Bernard Salles writes: "I didn’t know Tony Osborne personally, but thanks to David Heyes, and through him, I learnt about this composer who has done so much for the double bass.
When a person dies, whether we were close to them or not, a light goes out and it’s down to those who remain to keep their memory alive. Spontaneously, this is what I hoped to do for Tony, in dedicating this piece for soprano and two double basses to him.
This piece follows the other Organum pieces for voice and double bass that I have already written. The organum motif is announced by the second double bass as an E minor arpeggio, which descends chromatically in harmonic reduction over an E pedal note. The first double bass then enters and presents the four melodic motifs that will then be sung by the soprano, in a different order. Finally, the duet becomes a trio with a mix of the four motifs played in counterpoint over the organum pedal."
Organum VII was premiered at the Church of St Laurence, East Harptree, Somerset on Saturday 4 May 2019 by Sarah Poole (soprano), David Heyes and Dritan Gani (double bass).
Bernard Salles was born in 1954 and began his musical education in his home town of Perpignan (France) where he studied double bass, organ, composition and orchestral conducting at the Conservatoire. In 1973 he want to the Conservatoire of Versailles and in 1976, at the age of 22, he was awarded a double bass teaching diploma. Since then he has taught at the Conservatoire of Pau (South-west France) and played with many major French orchestras including the Orchestre de Paris and the National Orchestra of France, under the direction of conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Metha and Lorin Maazel.
In 1983 he began a parallel career as a conductor and was Music Director of the Orchestra of Pau from 1996-2001. He has directed the Orchestra of Pamplona (Spain) and is currently Music Director of the OSSO (Orchestre Symphonique du Sud-Ouest).
As a composer and member of SACEM (Society of Authors, Composers and Editors of Music), he has written over 30 works including two symphonies, a cantata, a psalm for bass and orchestra, a concerto for double bass and small orchestra, Rhapsody for viola and orchestra, Triptych for orchestra, Prelude for cello and orchestra, a symphonic poem for soprano, cello and orchestra, as well as works for chamber groups, and for choir and organ. His pedagogic works are published by G.Billaudot in Paris and his works for double bass are published by Recital Music (England).
In 2010 he began a series of short pieces for unaccompanied double bass - Portraits for Friends - dedicated to his double bass playing friends.