The 2016 Golden Gate Bass Camp takes place from July 18 – 22
We’re less than two months away from the 2016 Golden Gate Bass Camp! If you’re in the Bay Area, I truly hope that you check out this weeklong event packed with great artists like Rufus Reid, DaXun Zhang, Diana Gannett, Paul DeNola, Scott Pingel, Jason Heath, Andrés Martín, John Kennedy, Dan Robbins, Kai Eckhardt, Charles Chandler, Pat Klobas, Stephen Tramantozzi, Megan McDevitt, Richard Duke (GGBCSF director), and yours truly. It’ll be a lot of fun.
Here’s a video of Atlanta Symphony principal bassist Colin Corner teaching students Mozart 35 with a string quartet at last year’s Golden Gate Bass Camp.
We last spoke with Colin on Contrabass Conversations when he took over as principal bass of the Rochester Philharmonic. After moving on to become principal bass of Atlanta and also of the Grant Park Symphony, it’s certainly time for a podcast update with Colin!
Double bassist Lauren Pierce has put out a video describing an experience she has had with harassment while working in the orchestra. Here’s the video:
There are active comment streams on both the YouTube page and her Facebook page. It takes a lot of courage to bring this incident to light, and kudos to Lauren for doing it in a way that promotes a quality discussion.
I just realized that I haven’t recently mentioned a very cool app that I regularly use in my teaching. Los Angeles Philharmonic bassist Brian Johnson has a great app for iOS called Learn Double Bass. This app is just 99 cents, which an insane bargain for the amount of content it contains. This app contains over 70 videos demonstrating concepts ranging from rosining the bow to executing spiccato. Multiple camera angles are used to demonstrate certain bow strokes, which is very cool.
This is a new series I’m starting highlighting people involved in forward-thinking projects. This first edition highlights double bassists (understandably) that are “moving the needle” in interesting ways. Not all “Innovators” editions will feature bassists, but this first one will. If you have an idea for an innovator, leave a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Innovator No. 1: Barry Green
It is astonishing to think about how much Barry has accomplished in his decades of musical activity. The man is an idea machine and is constantly pivoting (a spectacular and enviable talent) to focus on new opportunities and ideas. From his years creating a vibrant “Green Machine” bass scene in Cincinnati to his studies with Rabbath, Barry is a perpetual innovator. Non-bassists will know Barry best for his books The Inner Game of Music, The Mastery of Music, and Bringing Music to Life, but bassists may be best familiar with him for his ambitious projects like Anna’s Promise, which Barry, Jeff Bradetich, and I talked about in a podcast interview a few months ago.
Here’s a video covering what’s in store for Anna’s Promise, the final installment in Barry’s multimedia trilogy:
Innovator No. 2: Andrés Martín
Andrés is the composer of the music for Anna’s Gift and Anna’s Promise, and he has taken the double bass world by storm with his unique and compelling compositional voice. His first double bass concerto has been performed a great number of times worldwide, and he continues to contribute prodigiously to the repertoire, pushing the boundaries of the instrument in many interesting directions. Andrés and I sat down for a podcast interview recently and talked through his compositional process, which you’d find both interesting and inspirational.
Here’s a video of Andrés performing his first bass concerto. This will make you want to drop everything you’re doing and get a copy of the music–it rocks!
Innovator No. 3: Adam Ben Ezra
Adam is the first person in a long time that made me drop everything that I was doing and run to the bass for several hours to try to figure out a riff. I must have spent three hours straight practicing Can’t Stop Running when I first heard it on Facebook. Adam and I had a great chat for the podcast a few weeks back. His style is completely his own and is both fun and compelling. If Adam is the future of the double bass, the future looks quite bright indeed.
Here’s the video for Can’t Stop Running, which pulled me in both musically and through the amazingly unimpressed dog in the background:
I just wrapped up a great interview with double bassist Claus Freudenstein this morning. You may know Claus as the inventor of the Freudenstein minibass, which has been transforming how young students are taught. You may also be familiar with Claus and his work with the heavy metal-inspired Bassmonsters, or his work as a member of the International Society of Bassists board of directors. Claus is actively changing the world of the double bass on a number of fronts, and he’s the exact sort of person that I love featuring on Contrabass Conversations. Look for this episode to drop on Monday, April 25th (which also happens to be Claus’ birthday!).
Claus and I got pretty deep into the topic of arranging, and Andrés Martín came up several times (check out this link to hear Andrés talk about how he first got into arranging). Here’s a great clip of Claus and Andrés performing for Encuentro Latino Americano de Contrabajos, which Andrés puts on each year. Be sure to check out our podcast featuring Andrés, and stay tuned for our episode with Claus very soon!