Scythia are a Canadian folk metal band who are getting ready to release their new album, … Of Exile on September 23rd. I recently got a hold of oboist Morgan Zenter who answered a few questions about her “Oboe Of Death”. With her on stage and everywhere else, keep reading to learn more about this intriguing instrument.
What one piece of equipment do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Morgan: The most important piece of equipment that I can think of that I use would be my oboe itself. I use an AK Loree oboe that is made of grenadilla wood that gives it a dark and rich sound. This type of oboe is very popular in the oboe community and probably one of the more well-known brands.
What about it makes it so important to you?
Morgan: I would say that this oboe is very important to me because it was my first professional model instrument and it has come with me on my journey as a musician. Once you find the right fit with an instrument, it is hard to imagine yourself with another, sort of like finding the right lover. However, like all modern affairs, I will be needing to trade it in for a younger model in the next few years due to aging.
What are the major pros and cons?
Morgan: The definite upside to my oboe is that it really produces a sweet tone, especially when I play acoustically. It has a richness to it that is a very attractive oboe sound. The downside, is that because it is wood, it can crack easily when played outside. When the warm air that I use hits the cold instrument, it can cause damage. So I am hoping in the near future to be getting a plastic oboe to avoid these issues. The cons to a plastic oboe is that it may not have the same sweet tone quality as the wooden instrument.
How long have you used this piece of equipment and would you ever change it?
Morgan: My oboe turns 10 this year and usually this is about time when you sell them to a younger oboist and move on to a new one. But I really love this oboe and we have had a lot of good times together. So I think I will be hanging on to it for a little while longer. Even if I get another, I think I would still hang on to my current oboe just out of nostalgia.
Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
Morgan:When it comes to oboe gear, other than having the instrument of your dreams, are the reeds. If you do not have reeds that work well for you, then the tone suffers. This is why many professional oboists, including myself, make our own reeds. I am able to control what I sound like by crafting them myself and it is what I believe gives me my own distinct sound.
Check out the song: “Voice Of The Sword”