Contrabass Recital Features Eclectic Contemporary Compositions

Contrabass Recital Features Eclectic Contemporary Compositions

The Cal Poly Pomona Music department presents faculty artist Janine Riveire in a recital titled The Contemporary Contrabass: I'm Supposed To Do What?! on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall.

The kerfuffled concert name comes from Riveire's sabbatical where she learned the contemporary compositions that will be featured.

“Some of the pieces require new coordination between the two hands and the strings of the bass. As a result, my practice sessions were peppered with the exclamation: 'I'm supposed to do WHAT?!,' ” she exclaims. “As an example, in one piece the bassist must produce several tone colors in rapid succession on the instrument but must also add to the texture with singing and tongue clicking. … Although difficult to learn at first, the pieces are fun to play and – more importantly – fun to listen to.”

Riveire began playing contrabass at age 11 and never looked back. Many of her happiest memories are from the middle of an orchestra. This recital is essentially a report on her recent sabbatical leave in which she studied contrabass technique as it has evolved in the last 50 years and the implications for bass pedagogy.

“My biggest discovery was the wide range of tone colors possible to produce on the bass and many creative ways they have been used by living composers,” she says. “Because the bass is larger than other members of the string family, the differences between colors on bass are more dramatic and exciting.”

Several of the composers featured in the recital notate these sounds in unconventional ways that have required study and interpretation before they could be practiced on the instrument, Riveire adds. She will play pieces by contemporary composers William Sydeman, Walter Ross, Donald Erb and Bertram Turetzky.

Tickets are $7. For more details visit