How It's Made: Bassoon Reeds October 11, 2015 20:37 3 Comments
Making homemade bassoon reeds is a labor-intensive process that takes weeks. An RFReeds bassoon reed begins its life in the Var Region of southern France as a 20-30 foot tall arundo donax plant. Our Rigotti bassoon cane is shipped directly to us from France and our Danzi bassoon cane makes a pit stop in Milan.
We order the cane by the kilo, and a few days later it's Bonjour and Buongiorno, respectively. At this point, it's time to chop wood!
When we receive the tube cane, we inspect it for anything that could affect the quality of the product. If it passes inspection, we split the tube cane into thirds or quarters. Our assistant quality assurance analysts are paid in kibble because of lax labor regulations.
After a month or more, the blank is soaked again, the tip is cut, the reed is scraped, and then play tested. It is again left to rest and dry for a day before being play tested again, with further adjustments being made. If the reed does not pass this inspection, unfortunately, it is rejected and sent to THE LAMP!
After we've disinfected the reed and allowed it to dry, it is boxed up using recyclable materials. We found that cane shavings are a natural, strong, and light alternative to bubble wrap or packing peanuts!
And there you have it. The multinational enterprise of handmade bassoon reeds. Who knew assembling a bassoon reed would involve French/Italian cane, Canadian, Dutch, and German precision manufactured machines, Pennsylvanian bees, Narnian Duco cement, and South Carolina elbow grease? That would make one interesting stock photo.