ISB Convention, June 8, 2011

Image of the Day

You need to get your bass home in your BMW Z4. Good thing you bought the ragtop.

(h/t to Eric Johnson who had his camera at hand)


What an event! Even though my impulse is to order my post chronologically, and this event happened at the end of the day, I have to say that tonight’s concert was a peak experience. Both Daxun Zhang and Martin Wind are outstanding players, and to hear them back-to-back was immensely satisfying. Standing ovations and encores for both.
Also of tremendously high quality was Dennis Trembly’s afternoon recital.
I spent the morning listening to the instruments entered in the Maker’s Competition. This was really enlightening. Chuck Israels, Kurt Muroki and David Murray each played very briefly on each of the 25 instruments. What an opportunity to hear the subtle and not subtle variations across these fine instruments. The surprise takeaway for me was the variation in sound between the French and German bows! It sounds stupid to say it: of course there are differences, but they were so striking, and not what I had intuitively expected. Of course the variation is also due to different players. But the bottom line for me is that when shopping for an instrument or a bow, it isn’t going to help even to bring a friend along: you will not sound the way your friend does even playing on the same instrument.
Finally for me the feel-good story of the day: Australian luthier Benedict Puglisi’s instrument had been held up in customs SNAFUs, and missed the official deadline for entry in the Maker’s Competition. (reported here: )But when it did finally arrive, the judges were all agreeable to examine it. Props to them for interpreting the spirit of the rules and not their letter, and for making time in their own schedules to evaluate one more instrument. The best part: Benedict’s instrument received a silver medal for tone. I spent some time with him at “ISB After Hours” and in addition to being a very nice guy, ge us very relieved and happy tonight. Look him up the next time you’re in Melbourne.
Even though I seem to be the only one doing so, I’m still tweeting #ISBconv2011 throughout the day. There was a brief scare earlier when my brother retweeted me with a scorching comment, but he has since returned to WeinerGate and is leaving us bass players alone.

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