ae67—Tremor-for Contrabass and Piano

At the suggestion of my colleague Tricia Dawn Williams, I started work on a piece for double bass and piano for a special concert she had planned in Malta.

Upon beginning work on the piece I had a bit of difficulty reconciling the huge sonority and weight of tone the instrument with the piano. The more I pondered this issue, the more it pointed to thinking about the sound of the instruments in a slightly different way from other instruments. The double bass has a spectrum of sound that ranges from so low one can almost feel it more than hear it, to a quite nasal, somewhat sweet ‘head voice’ in the upper range.

Because of this, the notion of some earthen, eruptive sound took hold in my imagination and this led also to the conception of many of the features of the work: vibrant low trills and fast syncopated rhythms all offset by a central slow section that is the still moments between two eruptive outer sections.

I completed the work in Cincinnati, Ohio between September and December, 2012.

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