Bell ring replacement

Almost a year ago I started on the process of replacing my cracked/chipped bell ring. I had selected a piece of exotic Olivewood to replace the original plastic. Unfortunately, the wood decided to warp pretty significantly after the rough cut, so we let the ring age for the better part of a year and stabilize. In the meantime I had a Delrin material ring replacement. It looked OK, but was a bit translucent, and was weird in some kinds of light.

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My repair tech Eric Anderson finally was able to finish the wood ring, which took a week for the lacquering process. Here is the final result:

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There was a little hole from a worm or something in the part that we selected, impossible to predict it would be there when we started cutting. A little fill was added to make sure it didn’t have a rough edge to snag. It’s a pretty cool selection of wood, with nice character, and the lacquer Eric used really helped the grain pop!

Electric bassoon concerto commission grant

Today we got some wonderful news that a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board was awarded to my dear friend Adam Conrad to write a concerto for me. The concerto will be for electric bassoon and chamber orchestra and will be a large scale work featuring extensive improvisation sections, including full group improvisation in the tradition of the group IMPROVESTRA. The grant is substantial enough that Adam will be able to dedicate some significant time into the writing and production, including some live performances and a professional studio recording. Exact details will follow in the coming months.