Double bass composer James Marshall and I have been in touch recently, and he expressed interest in my sharing scores of some of his double bass compositions here on the blog. Jim has written several pieces in the past for Bert Turetzky (a former Contrabass Conversations guest). Here are copes of PDFs of all three scores. If you are interested in performing them, please contact Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ciel Etoile (PDF) – for amplified solo contrabass, flute, clarinet, trumpet, violin, cello, bass drum, and piano
- Ciel Luminaire (PDF) – for alto flute and contrabass
- Intonement (PDF) – for solo contrabass
About James Marshall
James Marshall is an American Composer who worked in business in his native city of Dallas from the late 1970’s until his retirement from JP Morgan Chase Bank in 2014. “The Texas Ives”, in the words of Bert Turetzky. A recurring facet of his music has been personal involvement with performers, composers, and exceptional participants in the field of new music. This began in association with colleagues and teachers including the Composers Club with Don Gillis at SMU. In more recent years a successful juncture was found in collaboration with contrabass artist Bertram Turetzky. A creative universe was discovered from Intonement 1976 to Ciel Luminaire and Ciel Etoil Chamber Concerto for Contrabass and Nine Instruments premiered with Harvey Sollberger and the Sonar Ensemble in November 1996.
Los Angeles Times music critic William Weber first described Marshall’s music as “avant garde” early in the 1977 review of Apre?s Moi le Sommeil for clarinet and percussion. The work was described as “magnetic” in its use of modernistic techniques. This piece has been performed extensively by the “Uwharrie Duo” (currently in residence at the University of Wisconsin), and heard live by the composer for the Society of Composers conference in Oklahoma City in February 1997.
Formal study in music began on the Garrigues Foundation Scholarship at Meadow School of the Arts SMU ( B.M. Composition with Alvin Epstein). During service with the USAF Band Washington D.C he received the M.M. degree from Catholic University of America (1974, Composition with Stephen Burton), and had sessions in composition with George Crumb (1972- 1975).
During 1975-1976 he held a Fellowship to the University of California San Diego (Study with Robert Erickson and Bert Turetzky) and attended the seminars at the Berkshire Music Center Tanglewood Summer, 1976 in connection with the music of George Crumb.
His music, performed in the states and abroad, is progressive and eclectic. It’s most overt influences are of the generation of Crumb and Ligeti who embraced the cerebral discipline of the Viennese revolution, but followed the more individual approaches in the service of an evolving modernist approach.
A writer member of ASCAP, significant performances have included: Los Angeles Monday Evening Concerts (Apre?s Moi le Sommeil; Six Nocturnes); Nancy and Bert Turetzky (Intonement, Ciel Luminaire, Ciel Etoile) in Paris, Mexico City, Freiburg, New York, London, Dallas, Tuscon, San Diego, and on numerous University campuses; Dallas Voices of Change; Contemporary Music Forum of Washington D.C.; Synchronia St. Louis; as well as various college and university concerts.
Of his music critics have remarked: arresting, avant-garde, expressive-mysterious, expressive and enormously effective, fascinating, magnetic.
Works in the 21st century have included Ciel Bleu for clarinet, percussion premiered by the CMF Washington D.C. , Evocation for alto flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion 2002, Passages for Piano, and New York Trio 2006. Retirement from banking has sparked new creative interests resulting in Pacific Moments, duo for Nancy and Bert Turetzky, Spectral Images (Nightpiece II) for clarinet, vibraphone, Marblehead for solo flute, Autumn for solo cello. Filling in for band and orchestra directors in local schools for Rockwall, Texas he has been inspired to look again for new sonorities for school groups.
Two compositions were completed in 2016: April Light, String Orchestra dedicated to Constance Groark, director Heath High School Varsity Orchestra, and Morning by the Lake for middle school band.
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