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David Heyes

Sébastien Beliah: Pieces of Eight: 8 Pieces for double bass & piano

Sébastien Beliah: Pieces of Eight: 8 Pieces for double bass & piano

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About the Compositions

Pieces of Eight is a collection of eight enjoyable and engaging pieces for the young bassist. A range of popular musical styles has been employed, such as ragtime and rock, to create fun pieces with a strong rhythmic element that should appeal to young bassists of all ages.

Each piece has a lively and supportive piano accompaniment, ideal for any school concert, and offers a range of musical and technical challenges which have been 'road-tested' many times with the composer's own students. The variety of musical styles and idioms should appeal to young bassists and there is scope to change or adapt bowings and dynamics to create a truly unique performance each time.

1. Sunday - It’s Sunday. How about relaxing to the sound of an easy ‘swing’ melody? Take a break and simply enjoy the music.

2. Happy Bass - this gospel-like melody expresses the enjoyment of playing music, which has a smooth and groovy feeling.

3. Candlelight - through the darkness the low and sonorous voice of the double bass provides a light into the night.

4. An Old-Time Rag - an old-fashioned rag with a swing and dance feel throughout. Nonchalant, easy-going, and relaxed.

5. A Strange Waltz - a mysterious waltz is a perfect way to discover the true expressive possibilities of the double bass through a colorful and lyrical melody.

6. The Funky Ragtime and a Serious Fugato - a journey through time - back to the craziest rhythms of a funky ragtime and forward to the profound beauty of a serious fugato.

7. A Slow Rag - the tune is in the style of the old ragtime numbers, with a slow and bouncing rhythm, and a relaxed mood prevails.

8. Double Bass Party - what could be better than a party to celebrate the joy of learning to play the double bass? A rock’n’roll tune is perfect for a great party feel.

[Programme notes by the composer]

About the Composer

Sebastien Beliah was born in 1979 and studied at the CNSM in Paris (Jazz/Improvisation) and double bass with Jean-Christophe Deleforge at the CRR in Auberviller-La Courneuvre.

He divides a busy career between performing (classical, contemporary, jazz), teaching, and composing. For 7 years, he led the quartet 'Wark', which performed at many festivals across France, and currently plays with the trio 'r.mutt' and 'Ensemble Hodos'.

Since 2006 Sebastien Beliah has taught double bass and improvisation at the CRR in Reims and is also an active member of the Umlaut Records crew in Paris.

Photo Credit: Alicja Kochanowicz

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