Ah, summer… I love the change of pace that this season brings. I hope you’re somewhere interesting making music with good people!
I’m spending the week playing with the Mendocino Music Festival out on the California coast. Not a bad place to spend some time!
Here’s what’s been happening this week in the world of the bass:
New Recording from Catalin Rotaru… on Bottesini’s Bass!
Catalin and I will be chatting about this new recording soon for Contrabass Conversations.
Book of the Week
Maybe you’ve got some beach time scheduled and are looking for a good read. If so, I’d recommend checking out How Music Works by David Byrne. David (of Talking Heads fame) digs deep into music and the human experience, creative motivations. It’s a great read–highly recommended!
Video of the Week
I had the pleasure of seeing Donovan Stokes perform Cliff Burton’s groundbreaking bass solo Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth) at the Golden Gate Bass Camp last month. Here’s a new version from Donovan on YouTube–great stuff!
The State of Women in the Bass World
I had the chance to connect with USC undergraduate student Rebecca Lawrence for the podcast recently. We chatted about many things, but one big topic was the state of women in the double bass world. Lots of love for this one popping up on Facebook!
Life as an Adult Amateur Double Bassist
I also had the chance to connect with Stuart Pearce and chat about what it’s like picking up the bass for the first time as an adult. I know that there are a lot of adult amateurs in the podcast audience, and I thought it would be cool to feature Stuart and chat about what’s important to someone in his shoes.
Harp Harmonics on the Bass
Emilio has also launched his new Chromatic Endpin, which allows for all sorts of angled endpin adjustments without modifying the bass. Very cool!
Quote of the Week
Thanks to Ali Cook for putting this one out on Facebook. Very descriptive language to describe our role in the ensemble!
“The bass may be owed more credit than it gets. Onstage and on record, it’s in complete service to the surrounding instruments: a hybrid of rhythm and melody, a drum with strings and frets. It engulfs from underneath in its lowest rumbles, and snaps with personality and wit at its highest tremors. It’s an instrument for casual alphas, quietly confident in their mastery and content to play second to last when the solos roll around.” – Matthew Trammell on Stephen Bruner from The New Yorker, June 2016.
Interesting Online Music Debates
- Who is your favorite lesser-known (or totally unknown) conductor that you’ve played under – and why? – from Tracy Friedlander
- Interpretations & fingerings for the Mahler 1 solo – from Peter Tambroni
- The issue of strings, costs, availability and manufacturers – from Bernard O’Niell
- Bass Beyond Limitation – documentary from the 2010 International Bradetich Solo Competition (I’m looking forward to the second competition this September!)
- Visual/tactile aids used to help develop shifting on the bass – from Contrabass Conversations Community on Facebook
- Music as a Language – Victor Wooten at TEDx
- The Guy Who Produced Kendrick Lamar’s Best New Track Did It All on His iPhone
- Eight bassists on one bass – The Ohio State University Double Bass Ensemble
That’s it for this week! Feel free to email me any stories you’d like shared on these weekly updates covering the double bass world.