This week we are continuing our conversation with Chicago Symphony Orchestra bassist Michael Hovnanian that we began on Episode 24 of the podcast. Michael has been a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1989, and he serves as the president of Discordia Music (double bass music publisher). Michael also plays for the Gunnelpumpers, Chicago Bass Ensemble, Music of the Baroque, and the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra. He authors the popular CSO Bass Blog, and he has served on the faculty for Northwestern University and the Chicago College of Performing Arts. Michael was also my bass teacher for my undergraduate and graduate degrees at Northwestern, and it was really great to get a chance to do this interview.
You will also get a chance to hear Michael play selections from the Discordia Music edition of the Beethoven Sonata (Op. 17) for Double Bass and Piano Michael is performing from his own edition, which is available for purchase from Discordia Music, and you will get to hear the excellent vocal and bass music of Dinah D. Enjoy!
CBC #29 Show Notes
Release Date: 7/15/07
Podcast T-shirts, hats, and more: www.cafepress.com/doublebass
Theme song by Eric Hochberg: www.erichochberg.com
You can always call 206-666-6509 to leave a message and join in the conversation!
-I’d like to thank Ranaan Meyer once again for a great interview last week and for the magnificent playing we heard from Guy Tuneh. You will be hearing he rest of our conversation with Ranaan in an upcoming episode, and you will get a chance to hear an interview with and more playing from Guy Tuneh on next week’s episode.
-This week we are continuing our interview with double bassist Michael Hovnanian that we started on Episode 24 of the podcast. Michael is a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra bass section and is involved with a wide range of other music groups, including the Gunnelpumpers, Music of the Baroque, Chicago Bass Ensemble, and the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra.
-In Episode 24 Michael and I discussed his early years on the instrument. This episode we get into advice on practicing, life in a symphony orchestra, and much, much more.
-Additionally, he runs a publishing company called Discordia Music that specializes in music for the double bass, and you will be hearing selections from his edition of the Beethoven Sonata (Op. 17) after the interview.
-Later on in the episode we will also be hearing from Vancouver-based vocalist and double bassist Dinah D.
About Michael Hovnanian
Michael Hovnanian grew up in the Seattle area and started playing the bass in the public schools. His primary teachers were James Harnett and Ronald Simon of the Seattle Symphony. An early interest in solo playing led to performances with the Seattle Symphony, the Northwest Chamber Orchestra and the University of Washington Symphony. Michael attended the University of Washington and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the California Institute of the Arts where he studied with Frederick Tinsley of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In 1986 he joined the Victoria Symphony as Principal Bassist and in 1988 the San Antonio Symphony as a member of the bass section.
Since 1989 he has been a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In addition to playing in the CSO Mr. Hovnanian is active performing solo and chamber music in the Chicago area. He has appeared in the Chicago Symphony chamber concerts at Orchestra Hall and the Art Institute, with Chicago Pro Musica, and at the Winter Chamber Music Festival. Currently he is President of Discordia Music, a pulishing company specializing in new and arranged works for Double Bass. He is also a co-founder of the International Bottesini Society, an organization dedicated to promoting the legacy of that composer.
Michael’s blog: www.csobassblog.blogspot.com
Discordia Music: www.discordia-music.com
Chicago Symphony Orchestra: www.cso.org
Chicago Bass Ensemble: www.chicagobassensemble.com
Ars Viva Symphony: www.arsviva.org
Music of the Baroque: www.baroque.org
Music from Michael
Thanks again for the great interview, Michael. Tune in to episode 24 of the podcast to hear the first part of this interview, and stay tuned for the final segment plus even more double bass playing for Michael on a future episode.
Next up on the program, we are going to be hearing Michael performing a selection from the first movement of the Beethoven Sonata (Op. 17) from his own edition of the piece, which is available for purchase from Discordia Music at www.discordia-music.com.
News and Notes
-I have been just been selected for the Board of Directors of the International Society of Bassists. Getting a chance to serve in this capacity is a real thrill for me, and I appreciate the opportunity. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that my blog is the reason that I was selected to work in this organization, and it is an example of the real power of this new medium.
-We’ve gotten a huge listener response from last week’s episode where we featured some of double bass virtuoso Guy Tuneh’s playing. We had many, many questions from listeners about Guy Tuneh, which you can check out over at contrabassconversations.com under episode 28. I really appreciate all of these questions, and I tried to incorporate as many of them as I could into our interview with Guy, which we completed earlier this week. I think that listeners will really enjoy this interiview next week.
-You will also be seeing the first video selections from Contrabass Conversations in the next couple of weeks. This video will feature Guy Tuneh, and it will be available at the Contrabass Conversations. If you’re subscribed, it will just come down the pike to you. This is an audio program (obviously), but I have always planned on including some video episodes where appropriate, so stay tuned and let me know what you think!
Music from Dinah D
I have been playing Bass for a short 5 years. A lot has happened in these few
years. Tonnes of road hours, studio hours, playing hours and, of course,
Not long after I met the upright Bass, I was touring with the (now popular)
Be Good Tanyas. That pretty much kick started my career to date. Lots of fun
shows! The most recent recording I played was The Contenders (Valdy and Gary
Fjellgaard) ‘Contenders Two’ – sharing the bass stage with vancouver
Bass-monster Rene Worst.
I live on beautiful gabriola island, where my cat is my best critic, and my
friends are my best fans.
I love doing freelance work for almost any style of band, as long as they
are Upright Bass saavy. Any band who tours with an Upright Bass deserves
respect. Cheers to those bands!
My own projects have garnished some nice attention in the last few years.
Touring with the ‘Contraband Trio'(Dinah D and her Contraband Trio) has been
a highlight. Playing festivals with this band is another highlight! People
are very cool at festivals!
I have been doing solo Bass/Voice shows for 3 years now. A combination of
song,storytelling, and noises both strong and weak, beautiful and ugly!
My most recent incarnation, just another on the wheel of Bass, is Dinah D’s
Contraband Swingclub. this band ranges from 5 piece to astronomical
proportions! great swing music, horns, fiddles, you name it!
line-up(for all 3 songs)
Upright Bass/Vocal -Dinah(pronounced dye-nah) D
Guitar- Kelly Fawcett
Drumkit- Andreas Kahre(pronounced Kah-ray)
Dawson was written for the town in the Yukon— Dawson City.
It’s an audio voyage to Dawson City in the summer – without having to wreck
your station-wagon to get there.
It was written on guitar on the ferry between vancouver and vancouver
island. I was on tour with a band and we were heading to the Yukon(with a 3
week stint in Dawson). I was trying to describe what the band could expect
when they got there…. and they weren’t disappointed. They said it was just
like the song….and the town has adopted the tune as their national anthem!
This song is ‘renaissance man’. It was written after a conversation about 2
chord songs. (With the 2 chords not really belonging together). I took on
the challenge. It was written for a friend who was having troubles in love.
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