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Date: Sun, 04 Jul 1999 06:28:53 -0700
From: "Timothy J. Tikker" <email@example.com>
Subject: [Fwd: from contrabass-l]
Dr H wrote:
> }From: "Aaron Rabushka" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> }Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 19:20:15 -0500
> }Reply-To: email@example.com
> }>Has anyone tried playing clarinet (or
> }>contrabassoon) while breathing helium?
> }Would any reasonable, insane, or reasonably insane composer request this
> }Aaron J. Rabushka
> Since he recognizes it as an "effect," it would seem he has answered his
> own question.
> BTW, I *have* tried it with Eb sopranino clarinet, Bb and A soprano clarinets,
> alto clarinet, and bass clarinet, but not contrabassoon, I'm afraid. The
> effect is much more pronounced on smaller instruments, and those with smaller
> I have also played these instruments with a lungful of carbon dioxide
> and with nitrous oxide -- both of which have the opposite effect from
> helium (pitch goes lower, then bends up). I did this as reaseach for a
> a compendium of extended techniques for the ancillary clarinets (though
> mainly focused on the alto) which I compiled about 12 years back.
> I noted then, and I note now, that unless one is writing "danger music"
> one should be wary of writing long passages using this effect, or of
> repeating it too frequently within a single piece. There is a very
> real risk of anoxia, and the player passing out (and nitrous oxide
> produces certain "side effects" on the performer which may or may not
> be desirable ;-)
> Dr H
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