Diggin' da Double Bass

Last night, I brought Ethan and Tina to catch Oceanskies and her fellow double bass players performing at a free event called Basso Bravo! This is a half-hour special aimed at getting members of the public to better appreciate classical music.


Belonging to the ensemble d'Bassists, the quartet were playing at the Esplanade's Concourse as part of the Singapore Art Festival. d'Bassists is actually part of the National University of Singapore Symphony Orchestra, which is based in NUS Centre for the Arts.


For those who do not know, the double bass is the largest and lowest pitched stringed musical instrument in a modern symphony orchestra. It looks like a huge violin, and is even bigger than the more famous cello. Its sheer size and bulk makes it quite a challenge to master, although I must say that oceanskies and her kakis wielded it with much panache and style.


Obviously the quartet knew a thing or two with their repertoire of songs ranging from classics, jazz to modern and contemporary pieces. The crowd comprising both young and old were quite captivated as you can see.

I have never thought that such a low key (literally and figuratively speaking) musical instrument could be so melodic. My son Ethan even danced to some of the pieces!


For part of the performance, oceanskies teamed up with her fellow musician in a duet of sorts. I remembered that this piece was pretty funky and upbeat too.


After the performance, members of the audience were invited to participate by touching and feeling the instrument for themselves. Of course my "garang" son Ethan was one of the first to rise to the occasion! Here is a pic of Ethan with my wife Tina looking worried as he handled the instrument three times his size.


Ethan was so captivated by the monstrous musical instrument (sorry for calling your "boyfriend" a monster oceanskies!) that he went for the hands-on session not once, not twice but four times! I think some of the d'Bassists musicians found him a little amusing.


Of course, there is a kid inside everyone of us. I bumped into Ivan Chew, Julian and Kevin Lim at the performance. Both Ivan and Kevin decided to also jump into the fray. Of course, Ivan himself is quite musically inclined so he was the first to give it a shot. Notice that Ethan is still looking at the darn thing!


Inspired by his example, Kevin decided to join in the fray. Here is a picture of Ivan, Julian, Peiyun (Oceanskies) and Kevin doing his maestro thingy.

It was certainly fun to go up close and personal with the Double Bass. Nice to also know that oceanskies is such an accomplished classical musician, and that my son Ethan has the makings (hopefully) of somebody keen in music.

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