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David Heyes

John Alexander: Celebrations Book 2: Eleven Pieces for Unaccompanied Double Bass

John Alexander: Celebrations Book 2: Eleven Pieces for Unaccompanied Double Bass

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About the Collection

Celebrations Book 2 brings together eleven exciting, inventive and evocative works for unaccompanied double bass by John Alexander, composed between 2018 and 2021. All were written for projects directed by David Heyes and Recital Music, many for anniversaries or commemorations, and all are aimed at the intermediate bassist.

John Alexander exploits and explores a wealth of colours and timbres available to the contemporary double bass, within a lyrical framework, creating pieces which offer musical and technical challenges in equal measure.

Celebrations Book 2 includes:

four aspects of Prague (composed for Pošta100)a mingled yarn (composed for Self-Portrait 2021)
that sagacious del mar cat (composed for A Turetzky Tribute)
roseaux dans anches (composed for The Syrinx Project)
3 for da Vinci 500 (1. man 2. machine 3. nature)
aubade, September ’60 (composed for 60@60)
traverse the glistening sand (composed for the 90th birthday of François Rabbath) no ordinary time (dedicated to the memory of Tony Osborne (1947-2019)
dark chocolate (composed to celebrate the 80th birthday of Gary Karr)
the dove (composed for the 80th birthday of Humphrey Clucas)
time and tide (composed for the 80th birthdays of Teppo Hauta-aho & Frank Proto)

About the Composer

John Alexander was born in West Sussex in 1942 and began to compose at the age of 20. At the time he discovered a fascination for art, literature, dance, architecture and sculpture and these topics, along with mathematics, have continued to have a bearing on his work. He studied composition with Edmund Rubbra at the Guildhall School of Music in London, and later with Jonathan Harvey and Peter Wiegold at the University of Sussex. John Alexander has never been a prolific composer, but an impressive and growing body of work reflects a rare eye for detail and structure - each work beautifully crafted and reworked until every inflection, detail, and nuance is perfect.

Probably best described as a miniaturist, he writes in a fluent, independent, and strongly personal style with an intense desire to create music that communicates to both performer and audience alike.

In 1999 John Alexander won the 1st BIBF Composition Contest and was invited to be a judge for several BIBF competitions. He was a featured composer at Bass-Fest 2001, was an spnm short-listed composer for three years, and was Composer-in residence at the 2004 Rotterdam Conservatoire Double Bass Weekend, Bass-Fest 2006 and 2007 Wells Double Bass Weekend. His works have been performed and broadcast throughout the world and he has written an impressive and unique body of work for double bass.

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