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The Controverted Contrabass (MP3)

Michael Bullock does terrible, wonderful things with his contrabass. He rattles its thick, braid-like strings until they come to resemble a cyclone fence doing battle with a ferocious wind. He bows it with a quiet intensity that brings out every fiber of its physical being. He attacks it with alternative materials, leaving the bow aside like so much antiquated performance history. He takes the proud beast of an instrument and uses it to make expressly quiet noises. He takes an instrument capable of deeply sonorous experience, and turns it — mischievously, perhaps, but also concertedly — into a tool for sonic abbrasion.

All of this, and more, is heard in a performance made on February 18 on Rare Frequency, a weekly show at the great Boston radio station WZBC 90.3 FM (MP3).

[audio:|titles=”Live on Rare Frequency”|artists=Michael Bullock]

Original post at

And here’s a video of Bullock performing solo, albeit accompanied by trumpet loops, two nights later at Third Life Studio in Somerville, Massachusetts:

More on Bullock at

By Marc Weidenbaum

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