David Heyes writes: "A Place in New England is played all in harmonics, apart from a few pizzicato open strings and was composed for my younger students at Wells Cathedral School. It was premiered at the school on Sunday 4 November 2018 as part of 'A Turetzky Tribute' to celebrate the 85th birthday of my great friend Bertram Turetzky.
Bert was born in Norwich, Connecticut, and Norwich is known as 'the rose of New England'. The title of the piece was chosen before I started work on the music. A particular photo of a white wooden church, surrounded by the amazingly coloured trees in Autumn was the inspiration for the piece and the music describes a day in any village or small townin New England. My quartet arrangements in harmonics of 'Kum-ba-ya' and 'Au Clair de la Lune' have been very successful and this is a step or two beyond these.
Each bassist has a limited number of harmonics to play - a chart is included with the score and parts - with basses 1-3 also playing in the higher thumb position. Basses 4-6 are the easier parts, playing the octave harmonics and in 4th position, and the overall effect is evocative and atmopsheric, introducing harmonics at an early stage of study.
Its 65 bars and different moods and soundworlds hopefully create music which is evocative and atmopsheric. It can be played by sextet or larger forces and introduces harmonics to younger players and adds an extra dimension to their technical skills"
Available to buy as a pdf file - please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
David Heyes studied double bass with Laurence Gray and Bronwen Naish and later at the Royal College of Music in London. He completed his post-graduate studies in Prague with Frantisek Posta (Principal Double Bass, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra). He has given recitals and masterclasses in 13 countries over the past few years and has been a juror at a number of international competitions, twice as chairman.
David has been Specialist Double Bass Tutor at Wells Cathedral School for 19 years and received a prestigious award from the David Walter Charitable Trust of New York for his pioneering activities as a soloist, teacher, publisher and commissioner of new music for double bass. He works with composers throughout the world and is particularly interested to expand the double bass repertoire, by commissioning new works and by rediscovering forgotten ones. Over the past 30 years he has commissioned more than 500 works, from beginner to virtuoso, and from one to twenty basses.
David has transcribed more than 200 works for double bass, many published by Recital Music, and in recent years has also composed a number of original works for double bass which have been performed in 18 countries to date (UK, USA, Germany, Czech Republic, Mexico, Turkey, Venezuela, Australia, Ireland, Israel, Malta, Brazil, Denmark, Ecuador, Japan, France, Slovakia and Spain). David is self-taught as a composer and his music has been described as lyrical and accessible, but certainly of the 21st-century.
"Many, many, thanks for the simply excellent recital at St Anne's on Friday. The audience loved it and the younger members were very inspired." [Dr. John Traill, Director of Music, St Anne's College, Oxford
"It was fascinating to have the composer, David Heyes, show us how his music should be played and help us to play a variety of extended techniques. I now have new repertoire to work on and a clear idea of what it is supposed to sound like!" [LONDON BASSES workshop participant]
"We will never be able to thank you for what you are doing for the bass world, you are Passion in person David!!" [Simon Garcia]
"Awesome, its wonderful music David" [Elsen Price]
"David is a great player and composer" [Diego Zecharies]
"Your music was masterfully played by Elsen Price last night! Bravo to you David. You must be good friends with God to have written such inspiring and graphic descriptions of 'the spirit ' in music. Please give him/her my best! With kudos and blessings to you and Sarah and Tony." [Barry Green]
"The bass solos were brilliant. I enjoyed David's composition which he and and Thea played so beautifully. The Bottesini was just amazing!...It was quite a concert! You and Thea were real stars. Feedback from the audience has been excellent. They especially liked the variety of music!..You are quite an inspiration!" [Tim Robb, violinist, conductor]
"You are having a remarkable life and career and contributing SO much to the edification of bassists everywhere...an inspiration!" [Wilmer Fawcett]
"People are crazy about' Hold on...' I think that everybody loves it. 'Leaving St Kilda' was one of the most acclaimed. I think I'm going to upload the video of 'Postcards from Prague' to my Youtube Channel. Thanks for writing this amazing music!" [Daniel Chiv Sanz / Spain]
"Congratulations on the commissions, both of them. You've worked very hard, and sometimes I wonder if you've ever just stood back and considered the tremendous amount of work that you've been putting in to everything. And it is not just a matter of hard work, but also the meeting of people and the making of connections, enabling others to collaborate, so all your own efforts become even more effective. People tend to take notice of all these types of things, and so it is natural they would turn to you. So congratulations, and it comes as no surprise - you certainly have earned it! [Michael Montgomery, USA]
"David's music is invaluable because it supremely fills a niche we didn't even know was there !!! :: The pieces are short so they fit on a program easily -- and what is even more special in the extreme is that most of his pieces for the advanced player are borderline sightreadble for the most part -- but in NO way are they facile, inane, or shallow. For this amazing talent he has to do this I am always in a freindly way extraordinarily envious !! My publisher has even noted this at times especially from comments at 2015 ISB where while I was happy we sold a great deal of music and for 2 months catalogue sales tripled-- I still had a TON of people come up to me saying " I am so sorry, I really wanted to buy some of your books of pieces but they are all just too damn HARD" LOL -- prompting indeed my publisher to remark " Have you ever thought of trying to write a set of pieces that are only of X advanced technique?" --- and the envy here comes from, well.. I HAVE-- I have tried mightily and everything I try to write in such a vein comes out sounding ridiculous. David's talent to continue to crank out these wonderful small pieces that indeed say SO much with out any terribly super-intense taxing of the player is a unique ability I don't think present in anyone else writing bass music today. Said talent is indeed miraculous ( especially for someone who started composing so relatively recently !!) and all his little, wonderful pieces are just that -- miracles." [P Kellach Waddle]
"I really am enjoying Sarah's CD. It's very strong. Your pieces are very solid, and among the most enjoyable on the recording. There's a naturalness about your writing, almost as if the song has always been among us. Fine work. " [Eric Funk, composer]
"Finally Thursday came and we had the privilege to have had a awesome Masterclass with David at Big Noise Raploch. The kids were really excited for David's unique approach to the Double Bass. It was all about fun with such a noble instrument. Thank you very much." [Ricardo Tapadinhas]
"Today's double bassists are indebted to composers who wrote for this forefather of the double bass. Double bassists of today are indebted to David Heyes for his extensive publishing work, his compositions, and his commissioning of works for the double bass." [David B. Teague]
"...the pieces were a MASSIVE success." [P Kellach Waddle]
"Double bassist and composer, David Heyes(UK) is keeping the tradition alive, teaching a new generation and composing works that build upon a diverse repertoire for our beloved instrument......" [Stafford James, American bassist, composer, educator]
"Many thanks for having sent me the many unaccompanied pieces for double bass. I was particularly impressed by your compositions that are so idiomatically suited to our instrument. It's always wonderful when a bassist of your high caliber conceives a piece that is well thought out and so playable. I've been reading through all the music you sent and enjoying every minute of it." [Gary Karr, International Soloist]
"David, your articles are always interesting and packed with valuable information. I'm an old coot now, retired and no longer playing, but still with a passion for learning the history of our instrument and its players. The material you assemble and publish here is always fascinating- background details about a particular piece, how it came to be written and published, commissioned, first performed, really add to my own understanding and appreciation of the music we share. So having a journal like this one you share on Facebook is a real blessing to bass enthusiasts. It must be very discouraging at times (with instances such as you describe above), and I guess you don't hear back very often from other players in appreciation of your journalistic revelations and skills, so let me challenge other bassists to indicate their appreciation of these articles by at the least hitting the "like" button! Again, my personal thanks, and I only wish I'd started collecting and saving these treasures! [Wilmer Fawcett/USA]
"For anyone unfamiliar with David's work, he's an internationally regarded Soloist, Educator, Publisher, Festival Organiser, Prolific Composer, Innovator and strong supporter for double bass in every way, shape and form. A very inspirational person indeed." [Elsen Price/Australia]
"Your work on the history and the culture of the double bass is precious and very important, I would say unique, for all of us double-bassists. For me, an irreplaceable point of reference. Thanks so much!" [Luigi Giannoni]