The digitalization of our musical world presents us with both endless possibilities and daunting choices. The contribution of my research to the future of both composers and musicians is hopefully narrowing the gap between new technology and players. This discrepancy has not only been noticed by the makers, but also by audiences hearing the latest scores.
Preparation for concerts involving live electronics is very different from a double bass player's regular concert routine. Testing the software is an absolute necessity in order to avoid great musical disasters! It requires meticulous attention for every detail.
Hardware set up and preparation is a time-consuming effort quite different from the experiences of an acoustical performance, where you only need to unwrap your instrument.
Now that both electronics and regular playing are combined, there will be even more challenges to overcome when it comes to dealing with the acoustics of the hall. Balancing sound, making everything audible but not too loud, positioning of speakers etc. are all new challenges that demand a technical side to 'Hybrid playing'.
The register of the double bass confronts the beginner with very specific problems. One of the main challenges is the perception and awareness of pitch in the low register, as well as making a consistent sound with the bow. Playing with piano accompaniment often helps and speeds up the development of a young player. The Hybrid Bass could be used as a future tool for learning, as it provides a connection and reference to pitch from the very beginning, making learning less tedious and more fun.
As an extension to my research I would like to start an exploratory project, together with Caroline Emery (Royal College of Music, London) to investigate the role of the Hybrid Bass in music education. The digital connection between a traditional double bass and the computer provides younger students with possibilities to develop themselves quicker and in a more contemporary way.
Accessibility of hardware/software, which needs to be user friendly and software simple to activate, is of course a number one priority to develop a future for the Hybrid Bass.
Eventually I want to examine my own process of improvisation and expand my knowledge with more great musicians such as the legendary Ron Carter and George E. Lewis (Columbia University). I am also interested in exploring the role of the computer as an instant composing partner.
I am very curious about the possibilities of connecting to a Midi Video Interface which would provide visual output from the instrument during improvisations or compositions. I know it exists! It could provide the player with the means to shape a complete virtual environment in the concert hall. Virtual Reality could be a topic for future research at the KABK.
My dream is to collaborate with other disciplines such as Video artists like Sebastian Stumpf.