I gouged around 600 pieces of Ghys tube cane yesterday on my new gouger and discovered that around 25% of it was much darker on the inside from the bark than the rest of the cane that I gouged. I was trying to separate the pieces thinking that the darker cane would not be as good and then decided to make a few of the pieces up into reeds to see how they played. The three reeds I made seem to be as good if not better then my normal cane so I would like to ask the question, how much emphasis does cane color go into the choice of cane? Should I sell the cane that is darker, use it in my profiles and ignore the fact that it is a little darker? Should I throw it away as unsellable? What are the opinions of my illustrious colleagues out there in the double reed world!!
Thanks for your input!
You should sell some to me Bob!
I’m working now with some Ghys of varying color that I purchased gouged from Midwest Musical Imports and was wondering the same.
Because I’ve tried Ghys before I decided to order a larger lot and really liked it, I’m still going make blanks from all of it. You never know.
So, no, I have no conclusive answers to your questions, but wanted to share in my similar experience. I’ll report back what I find from this batch.
I took a dozen pieces of the very dark cane, made it into blanks and used the reeds this summer at the Bellingham Festival of Music. They seemed to play as well as the lighter colored cane. Who knew!!
I’m not surprised the cane worked just fine. The color of the cane is likely a result of the mineral content in the soil I guess? I know that on the bark the color gets darker and you get that mottled pattern when the leaves of the plant rest against the bark as it grows, and doesn’t specifically cause any change in density. I’ve never encountered a significantly different internal color before though.
Bob: For what it’s worth, a few years ago one reed I bought from you had one side of one blade significantly darker than the rest of the reed. It ended up being the best-playing reed of all your reeds I used that year, and lasted the longest.