Mark Dresser, Bert Turetzky, Tatsuya Nakatani at The Loft, 5/17/10

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.

Mark Dresser Bert Turetzky Tatsuya Nakatani at Loft 51710 © Michael Klayman-017

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.

Mark Dresser Bert Turetzky Tatsuya Nakatani at Loft 51710 © Michael Klayman-004

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.

Mark Dresser Bert Turetzky Tatsuya Nakatani at Loft 51710 © Michael Klayman-009

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 Bert Turetzky Tatsuya Nakatani at Loft 51710 © Michael Klayman-010

Mark Dresser set up on one side and played two upright basses, one being a five-string!

Mark Dresser Bert Turetzky Tatsuya Nakatani at Loft 51710 © Michael Klayman-015

Bert Turetzky bowed and plucked his way through the free form experiments too.

Mark Dresser Bert Turetzky Tatsuya Nakatani at Loft 51710 © Michael Klayman-026

A lot of bowing happened on the underside of the bridge, along with percussive effects like shaking the bow in between strings.

Mark Dresser Bert Turetzky Tatsuya Nakatani at Loft 51710 © Michael Klayman-024

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.

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