Vol. 4, No. 122

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Contrabass-list Wed, 25 Feb 1998 Volume 1 : Number 122

In this issue:

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 14:14:48 -0800
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@contrabass.com>
Subject: Golden Bubbles


I just received a copy of the score for "The Golden Bubble" by Barney Childs, for Eb contrabass sarrusophone and solo percussion. Yes, it is still in print! I telephoned Carl Fischer Inc. to order it, and was really surprised when the clerk told me it was in stock ("Yep, we can send that out to ya on Monday"). Not too surprised when he called back the following Wednesday to say that it wasn't really "in stock", but it *was* still available. Apparently, they keep a master copy, and run off a few prints at a time, as needed.

Anyway, the score is pretty interesting. It comes as two oversized (about 11" by 14") spiral bound manuscripts, with both sarrusophone and percussion on each part (the two copies are identical). The score specifies an Eb contrabass sarrusophone, and notes

"contrabassoon, Eb c-bass clarinet, or Bb c-bass clarinet
(properly transposed) to be used only in direst emergency."

The percussion specified is 5 tomtoms, 2 suspended cymbals, 2 tympani (25" and 28"), snare, log drum, bass drum, and whistle ("NOT with ball inside - Oscar Meyer weenie-whistle preferred").

It is definitely a modern work. There are no bar lines or time signature. Rests are indicated by written duration in seconds. Part way through the piece, the sarrusophonist is requested to switch to a single reed mpc, if possible, and to play with "early Guy Lombardo sax tone". One of the instructions is "any trill or tremolo, fingered only, pre-chosen for maximum key clatter." Page 6 has a "Quasi - Cadenza", where each performer selects a number of activities from a list, for 45 seconds.

Does anyone have a recording? It looks like a fascinating work. Now, if I can get an accomplice - I mean percussionist ...


End of contrabass-list V1 #122

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