Saturday, 31 March 2007

Pachelbel's Canon

28 Mar 2007:

d'Bassists met to rehearse Pachelbel's Canon in D major scored for a double bass quartet, arranged by David Heyes. PY played the first double bass part, XM the second, *em* the third, while QH provided a steady and well-grounded bassline as the fourth part.

Certain sections of the work were much more challenging than the others. We spent quite a fair bit of time going through those section until the ensemble sounded together. Counting religiously proved to be very important especially for those parts where there were syncopated rhythms and difficult shifts.

Due to the limited range, the ensemble sounded a little muffled playing the work in D major. *Em* suggested that we could play the G major version. However, the G major version involved pretty high notes, and I couldn't yet sight-read it. As such, we decided to play the D major version for our rehearsal that day so that we could know how each of the parts fit together as a ensemble. When we next meet in about one month's time, we shall attempt to play this work transposed to G major.

XM has improved a lot in his playing since our previous rehearsal a week ago. I am certain that he must have spent quite a fair bit of time practising.

Finding time to practise is one challenge that everyone in the ensemble would probably face. None of us are full-time double bass players. XM and *em* have full-time studies to juggle with, while myself and QH have full-time work responsibilities to commit to. As such, it must have taken each of us much effort to come together and find time to play as an ensemble.

After the rehearsal, we went for dinner at the nearby Munchie Monkey cafe. Dinner was good.

Behind the faces

From left: PY, Emily (*em*), QH, XM

Front (L-R): Ian, Chiew Hui, Dinah, Emily, Pei Yun, Luo Xiao
Back (L-R): Guanghui, Xiao Ming


The Here-Everyday Crowd

PY enjoys being in a peaceful and spacious environment. Her favourite colour is blue. She graduated from National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Social Sciences, Honours in Social Work.

During her free time, she contributes heritage-related posts to, a blog about heritage and museums in Singapore. If you would like to read her writings, look for posts contributed under the nickname: oceanskies79.

In year 2006, she passed the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music's Grade 8 Double Bass Practical Exams with a distinction. In the year 2009, she passed DipABRSM music performance, double bass.

A composer by training, Emily is also an avid double bassist. Music in her heart, mind and soul always, her freakish Jekyll and Hyde personality forces her to divide her time between the two leaving just mere moments for all else. On these rare occasions, she enjoys visiting museums, reading books and catching a movie or two at the cinemas. To maintain her sanity, she often embarks on gourmet tours to exquisite locations, often not returning until financially exhausted.

For information about the serious Emily, please visit her official webhome here.

Semi-retiring bassist whom still adores her bass No.8. She enjoys the alluring and ground-setting tone of the bass in amidst of the orchestra. The double bass has been a passion for her for the past 15 years. She currently plays with the National University of Singapore (NUS) Symphony Orchestra. She has graduated from NUS and became an engineer since.

An engineer-in-the-making, a volunteer, the President of the NUS Symphony Orchestra (Year 2007/8) and the Mr-Nice-Guy around, XM certainly loves and takes good care of his double bass, which he affectionately named Grace. Working together as the fantastic duo, XM and Grace complement each other perfectly to producing heart-melting timbres and mind-whirling melodies.

He has passed the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music's Grade 5 Double Bass Practical Exams.

The Been-Here-Awhiles

=Under construction=

=Under construction=

Friday, 30 March 2007

Celebrating our tutor's birthday

A sample of a party hat on the scroll.

10 January happens to be the birthday of our double bass tutor, Mr G. Mouzyka. This year, his birthday coincided with d'Bassists' performance at the NUS Theatrette. We invited him to the concert and did our best to make sure that he would be there to listen to us.

For those of you who have attended the concert, I hope you have enjoyed the less formal and fun-loving-nature of our "special item".

What did we do at the concert? We wore party-hats on the scrolls of each of our double basses to play a Happy Birthday song on stage for our tutor. Happy Birthday!

Fellow blogger, Eastcoastlife, attended this concert and she wrote this on one of her posts:

The double bass quartet was something new to me. This hill-billy doesn't know the double bass can 'make' wonderful music too! It was fun to see them put party hats on their double bass & play the 'Happy Birthday' song for their tutor!

Thanks Eastcoastlife for supporting the concert.

The origins of the name: d'Bassists

My memory probably needs some jolt. But as best as I remember, it was on 1 Nov 2006 when XM, *em*, Ian and myself met to sight-read some double bass ensemble scores.

The idea of forming a double bass ensemble probably came because we, the double bassists, wanted an avenue to perform as an ensemble and improve our ensemble-playing skills. Even though there are a lot of string quartet works around, most string quartet works aren't scored for the double bass.

It eventually seemed to be a more practical idea to form a double bass ensemble ourselves so that we can play together and train everyone in the double bass section to listen and to be sensitive to one another's playing. In addition, we can also build up the cohesiveness and team-spirit of the double bass section through practising as an ensemble.

d'Bassists isn't the first double bass ensemble that was formed in the history of the NUS Symphony Orchestra. Several years ago, there was already a double bass ensemble being formed. That double bass ensemble consisted of members namely: CF, GH, J, QH, SM and yours truly. At that time, I don't think that double bass ensemble had came up with its own name.

Double Bassists from NUS Symphony Orchestra, taken in year 2001Our "predecessors". Photo taken in year 2001.

Anyway, back to the origins of the name of d'Bassists. After the rehearsal on 1 Nov 2006, members of the quartet went for dinner at the Subway outlet nearby. Somehow, during our discussion, we arrived at the name: d'Bassists. It sounds like The Bassists, and yet it could also be a short-hand for Double Bassists.

Well, looks like meal-time can be a good time for coming up with ideas.

10 Jan 2007

ExxonMobil Campus Concert
A Journey Through Time

By NUS Symphony Orchestra
Presented by NUS Centre For the Arts
Sponsored by ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd
Wed, 10 Jan 2007, 7.30 p.m.
NUS Theatrette, Lecture Theatre 13 (LT13)
Free Admission

Works performed by d'Bassists at this concert:
  • Tchaikovsky's Neopolitanian Dance (from "Swan Lake")
  • J.S. Bach's Minuett
  • I. Berlin's Ragtime
Also read blog entries by *Em* here:

28 Dec 2006 rehearsal

I. Berlin, Ragtime (Double Bass Quartet)

Rehearsal (28 Dec 06)
I. Berlin's Ragtime (arranged by G. Mouzyka)


Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Contact d'Bassists

Contact d'Bassists




Alternatively, you may email PY at oceanskies[at]hotmail[dot]com