for contrabass solo(2014/2016)
|Premiere||July 17, 2016; Kansas City, MO; The Blue Room at the American Jazz Museum; Mark Dresser, contrabass|
Luminosity was inspired by Mark Dresser’s uniquely powerful musical expressions and innovative techniques created for the contrabass. The instrument’s rich spectra embody “voices” that encompass extreme opposites – lightness and darkness, angels and ghosts, paradise and inferno – unified by a singular vibrating body.
The composition explores these voices in a few large sections, starting with bowing on one string that produces multiphonics, double-stop bowing, and pizzicati. It concludes with the threading technique invented by Mark Dresser which allows the performer to bow multiple strings simultaneously.
The last section is subtitled “The Answer Questioned” as an homage to Charles Ives and György Kurtág.
I composed Luminous (a chamber concerto for contrabass and ensemble) for bassist Mark Dresser, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and its Music Director Steven Schick who gave its world premiere on March 29, 2014 in Hertz Hall, Berkeley, California. It was made possible by a generous grant from TenFourteen LLC, an arm of the Jebediah Foundation.
Luminosity was arranged from the concerto version in 2016, and dedicated to Mark Dresser. It was premiered by Mark Dresser in the Blue Room at the American Jazz Museum, Kansas City, MO on July 17, 2016. I would also like to thank Mark Dresser for his fingering editing.
- Lei Liang