WHAT IS UP, BASSOONISTAS?
BBWE will now be a monthly installment of this wonderful new enterprise, Signals for Images, and I will be installing it into both blogs for a while. Each month, I will post a new blog covering issues in new music for bassoon, and showing you all the best of what I have found on the web (videos, composers, performers, pictures, etc). We are all very excited to show you what we got, and how we flaunt it. So those who are old, welcome back! If you are new, Bienvenue bassoonerinos (and composers, of course)! This is….
Let’s get to it!
I haven’t been posting anywhere for the last couple of months, because I have been writing other things….mainly my proposal for my dissertation. So for those of you who have been with me forever: FORGIVE ME. Proposals are where DMA students go to die.
But, so much has happened! So many wonderful videos! So many great and beautiful pieces I have discovered!
First of all, my dissertation (since the proposal passed), is on Electronic Music for the bassoon. One of the composers I am talking about is Peter Van Zandt Lane, a fabulous bassoonist/composer. This video is from a couple of years ago, but here he is, playing the first piece from Manteia, called Aeromancer. Manteia is a four-piece collection of pieces that you can get from his website. Sometimes, in electronic music, the music is all about what the electronics can do, and not so much about the instrument. That’s not really the case for this collection of works. Lane finds a good balance between the acoustic and the electronic, and the bassoon really gets to shine in some finer points in the composition.
Sometimes, I just get to trip over a piece. Liza Lim, an Australian composer, wrote a piece for Alban Wesley, a bassoonist in Amsterdam. The piece is a beautiful showcase for multiphonics, and Wesley can shift in between them, in and out so smoothly, I almost can’t believe it’s not electronic. In her program notes, she says this about the work:
There are tones expressed in distinct timbres from bright to dark to fuzzy, and complex multiphonics ranging from highly dissonant rolling tones and roaring frictions to consonant harmonies. Some of the sounds are highly localised, gloriously emerging from the bell at the top of the bassoon or circulating in quite specific regions of the tube. These sonic ‘knots’ inside the vibrating hollow tube of the instrument form the musical material of Axis Mundi.
Incidentally, Alban has a great Tedx talk from a few years ago with his Calefax Quintet.
On April 12th, Rebekah Heller, the bassoonist for ICE, played a really amazing piece by Felipe Lara, entitled Metafagote. Since it is not on his works list as of now, I can only suppose it is a premiere (?). I will find out. The playing, is of course, superb. Heller is always amazing. Her attention to details and colors is advanced and nuanced. It seems like the piece is using a delay, but without seeing her feet, I cannot tell if she is controlling it with a pedal or not.
CALL FOR SCORES!!!!
Because of my dissertation, I am doing a call for scores! I am writing an annotated bibliography for pieces with bassoon and electronics. Any kind of electronics! Bassoon and fixed media? Great! Bassoon and whammy pedal? Send it my way. Bassoon with interactive electronics? Yes please! Etc. Is it already published? Just put a link in the comments, email me, or tweet me! You can send these scores to firstname.lastname@example.org. If I really like it, I might play it, or buy it, or feature it on this blog!
For all you broney fans and pony fans alike, here is a cover of “I’ll fly” from My Little Pony. Incidentally, the art off of the video comes from the same artist as the top art.
Have a bassoon-worthy week!
You can follow me on twitter or instagram, and email me at email@example.com if you have a new CD coming out, have a call for scores, or are commissioning a new work. Or, if you are a composer with a bassoon piece you would like to bring to my attention, let me know.