Home of Creation was founded by me. My name is Willard Jansen. I am a composer of Orchestra, electronic and hybrid music. I never lack inspiration. I just set myself a goal, turn it into an assignment, negotiate a deadline and go to work. I also pick up challenges, like in 2023 the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra call for scores, and the International Film Music Competition. I Have been composing for years, but only for segments of TV shows that I directed (I worked in the TV business for about 30 years). Only recently I had my “coming out” and presented myself as a true composer.
I started music in early life, at the age of ten. First flute but after two years, the conductor of the orchestra I played in persuaded me to switch to the Oboe. And so I did, and never regretted it. My parents let me take Lessons from Wim Ket, the principal Oboist of ” het Gelders Orkest” one of the Symphony Orchestras in the Netherlands. I progressed well and after a few years I was able to play solo concerts with accompaniment. Wim also taught me how to make Oboe reeds, and him being a student of Jaap and Haakon Stotijn, he introduced me to the Dutch School of reed making. Driven by everything music, I carried on to learn music theory, composing and producing, for sheer personal satisfaction, but also, after becoming a TV Director, to use in TV segments and Corporate Video. After retiring from directing I started to earn a living as a Senior Software Developer for a branch of the Dutch Government. I am now able to spend more time doing what I love. Composing, playing the Oboe and make reeds. Some time in the future I may end up as a full time composer, who knows.
Since there are so many ways to craft an Oboe reed I took it upon myself to explore different styles and how they work for me. I really am impressed by the “American Scrape“, but prefer to play the Dutch model. Though I can imagine that after losing a bit of strength in my mouth, as I age, I will switch. American reeds are easy to play with a very loose embouchure.
One of the great contemporary Dutch Oboists, Bart Schneemann, Artistic leader of the Dutch Wind Ensemble, has taken a very different direction. His cane is gouged at only 0.48 mm. He then hand-shapes wide and with a very short scrape. To retain stability he uses two brass wires and ties it to a 42 mm staple with the wide part of the tip vertical, so flipped 90 degrees. This may seem odd, but his reeds are fantastic. They can be played with a very lose embouchure and offer great response and stability from the very low to the very high register even when playing pianissimo. Schneemann reeds produce a warm and rich sound.
Irma Kort, the second Oboist of the Dutch Wind Ensemble taught me how to make them. Because of the thin gouge and the turned staple you have to be very careful not to crack them while tying and scraping. But once you finish the scraping process, you have a very special reed that makes your tone in all registers stand out in a very pleasant way.
Let art be your antidote.