Bass Geek. It’s True.

Possibly, one should not characterize oneself as a geek, leaving it as an honorary to be assigned by others. But I am taking the liberty to talk about myself this way. I am at least a minor double bass* geek. How can I tell? It’s been a month since Gary Karr’s appearance at the International Society of Bassists Convention, and I’m still wearing the wrist band that was used for admission:

Gary Karr Concert Wristband

A month later, still wearing the wristband from Gary Karr's appearance at the International Society of Bassists Convention

Yep, I’m still living the glory days of the convention in my mind. For me, corny though I think the tagline “Summer of Bass Love” is, there was a lot of love in the air in San Francisco this past June. There were great concerts (Thierry Barbé‘s recital springs to mind, as do the performances by Nicholas Schwartz and Shawn Conley), masterclasses I am still digesting (Hunter Capoccioni, Paul Erhard), product demos (the K-bow), the luthier’s competition and conversations galore (I held Chuck Israel’s attention for a while, had breakfast with Thierry Barbé and Volkan Orhon and was almost recognized by my old teacher Steve Tramontozzi).

I’ve never seen so many people walking around with bow cases over their shoulders or in their hands. I haven’t heard official figures since the end of the convention (hint, hint ISB office), but when I asked around during the convention, estimates by the staff ranged from 800 (pre-registrations) to 1,200 (including walk-up and/or one-day registrations). And there were so many events to attend! There were several instances where I had to make tough choices about what to see. I did my best to blog about the International Society of Bassists convention, but by the end of the week I couldn’t keep up.

I also bought a lot of music for Chicago Bass Ensemble. I am arranging for reading sessions to get through it with my colleagues here in Chicago, testing out what’s concert quality and what will be useful for in-school or other more casual settings.

A friend recently asked me why I founded a chamber ensemble of only bassists. Naturally I fumbled around trying to answer (we were recording the interview for his podcast, tentatively named The Heavily Redacted Podcast), and in the end I concluded that it’s just because I love this instrument so much. So much that I even made myself a washtub bass:

The UkeZooTub Orchestra performs at the Chicago Waldorf School's May Fair



* string bass, contrabass, bass, bass fiddle, doghouse bass, upright bass, bass violin, scratchbox, contrebasse, kontrabasse, king of the orchestra

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