Hints and Hauntings

Commissioned by the Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance
for Jeremy Baguyos
contrabass and stereo digital sound
2010
5 minutes



performed by Ryan Ford
(watch on Vimeo in HD by clicking "HD" or "Vimeo" above)

Program note: Hints and Hauntings is a pastiche paying homage to a long list of influences and experiences that have shaped my musical life.  I sought to use sounds I once found far more prevalent in my daily existence, whose absence and possible future obsolescence I’ve noticed.  (You’ll find I spent a lot of time as a child listening to records and reading the dictionary.)  Formative sonic experiences find their way into the piece as well, like playing in a drumline and discovering electronic music, from early analog sounds to my teenage years dancing in clubs. 

I wanted to explore the contrabass’s range of expressivity, particularly its capacity for lyricism, its almost transparent timbre in the upper registers, the funk only it can bring, and the sheer power that those low, slow sound waves can manifest, while proving to myself that such an unwieldy beast of an instrument (I say, lovingly) can be tamed.