Vol. 1, No. 40

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| Contrabass-L: a list for discussion of contrabass *anything*|
|To subscribe, email gdgreen@crl.com with "subscribe contrabass"|
|in the subject line |

Vol. 1, No. 40

17 September 1996

From: KUUP84A@prodigy.com (MR MARK A TRINKO)
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 1996 02:08:49, -0500
Subject: LeBlanc recording petition

Hey guys, count me in on the LeBlanc pressure. How do we begin on approaching him? Who will take the lead. How much money should I plan on spending? I don't have much.

Where does LeBlanc live and where do all the subscribers of this list live? Who else is interested in contributing financially?



The possibilities range from full-fleged commercial-quality release to a quick cassette tape of a few amatures honking away.

My hope is that Leblanc would pay for everything, with just some prodding and organization from one or more of us. To seriously go forward with this, I think we need:

  1. a realistic list of the pieces to include;
  2. cooperation of the composers (up to and including furnishing the parts);
  3. musicians to play - we may have to draw numbers for who gets to play the octocontra ;-) ;
  4. the instruments themselves; and
  5. professional (hopefully) recording arrangements

Some random thoughts:

We might be able to interest Leblanc in the project as (1) a CD they could use for promotional purposes, e.g., as demos for the instruments, which could easily include other Leblanc horns, (2) a purely artistic endeavor and/or support for the composers, (3) possibly an opportunity for some of their product-endorsing artists.

With regard to the list, I think it would be a good idea to include the works specifically written for the leviathins. I think the list should include a variety of musical styles, e.g., not all modern, not all baroque, etc. I'd be willing to arrange (and possibly compose) a piece or two for some collection of instruments should the occassion arise.

Francis, you've already contacted one composer: would you be up for making another inquiry, enlisting support?

Re Musicians: If we can enlist a few well-known/recognized players, the project will have much greater credibility. We need some people with musical resumes. Even if we don't get to play on the CD, perhaps we could arrange a honking session for everyone who can make it to Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The horns: Obviously, for anything more than a simple honk session, we'd have to arrange some practice time for the musicians. Even seasoned pros should want a chance to familiarize themselves with the unique instruments.

Recording: My guess is that Leblanc has some form of recording facility. If they don't, I may have to bring my ADAT or DATman. (The DATman works surprisingly well for a portable tape deck.)

I'm assuming that we'll need to bring everything to the instruments. Worst case scenario, if we can get permission to use the instruments (and reeds!) for a day or so and record them, I could possibly fly to WI, play the octocontra parts into a DAT deck, and overlay the other parts later. The resulting tape could be provided to subscribers here, and Leblanc (if of acceptable quality).

Do any of our subscribers live in the Kenosha area? Especially anyone who already plays contrabass clarinet?

Any other thoughts?


From: groover@netcom.com (Robert Groover)
Subject: Re: Contrabass-L, No. 38
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 1996 03:38:49 -0700 (PDT)

> I've just received a copy of the special issue of the Leblanc Bell of May 6,
> 1996, Vol XIX, Nos. 2-3 Spring/Summer, 1996 Commemorative Issue.

How does one get this magazine?

Robert Groover groover@netcom.com (PGP key on request)
Member ECS, AVS, ACM, OSA, Sen.Mem.IEEE, Reg'd Patent Atty
"All men by nature desire knowledge."


You can find the subscription form on the web at http://www.gleblanc.com/gleblanc/forminfo.html .

OTOH, I signed up there months ago, and still haven't received one...


Date: Tue, 17 Sep 1996 11:46:50 -0400
From: PaulWalto@aol.com
Subject: Re: Bass Sax & Big Clarinet Recordings (For Contrabass-L)

Wow! Lots cooking on the list all of a sudden.

Francis Firth asked about the Spencer Clark solo bass sax album. This is called Spencer Clark and His Bass Sax: Sweet And Hot, and was released on the label Audiophile (LP) in 1978. Audiophile was one of the GHB jazz labels put out by George Buck of New Orleans. However, I'd be very surprised if this record made it to CD along with George's other product (mostly swing and trad jazz).

It is the only album featuring the bass sax in solo throughout, with rhythm. Clark also overdubbed his own sax section parts (2 alto, 2 tenor) on three titles. I like the album, although Clark tends to play it uniformly slow and soft.

Can't recall albums or titles, but Charlie Ventura (the bop tenor player) had a fling with bass sax in the '50s. His playing tended towards the obvious, i.e., long bellowing hippopotamus notes instead of actual improvising.

To Mark Trinko, who wanted to hear octo-clarinets, I would recommend recording a snippet of bass or contrabass clarinet and running it through a sound editor program. I have a rather inexpensive one called Kaboom! which allows you to vary the pitch of a sound sample from 10% to 200% of the original, in 4% steps.

I did this with my Bb clarinet and turned it into a bass (48%), a contrabass (24%), and even an octo-contralto (12%). The tone quality was surprisingly true to life on the first two. I have no clue about the third.

I'll say this. Any instrument that plays that low goes beyond the limits of musicality into an eerie netherworld.

I'd be happy to tape the Spencer Clark LP for anyone who wants a copy.

Bass-ically yours,

Paul Lindemeyer

Another option is to use a 2-speed tape deck, recording a contrabass at the higher speed, and playing it back at the lower speed.

I've always assumed that octocontrabass parts would be like organ pedal parts: slower than the parts above, and very low, used mainly for deep fundamentals on cadential chords, or for pedal points.


End Contrabass-L No. 40

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