Prestoflex: a new string for double bass

box_Pflex_L-300

As you may know, I not only write about the double bass here at my weblog DoubleBassGuide.com, I also keep me busy with a lot of other double bass related activities. One of these things is string development. Together with my partners from Presto at Gdansk/Poland, I recently developed a new steel string: the Prestoflex.

How do they sound and play? Other than our Jazzicato string, our recent launch, the Prestoflex is a steel string (flexible steel core with smooth chromesteel wrapping) . So it’s probably much less a niche product as the nylonwound Jazzicatos are.
Curious? Nico Catacchio from Italy published a video at Youtube, and some more comments are already published at Talkbass.com.

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2015 ISB Double Bass Convention: deadlines for competitions

ISB

2015 ISB Double Bass Competition: June 1st-2nd, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado (website)

Application deadlines are:
Solo division – January 5, 2015
Jazz division – January 16, 2015
Orchestra division – March 17, 2015
Age 15-18 division – January 6, 2015
Age 14 and Under – April 1, 2015

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8th Kontrabass Kaleidoskop at Kloster Michaelstein (Germany)

March 22.–29., 2015 at Kloster Michaelstein (Blankenburg/Harz, Germany)

“Kaleidoscope” – that brings to mind the eyes of astonished children when they see colourful stars light up. Coming to Michaelstein for the first time, some participants are astonished in a similar way by the special atmosphere of the “Double-Bass Kaleidoscope”: there’s spontaneous improvisation in the evening over olives, wine and cheese, and many “classical” players turn out to be practised jazz musicians; fingering, bowing and types of rosin are discussed in the meadow, over table tennis and in the monastery garden; everyone practises, rehearses and performs tirelessly; impressive concerts are given. Above all, there is learning in a carefree, relaxed and open way. No pressure to succeed, no showcase, no competition. “The most superb bass festival there is!” some participants say. Is it because people have the opportunity to look beyond the end of their own nose and to have open exchanges about various playing techniques, musical interpretations and first audition experiences? Are the morning warm-up exercises or the evening table-tennis tournaments the reason? Is it due to the fantastic nature surrounding the Michaelstein monastery, or the first-class conditions found here? Or is it simply all of these things that make the event something special? However it may be… come and join us too, get an idea of it and benefit from double-bass soloists from around the world passing on their experiences.

Silvio Dalla Torre (Rostock/GER)
Stanislau Anishchanka (Köln/GER)
Matthias Weber (Stuttgart/GER)
Luo Bing (Shanghai/CHN)
Frank Thönes (Rostock/GER) – Neue Musik
Christian Weber (Zürich/CH) – Jazz
Joshua Cheatham (Utrecht/B) – Alte Musik
Angela Gebler (München/GER) – Physiotherapie

more informations and registration: www.kontrabass-kaleidoskop.de; registration deadline: February 22, 2015.

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1er salon du violon, de l’alto, du violoncelle et de la contrebasse

29. + 30. Nov. 2014, 10:00 a.m., La Bellevilloise, Paris (France), 6€ la journée / 10€ le week end

Un salon du violon pour y rencontrer son instrument.
Un instrument fait pour chaque personnalité, chaque style de jeu, un violon, un alto, un violoncelle, une contrebasse à sa main, à son oreille, au son unique, au son particulier. Une relation entre soi et son luthier est la clé de tous ces paramètres qui restent pour beaucoup encore chargés de mystères.

Pour ce 1er salon du violon au 21e Siècle à Paris, la rencontre avec les luthiers et archetiers français permettra d’admirer et de découvrir un savoir faire particuliers unique, transmis de génération en génération mais en perpétuelle évolution. La lutherie française rayonne aujourd’hui dans le monde entier par son savoir faire et ses innovations. Les formes, les techniques, les vernis, la qualité des bois sont toujours au centre de la création magique de cet instrument de musique.
Son archet «baguette» indispensable est d’une importance capitale, L’archeterie française est elle aussi en pleine évolution et sera à cet important rendez vous pour les musiciens.

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E-Book on making a double bass

Roger Hargrave, a british violin maker who lives and works in Germany, has built his first double bass and wrote a interesting blog about this project on the website ‘Maestronet’. After having finished the bass, he has put his text (24000 words in total) and 371 photos together to an extensive e-book, which explores the design making and varnishing of a double bass, but it also includes several sections relating to violin/viola making and varnishing. The e-book can be downloaded for free at his website: www.roger-hargrave.de

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Special offer from Ischell microphones

Ischell, the french maker of contact microphones, offers a special promotion for readers of the DoubleBassGuide.com: save 8% on any order at the Ischell webshop site, using the voucher code “JONASLOHSE”.

The Ischell microphones mount to the double bass top by means of putty. It’s an active system that runs on phantom power (provided by a preamp or XLR).

AirBag ischell-xp-500

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very sad news

The Violin channel, a news website and newsletter mainly about string instrument and classical music, also features news about musicians who recently passed away. To me, it’s remarkable that they use categories here.

  • (simple case of death)
  • sad news
  • very sad news

sad-news

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Questionary: Paul Cannon

My German language weblog www.kontrabassblog.de features an interview category called Fragebogen (which means “questionary” in English).
Paul Cannon is the newest member of the  Ensemble Modern here at Frankfurt. But because he is from Houston, Texas, I translated the questions for him … so that’s the first article of my new interview category here at DoubleBassGuide.com:

Paul studied with Paul Ellison at Rice University in Houston, Texas, where he received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in performance. In 2010, Cannon was awarded a Wagoner Fellowship in Paris, France, where he studied extensively with famed bass soloist François Rabbath. While there, he received a performance diploma and teaching certificate from the Institut Rabbath before returning to Houston.
Paul has joined Ensemble Modern in the spring of 2014. Previously, he has been a featured artist at the TCU Double Bass Symposium and with the contemporary ensemble Musiqa. He has appeared as a guest with the Houston Symphony, Boston Symphony, Austin Symphony, and the Houston Grand Opera. He has performed at festivals including Aspen, Tanglewood, Sarasota, Spoleto USA, and Domaine Forget. From 2011-2014, he was Director of Education at the Quantum Bass Center and provided numerous outreach services throughout Houston as a 2013 Da Camera Young Artist.

Paul came to my workshop as a customer, but since he has also worked as a luthier in the USA, I always enjoy discussing details and getting insights into the american double bass world …

What CD is in your stereo at the moment?

Well, I just moved here two months ago and still haven’t bought a proper stereo, and all my CD’s are still in boxes. It looks like the last thing I listened to on my computer was “The Tuning CD” — I guess that shows where my priorities have been lately! The last real thing I listened to was Mark Dresser’s “Time Changes”.

Which bassist(s) do you listen to most often?

I’m a big fan of Renaud Garcia-Fons, Mark Dresser, Stefano Scodanibbio, Sebastian Dubé, and Edgar Meyer. They have all pushed bass playing so far, while also making music I really love to hear.

Which bassist was you main influence?

I’ve had so many strong influences personally and professionally. My two main teachers, Paul Ellison and François Rabbath, were definitely my biggest mentors and really shaped me into the kind of player I wanted to be. I also drew an incredible amount of inspiration from my peers at Rice University, and from all the teachers at Domaine Forget.

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5th World Bass Festival Wroclaw, Poland

In August, not only the Bass2014 (Amsterdam/NL) will take place. Bassplayers also come together at Wroclaw, Poland.

August 16th – 21th, 2014
* Anniversary 20-years of the Polish Society of Double Bassists
* Anniversary Double Bass Competition in four categories
* Concerts
* Master classes
* Double bass orchestra
* Exhibition

www.worldbassfestival.pl

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How gut strings are made

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