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David Heyes

Teppo Hauta-aho: U.F.O.'s Dance for double bass trio

Teppo Hauta-aho: U.F.O.'s Dance for double bass trio

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About the Composition

U.F.O.’s Dance is a wonderfully inventive and magical work for the adventurous bass trio with technical and musical challenges for each player. Contemporary influences contrast with Latin-American idioms, producing a lively, rhythmic, and exciting work full of energy and great forward momentum. 

There is much to enjoy and explore and the sound worlds are typical of Teppo Hauta-aho, encompassing a wide range of evocative and atmospheric textures throughout the range of the double bass. U.F.O.’s Dance has been very successful in performance.


"...a successful piece. For the majority of the work the 3rd part maintains a Latin-style bass line, over which the other two play lyrically." (Double Bassist)


UFO's Dance was premiered in Helsinki by the Töölö Bass Trio, who commissioned the work, and it received its UK premiere at Bass-Fest 2001 performed by David Heyes, Peter Leerdam and Teppo Hauta-aho.

About the Composer

Finnish composer and bassist Teppo Hauta-aho was the most prolific bass composer of our time and since the 1970s has composed more than 400 works for double bass - spanning the entire range of standards from beginner to virtuoso.

Teppo Hauta-aho was born in 1941 and studied double bass with Orvo Hyle and Oiva Nummelin in Finland, and František Pošta in Prague. He played with the Helsinki Philharmonic between 1965 and 1972, and the Finnish Opera Orchestra from 1975 to 2000. Teppo Hauta-aho was an active recitalist, both classical and jazz, gave more than 300 recitals with his duo partner, Carita Holmström, and was at the cutting edge of modern improvisation - performing with leading improvisers throughout the world, for many years.

Finnish composer Harry Wessman writes: "As a composer, Teppo Hauta-aho has always been his own teacher, basing his technical knowledge on his wide practical musicianship as an orchestral player, chamber and jazz musician. It would not be an exaggeration to claim that he was the jazz bassist most in demand in Finland in the 1970s, and a few of his works are pure jazz compositions. But the compositional techniques and musical means used in the majority of his works originate in an unusual openness for any devices. Along with modern techniques, his source of inspiration includes all the previous stylistic periods in European music, impulses from Oriental music and, of course, jazz. His own instrument, the double bass, has profited especially from his rich inventiveness in finding new means to conjure forth unusual sounds from the instrument, and in applying them in an artistically meaningful and striking way."

Teppo Hauta-aho's music has been performed extensively in Finland and abroad, notably in America, Britain, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Soviet Union, Australia and Switzerland. He died in Helsinki on 27 November 2021.

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