Experimental Sound Studio, February 3, 2012

Chicago Bass Ensemble and friends Jeff Greene and Doug Johnson will play a set of music and Chicago’s Experimental Sound Studio.

February 3, 2012, 8 pm.
5925 North Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60660

Admission $10/$8 ESS members and students.

Experimental Sound Studio (ESS) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1986, dedicated to the promotion, production, presentation, and preservation of innovative and diverse approaches to the sonic arts, and to the integration of these art forms into the public. They host a great diversity of artists of all kinds, and we’re honored to be able to premiere Mike Wittgraf’s Autogenous Mining at ESS.

We’ll be joined by friends Jeff Greene and Doug Johnson. Doug is a former member of CBE (ha! once a member, always a member!), and a founder of Gunnelpumpers and Spiritflake Records. Jeff is a bassist, composer and winner of the 2010 composition contest of the International Society of Bassists.


  • Russell, Ultra-Rondo, Chicago Bass Ensemble
  • Greene, Jeff, The Range of Their Vision, Jeff Greene
  • Guy, Barry, Anaklasis, Jeff Greene and Dan Thatcher
  • Johnson, Clevenjourney N71, Douglas Johnson
  • Wittgraf, Autogenous Mining for double bass quartet and interactive electronics, Chicago Bass Ensemble [premiere]


  • Jacque Harper
  • Anton Hatwich
  • Julian Pat Romane
  • Dan Thatcher
  • Jeff Greene
  • Doug Johnson


Ultra-Rondo for double bass quartet was composed in 2002 and revised in 2011. The first bass part is given more prominence than the other parts in a, in addition to being more active, it employs a higher range. Occasionally the other three parts are given prominence, however, and from time to time the participate in various duets and trios, and sub-groupings of the ensemble.

The pieces is in three broad sections (fast-slow-fast) in which a rondo pattern is embedded. The first part has three sections (ABA), the middle slow part has three sections (BCB) and the final part has four sections (CACA).

The Range of Their Vision

The Range of Their Vision, a composition for solo acoustic bass and electronics, received the 2010 ISB/David Walter Composition Competition and was premiered at San Francisco State University during the 2011 International Society of Bassists’ convention.


Written by Barry Guy for himself and Stefano Scodanibbio, 2002. The score is a graphic representation of extended techniques for the double bass. Lines of demarcation separate different domains with distinct musical material. Of the instrumentation, Guy says “There could be a version for cellos, but it wouldn’t work for violins, for instance, because they’re not resonant enough. The point of the title is a reflection of sound re-echoing to resound and reverberate. In this early domain [a section of the graphical score] I indicate that paintbrushes are to be put through the strings and used as an oscillator. Because of the length of the bass strings, it gives a certain effect that would be lost on other instruments.”

The score and in interview with Barry Guy can be found at http://www.intaktrec.ch/images/rev123_guyinterview_bass.pdf


Throughout human history, shamans have used rhythm and sound to help travel to nonordinary reality in altered states of consciousness. Such journeys enable the shaman to seek the guidance of spirit helpers, and are usually performed for the healing of others and to help their communities. While ancient, time-tested methods are still common practice, many modern-day shamans have adapted these concepts for more contemporary settings as well. “Clevinjourneys” are long-form, mostly improvised works for 6-string Clevinger bass and effects pedals. They first came about as a collaboration with the shamans in my life who expressed interest in using music of the spirit as a vehicle for shamanic journeys. As the performer, I, too, am on a journey, taking care to keep the music interesting while maintaining a seamless flow.

Autogenous Mining

Written by Michael Wittgraf for the Chicago Bass Ensemble, 2011. The piece calls for all four basses to have a separate microphone, which are processed (via an Apogee Ensemble and Pacarana sound processor) using KYMA software. The computer operator follows a score and interacts live with the performers, manipulating the sounds with a Wii remote and other hardware. Composer Mike Wittgraf will join the Chicago Bass Ensemble for the premiere of this work.

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4 Responses to “Experimental Sound Studio, February 3, 2012”

  1. […] Chicago Bass Ensemble A small group of large instruments « Experimental Sound Studio, February 3, 2012 […]

  2. […] the program order for February 3 Some that still need to get […]

  3. […] very quick post, late Friday (really by now it’s early Saturday). Just got in from playing our concert at Chicago’s Experimental Sound Studio. I am so pleased to say it went very well: a full […]

  4. […] Autogenous Mining from the Bass Festival is now available on SoundCloud. I wrote about the piece in other blog posts as […]

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