Topic: New source of bassoon cane
I make my reeds from tube cane, and ever since my student years back in the 70s, I have been in search of “perfect” cane. I have a collection of cane from a variety of growers, of various vintages, and from different parts of the world. At the Australian conference in 2004, I was introduced to native Australian cane. Ever since, I use Australian cane exclusively to make my reeds.
Last month (June 2006), I was in Australia to perform and present master classes. I discovered that my colleague, Peter Handsworth (clarinetist), just purchased Reeds Australia, and gained complete control over the one and the only source of Australian cane. Peter was the head of Monash University School of Music, and he was instrumental, along with Anne Gilby, in realizing the IDRS conference in Melbourne.
I took the opportunity to see the source of the gold mine. I asked Peter to take me to the farm, and he agreed. We drove from Melbourne (10 hour drive) to beautiful Adelaide, in south Australia, the “Napa” region of Australia. The farm is small, and the cane is organically grown. Some of you may have obtained a limited number of gouged and shaped cane from Reeds Australia at the Muncie conference. I brought back several kilos of prime cane that I handpicked from a batch of large bags (100 lbs?) of 1999 vintage cane. Sorry, but my cane is not for sale.
I wanted to share this with all of you, since I know that we are always in search of perfect cane!
The website for Reeds Australia is http://www.reedsaus.com.au/
Professor of Bassoon, U of Colorado at Boulder
Editor, IDRS OnLine Publications
Administrator, IDRS Forum