(Cane, that is, not eyes...)
I generally don't listen to music while making reeds, for a few reasons. 1) You can't concentrate fully on the reeds. 2) You can't concentrate fully on the music. 3) Too much starting and stopping when it comes time to try out the reeds.
I do listen to music in those rough stages of reed-making though. Today was gouging, and hopefully I'll have enough cane to last me through into Spring. I then thought, "one of these pieces may play a lesson with Ray Still," and "one or more of these may be the reeds for my doctoral lecture." That's a lot of pressure for a little piece of cane.
Today's music: "La Bohème" on the Met radio broadcast. I have fond memories of playing this opera, subbing (extra-ing?) with Eugene Opera the first year I lived there. There are so many goosebump moments, and it's one of the funnest operas in which to play second oboe. The single-best note we get to play in this opera is a SOLO low B-natural (I think) in the third act. Not the scary solo low-B-natural either, but full-voiced, go-for-it B-natural glory. The English hornist in that production had the choice of playing EH or oboe 2 (as they only have two players in that orchestra); she would give me a foot-shuffle every time I played the note, and she would lean over and tell me that she regretted choosing the English horn. Teehee!
Well, Mimi's dying, so I'd better redevote myself to listening. Have a great weekend!