for $800 and then be reimbursed when we send them the
joint. It belongs to a school, so we need to wait and find out
what they want us to do.

JJ McLallen - Repair tech in Denver

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Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 14:05:41 +0000
From: David Taylor
Subject: Re: [CB] The Oddities of Mental Processes...

Grant Green writes
>I was reading "Mapping the Mind" over lunch, a book that essentially
>summarizes the current state of research regarding which parts of the
>brain do what, and encountered a passage that struck me as
>particularly curious.  There is a form of  disorder called "agnosia",
>in which one loses the ability to recognize certain objects due to
>brain damage.

Have you read 'The Man who mistook his Wife for a Hat' by Oliver Sachs?
It's a collection of stories from his years as a neurologist about
various unusual disorders - the first deals with a sufferer of agnosia
who, while a fine musician (of professional standard) gradually loses
his ability to see what objects; the title comes from the episode where,
on leaving Dr. Sachs' initial appointment with him, he attempted to pick
up his wife and wear her on his head - in the belief that she was his
hat. His musical ability remains unaffected.
I can't recommend this book highly enough as both a fascinating and an
educational read. I'm afraid I can't lay my hands on my copy just now,
but if anyone wants the details, I'll have a proper look. There was also
a BBC TV series.


Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 09:13:25 -0500 (EST)
From: Susan Machs
Subject: [CB] Contrabassoon music

Dear Contrabassoonists on the List,

I am working on a project which I thought might perhaps be of some interest
to you.  If you are at all interested, please contact me directly.

I am a freelance bassoonist and contrabassoonist (my true love) based in
Texas.  Like most contrabassoonists that I know, I am interested very much
in new music for the instrument.

Thus, I have decided to assemble a small consortium to commission a new
concerto from the excellent American composer Carson Cooman.  Mr. Cooman's
effective and appealing music is often performed throughout the world and
has been enjoyed by many.  Mr. Cooman has a real love for the contrabassoon
and has written a number of chamber works involving the instrument.  When I
contacted him about the possibility for this project, he was most excited,
he having wanted to write a concerto for the instrument for some time.
Information on Mr. Cooman is available at:

The arrangement would be thus: I am hoping to assemble 5 - 7
contrabassoonists interested in participating in the commission.  All (or
the orchestra or association) would contribute to the funding, and the
consortium members would have an exclusive right to perform or record the
work any time during the first two concert seasons following the completion
of the piece.

I currently have two players (myself and Loran Marek from the Czech
Republic) who have agreed to participate.  We are looking now for the rest
of the consortium.  Mr. Cooman has agreed to accept a much reduced fee for
the project because of how strongly he feels about writing this piece.

The work would be approximately 15 minutes in duration and be scored for
solo contrabassoon and chamber orchestra (quite likely and the orchestra parts would be within the
capabilities of a good community orchestra (to allow the piece to be
managable by a variety of groups) but also satisfying for a professional
group as well.  The solo part would be designed to show off the
contrabassoon as a true partner in the musical discourse.

I am tremendously excited about this opportunity and do hope that you will
consider participating.  I think that audiences enjoy contrabassoon
concertos very much and like the chance to see this wonderful instrument
take the spotlight.  And I feel that this consortium project will allow it
be a most affordable and exciting way to create a new opportunity for this.

If you are at all interested in this project, please do contact me and I
will forward to you further details.

With best wishes,

Susan "Sally" Machs

***End of Contrabass Digest***

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