Welcome to Story Time with the Contrabass Conversations podcast! This new venture was inspired by the great podcast Digital Flotsam (along with a healthy dose of This American Life), and it features me narrating my story about fitting basses in cabs, along with topical songs, sound effects, and more.
This week’s Contrabass Conversations episode features the conclusion of our interview with double bassist Michael Hovnanian. Click here to listen to Michael’s previous episodes (CBC 24 and 29). Michael has been a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1989, and he serves as the president of Discordia Music (double bass music publisher). Michael also plays for the Gunnelpumpers, Chicago Bass Ensemble, Music of the Baroque, and the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra. He authors the popular CSO Bass Blog, and he has served on the faculty for Northwestern University and the Chicago College of Performing Arts. Michael was also my bass teacher for my undergraduate and graduate degrees at Northwestern, and it was really great to get a chance to do this interview. You will also get a chance to hear Michael play the Discordia Music edition of the Schubert Arpeggione Sonata on this episode.After our interview with Michael, we’ll be featuring two tunes from Chicago-area jazz bassist Mark Sonksen. Mark is the owner of Sonksen Strings, a double bass repair and retail shop located in Chicago. Enjoy!
This week’s Contrabass Conversations episode concludes our chat with Time for Three bassist Ranaan Meyer. CBC guest and co-host John Grillo joins us in this interview, and the three of us had a very engaging conversation. You can check out the first part of our interview plus CBC video episodes featuring Ranaan on his Contrabass Conversations page here, and visit Time for Three’s website at www.tf3.com.
This week’s Contrabass Conversations episode features an in-depth analysis of the double bass orchestral excerpts most commonly requested at auditions. Double bassist (and regular Contrabass Conversations guest and co-host) John Grillo discusses each of these excerpts–stylistic considerations, differences in articulation and bow strokes, and suggestions for effectively learning them–and then performs them. I believe that this project will be a highly valuable resource for bassists worldwide, and I’d love your feedback on this project!
Excerpts covered (click below to hear individual tracks):
Beethoven Symphony No. 9
Beethoven Symphony No. 5
Brahms Symphony No. 1 and 2
Shostakovich Symphony No. 5
Mozart Symphony No. 35 and 39
Mahler Symphony No. 2
Schubert Symphony No. 9
Strauss Ein Heldenleben
Britten Young Person’s Guide
This week’s podcast features an interview with double bass performer, composer, and teacher Donovan Stokes. We featured music from Donovan on episode 13 of the podcast, and it’s a pleasure to feature this great musician again. Gadaha, the album that we feature this week, was recorded with no overdubs whatsoever, which is amazing considering the intricacy of much of this music.
You can learn more about Donovan at www.donovanstokes.com. Enjoy!