The Loft on UCSD’s campus has been putting on some great shows lately. I missed Charlie Hunter’s appearance a couple weeks ago, but this night had two bass masters (and UCSD faculty) playing together. Mark Dresser and Bert Turetzky were joined by Japanese percussion extraordinaire Tatsuya Nakatani for a night of Bowed Basses and Gongs.
As always, you can get to the full gallery by clicking on a photo.
This was not a night of standards and originals. Once the music started with a few minutes of bowing the edge of a gong, it didn’t stop.
Tatsuya didn’t play with drumsticks so much as he banged objects against the drumkit and bowed cymbals. He coaxed many different sounds out from his array of bowls and trinkets.
I’ve always thought of cymbals as being able to create only high-frequency tones, but when he bowed the edges of the bigger gongs, they produced very clear bass notes- not something you would ever imagine could come from a thin sheet of metal.
Mark Dresser set up on one side and played two upright basses, one being a five-string!
Bert Turetzky bowed and plucked his way through the free form experiments too.
A lot of bowing happened on the underside of the bridge, along with percussive effects like shaking the bow in between strings.
This was meditative and challenging music. In the hands of lesser talents, it would have been grating on the ears. That’s not to say it didn’t have its difficult moments, but performances like this show just how far you can stretch music.