Weightless was commissioned by David Heyes for DOUBLE BASS 2000 with funds provided by The Performing Right Society (PRS) and was premiered at Trinity College of Music (London) on 8 October 2000 by Georgina Poad (double bass) and Mark Ray (piano). It was first published as part of Bass-in-Space in 2001, which is no longer in print, and has been newly typeset in 2009.
Aimed at the intermediate bassist, there are few technical or musical challenges but great scope for creating a range of moods and images within a brief timespan. The accompaniment is both independent and supportive, often chordal and sustained, creating a soundscape above which the solo bass can create lines of intense beauty and simplicity.
The composer writes: 'Weightless is a short piece whose quality of stasis aims to mirror the visual impression of a space-suited astronaut floating close to his ship.'
Daryl Runswick spent his early career writing pop songs and jazz (he toured for 10 years with Cleo Laine and John Dankworth) more recently writing concert pieces. This duality has permeated his career as an improvising pianist, singer with Electric Phoenix, bass player, arranger (notably for The King's Singers), record producer (recently for Keith Tippett) and broadcaster. Throughout he has searched for a synthesis of improvising skills of jazz with the more complex structure of concert music, and to this end he has developed various techniques and notations including 'scafra', a device derived equally from serialism and minimalism which allows possibilities of both development and repitition; and most recently the 'dot music' style seen in Bass'z for 2 or more double basses, also published by Recital Music [RM135].