Aqua Solo - Composition for solo double bass
You are invited to the premiere of Aqua Solo, taking place on Saturday, April 25th, 2009, 8pm, in Paine Hall, Harvard University.
I have been working for several weeks with the soloist Alex Tarbert, a complete bass player and very sensitive musician. He sounds great on both arco and pizzicato, and I'm sure the performance will be stunning.
Inspiring bass solos
The double bass solos that I listened to when I was composing the concerto included:
- Maknongan, by Giacinto Scelsi
- In & Out, by Pascal Dusapin
- Valentine, by Jacob Druckman
- Trittico per G.S., by Brian Ferneyhough
- The Ozell Tapes: The Official Bootleg, by Marcus Miller
I also used the book Les modes de jeu de la contrebasse/Modes of playing the double bass by Jean-Pierre Robert. This great bilingual book comes with 2 CDs and is a reference for composers and performers. You can find it through the French online store fnac.com.
I just wrote program notes for this last HGNM (Harvard Group for New Music) concert of the 2008-2009 season:
In 2001, I founded the Ensemble New Flore. For our 2004 tour “Spirales”, I composed Aqua for double bass solo, aquaphone, clarinet, and live electronics. The piece was played by the Ensemble New Flore in Strasbourg, Bouxwiller, and Geneva, and by the Ensemble de Musique Interactive in Montbéliard, and at the French Institute in Florence (see pictures of this performance, with the aquaphone, on http://www.flickr.com/jfcharles ). Aqua Solo is a set of two pieces for solo double bass. The first part, Prelude, is played arco, and reminds us that the double bass is a descendant of the viol. The second part is a Blues, played pizzicato.
During the coming months, I intend to turn it into Aqua Duo, a work for double bass solo accompanied by clarinet and live electronics.
Aqua is the fourth part of the Arc-en-ciel. This cycle includes Magma, for contrabass clarinet, stones, and live electronics – Wu jú sè, for clarinet, double bass, Chinese opera gongs, and dancer – Rêver, for singing dancer and dancing clarinetist – Zygomatic, for voice and live electronics – Passage libre, for percussion and live electronics.