John Man, young oboist and dapper party companion, was thrilled to tell reporter’s about his latest reed.
“I make reeds,” he said. “This reed I made is my best reed that I made, even better than the reed I made yesterday, which was the best reed I had made until I made this reed.”
Man says that nothing gives him quite the same satisfaction as sitting down with his tray of tiny knives, ready to embark on a vigorous session of high-stakes whittling. “I don’t just make reeds; I craft the future.”
His teacher, Dorothy Schnapple, was overjoyed to hear about this latest reed, and is looking forward to hearing about it for almost all of Man’s next lesson. She spoke to us of her elation. “Sometimes I think: ‘is this all there is? Reeds?’ And then I realise that the answer is: yes.”
Bob Guy, one of Man’s many oboe-playing friends, does not much care for reeds or how they are made. “Reeds are just a tool, really,” he said, “one that converts the musical nectar of my mouth into sweet honey for your ears.”
Though Man knows that’s probably true, he is still pretty damn stoked with his latest reed that he made. “Reeds are the most important part of the music for me,” he said. “I make reeds.”