For the second project in our LUME Lab series, we’re excited to welcome acclaimed saxophonist/woodwind player Julie Kjær. Her performance is on 16th March at IKLECTIK, and you can buy tickets in advance from the Luminous Bandcamp site. In this blog post, Julie gives us an insight into what she’s working on…
Jule Kjær: A study of the double bass (and a bit of the bass clarinet too)
What a great challenge and lovely opportunity to be asked to write some new music for LUME’s new constellation the ‘LUME Lab’. I’ve chosen to write for a quintet comprising 4 double basses and a bass clarinet. (and possible a bit of alto flute + sax)
For a long time now I’ve been wanting to get closer to the double bass, to dig into its lovely woody and stringy deep and to get a better understanding of the instrument. Such a lovely instrument with so many possibilities. Creaking woody sounds, screeching strings, low frequencies and humming sounds of the bow on strings.
During the last 3 weeks I’ve been investigating the world of the double bass. I’ve been listening to lots of music, reading wise words and meeting up with one of my double bass heroes, John Edwards, to watch him do his wizardry on the bass and take as many notes as possible. I’ve also been lucky to be able to borrow a double bass myself and get some hands-on experience to get a physical feeling of how it is to play – checking out the different sounds myself.
The next 3 – 4 weeks I will be processing all this collected material and info and use it as inspiration for the piece I will be writing. The compositing work will be based on the way I’ve been working with composing for the last 5 years, mainly with my trio, Julie Kjær 3, which is combining written material with improvised sections, experimenting with rhythm, sound and extended techniques.
After this I will be meeting up with the group for rehearsals leading up to the concert on the 16th March. The rehearsals are also an important part of the process, where the material is tried out, molded and shaped by the whole group.
The 4 double bass players I’ve asked to play are great players and improvisers. They are all busy on the London experimental and improv scene, but can also be heard in other parts of the music scene playing a.o. folk music and Jazz. I will be playing the bass clarinet part.
Seth Bennett double bass
Olie Brice double bass
Thodoris Ziarkas double bass
Tim Fairhall double bass
Julie kjær bass clarinet/alto flute & composition