Below are just a handful of the many I’ve recorded and have on my YouTube channel. It was hard to choose my favorites because each and every one was such a special experience with people and music I love. But, I think the ones below are the best ones to represent me as a musician and the journey I’ve been on the past few years.
Giovanni Bottesini - Elegy no. 1 for Double Bass and Piano
The Elegy by Bottesini was the first piece I remember playing in college that I felt a real connection to. I played it for my jury that year, which went so terribly that I worried I was going to fail out of school and have to become a nun or a mechanic.
But I digress. The point is, this piece is lovely and sweet, and it touches me the same way each time I play it as the first. I’m so glad I had the joy of recording it with a pianist like Hyebin, who is an equally sensitive and refined musician, and who gives the piece a little bit of an extra sparkle.
Reinhold Glière - Intermezzo and Tarantella for Double Bass and Piano
This shoot was so much fun. This was my first time recording back at Solar Way Studios with my friends Joey and Ronnie, two of my favorite people, so it was a really special occasion. On top of that, it was in the middle of the Bradetich Competition, so a ton of my bass friends were around and many of them came to the filming. Jason Heath hung out and did a livestream of the filming, Aaron Olguin sat in and told me when I sounded bad, Nina Decesare took some hilarious videos and beautiful pictures (below), and my friend Kate popped in with some adult beverages. And I had on leather pants.
I first learned these two pieces when I started my masters at UNT in 2011. The Intermezzo is a lovely, somewhat simple melody that has just the right amount of peaks and valleys to make it feel both extravagantly emotional at times, as well as heartfelt and intimate. The Tarantella is fast, furious, heroic, and fiery - a mix of everything I love about late romantic composers like Gliere.
I’d always wanted to revisit this piece and my homecoming to Denton seemed like the perfect time to do that.
Maria from West Side Story (Double Bass Quartet)
I made this arrangement and recording when I was feeling particularly homesick. I was living in Australia and, honestly, I just really missed my mom. I wanted to do something special for her for Mother’s Day since I couldn’t afford a plane ticket back home and shipping a present overseas would cost probably as much as a plane ticket. My mom has always loved musicals and West Side Story was always her favorite - we have watched the movie together more times than I can count - so this arrangement of “Maria” was the result.
Pablo Sarasate - Zigeunerweisen
This video was the first one I released on my YouTube channel (excluding the videos I did for a competition, thinking no one would actually watch them outside of the committee), the first video recorded at my favorite studio, Solar Way Studios, and it was actually not meant to be this take that we released.
This video happened the night before our scheduled recording at the sound check. Joey was testing the sound, Ronnie and Collin were helping us set the stage and get the cameras set up, and Andy and I were playing the Muppet Theme Song.
At one point, Andy and I decided to run the piece, so Joey said he would record the take so he could tinker with the balance, Collin offered to record a one-shot video - and that is the video above.
The “real” take that we recorded the next night was released later that year - I can’t tell which one I like best!
Edgar Meyer - Concert Duo for Bass & Violin, movement 1
Edgar Meyer has an incredibly distinct sound and playing style, which of course bleeds into his composing, making everything he creates incredibly unique. When I play his music, my goal is to emulate Edgar’s sound, while also making it my own.
“Concert Duo” for violin and bass is one of my favorite pieces to play, and when I met Caleb, I knew he would be perfect for this piece - I was of course right! He killed this piece and the performance in the recording. I can’t wait to play it with him again.
Czardas - Vittorio Monti
The story behind this video is one of my favorites because it is a classic example of perception vs reality, something I’ve learned time and time again from doing these videos.
I decided to record Czardas because it’s one of my standard pieces. It was originally written for violin and piano, but I’ve always played it with guitar, as I think it really captures that “gypsy” sound. I love playing it because it’s short, sweet, fun, a bit cheesy (in a good way), and I get to be a showoff.
We did the recording at Solar Way Studios in full takes so we could get the circling camera shot. I remember being unhappy with all of the takes and, after the recording, I actually considered not releasing the video - I just didn’t think it was good enough.
I’m SO happy I did though because, as it turned out, everyone else seemed to disagree with me! It’s since become my most popular video and I still get comments from people about how much the enjoy it.
LAUREN PIERCE'S DOUBLE BASS AND STRINGS
Lauren plays a small Italian instrument made in the 1850s by an unknown maker. When playing in solo tuning she uses Pirastro Flatchrome Solos for the top 3 strings and a Spirocore Weich on bottom (usually a drop D on bottom).