Philip Corner: A Thorough Bass, and thoroughly… based (2011). 12’.
A recent specimen of Corner’s inimitable handwritten verbal notation “for a plucked one-string instrument”, here played on the washtub bass. The instrument consists of an inverted East German galvanized steel wash basin, a metal D string from the contrabass, and a broomstick.
Christopher Williams: Water Music (2013). 12’.
“Drip drop, drip drap drep drop. So it goes on, this watery melody, for ever without an end. Inconclusive, inconsequent, formless, it is always on the point of deviating into sense and form. Every now and then you will hear a complete phrase of rounded melody. And then – drip drop, dri-drep, di-drap – the old inconsequence sets in once more.” (From Aldous Huxley’s “Water Music”, 1920)
Scott Mc Laughlin: New Work for Contrabass and Ring Preparations (2019)
Irish composer and cellist Scott McLaughlin’s first piece for solo bass using his ingenious 3D-printed plastic ring preparations for bowed string instruments. The rings create seductive interference patterns, or energy “pools”, among the strings. The player becomes like a tightrope walker moving between points of balance and tension.
Christopher Williams: Sing, Bucket (2019)
Most washtub basses have a wad of duct tape on the inside of the tub to dampen the sound and get a good percussive “thud”. My washtub does not – it is a bell. Bowing a loose string at just the right point of tension reveals a song within the rich overtones of the tub.
Werner Dafeldecker: Lipidvesikel (2018). 10’.
Best known as the bass player of Polwechsel, Dafeldecker conceived this structured improvisation from a drawing of proteins binding and separating taken from evolutionary biologist Renée Schroeder’s book Die Erfindung des Menschen. The bass lies on the floor, its strings and hardware played percussively with both hands, and the bow is used as a preparation.