for double bass quintet

premiere 09.10.2022

Mushamukas Ensamble de Contrabajos

in León, México

The title Beasts is in reference to the (almost) homonymous piece Beast by James Tenney. In it, one single double bass sustains a unison on A played on the two lowest strings of the instrument, which through slight changes in intonation procudes a complex series of acoustic beats. The initial premise of Beasts is exactly the same, but in a quintet setting which surrounds the audience, and expanded in its second half by the use of natural harmonics. The result is an exploration of some of the sounds which exist potentially within the double bass. Such exploration was also at the center of Stefano Scodanibbio’s work, whose Voyage that never ends was also an inspiration for Beasts, and that also begins with the note A, constantly reattacked for over 20 minutes. The three pieces make use of the idea of the single note to travel into the double bass and reveal those sounds that hide in between the notes.