This photo is a gift of Tomas Martin but I don't know how many years Bottesini could have in it.
Probably they are the last moment of his incredible life. Let me know if you know more.
But does the raise saddle really work?
Imho, yes! Expecially is you want a more soft table.
Double bass virtuoso Gary Karr has played in all of the world's great concert halls, from La Scala in Italy to the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall in New York and the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Karr and pianist Harmon Lewis - his partner in life as well as on stage - have entertained audiences throughout the Middle East, in Russia, Japan, North and South America, Europe and Asia.
But their favourite concert hall is the one they created in their three-storey, cliff-side home in Victoria.
It's an intimate performance space that seats 30 people, but it's also a modern studio where they have recorded some of their more than 50 best-selling CDs. They are currently rehearsing there for an upcoming concert at the Victoria Conservatory of Music on Sunday afternoon.
Karr and Lewis were born in the United States, but moved here in 1995, having grown fond of the area and made many friends while teaching at the Johannesen International School of the Arts.
"We came every summer for six weeks starting in 1971," said Karr. "It's the only place in 40 years of touring that I was in one place long enough to make friends."
When they first toured the house that steps down a steep hillside, they spied a two-level storage room under the deck.
"We figured it would be ideal for a studio," Karr said. Converting it took a lot of work.
To create an acoustically superb space, they brought the walls in slightly and angled them so there would be no echo.
"You need to bend walls so there are no parallel surfaces," said Lewis, who has a doctorate in organ music. They also added mirrors to enhance the lively sound.
The storage-room ceiling was unfinished.
"It was a very unfriendly room," Karr said.
To solve the problem, the homeowners created an accordion ceiling and covering it with multi-coloured floor tiles.
"Home Depot didn't have enough of any one colour to do the ceiling and the floor, so we made a rainbow room," Karr said with a chuckle.
Montreal-born soprano Pierrette Simoneau, who formed Opera Piccola in Victoria in 1982, helped choose the tile colours.
Building their own studio was a smart decision, Karr said.
"When you rent space and equipment, it is very costly. You watch the clock like crazy and that's very nerve-racking.
"Here, we can record in our PJs if we like. We never look at the clock and we can play over and over. It's a dream studio."
The best part of recording in his home studio, Karr said, is that the sound "is not plastic. It's exactly what you hear. No engineering."
He has strong opinions about modern recordings that can make any artist sound good: "In the '80s and '90s, the recording industry set the wrong tempo - each step of editing took us further and further away from the human experience and recordings became very boring."
Karr said he's happy to see that starting to change.
To make their studio anything but boring, the pair painted the walls a sunny yellow and laid down carpets to warm the floor.
Karr loves carpets. He said he bought a rug before he bought a bed when he was a student and had almost no money.
"I've bought them all over the place. I think they add to the nomadic atmosphere of this house. I like how they are used inside tents to help people like the Bedouins feel at home wherever they go."
He's also fascinated by old clocks and restores them in his spare time. He recently bought some from his letter carrier, who has a similar passion.
"I think it is tied in with music, a way of dividing time," Karr said.
Lewis doesn't know how many clocks they have, but said they're all over the house. He should know, since he winds them, one floor at a time. Some need winding every 30 hours, while others are good for eight days.
Karr, who also collects trains, fire engines, small carousels and big tapestries, said he and Lewis have good eyes for bargains.
Karr started collecting tapestries at age 11, as a defence against his sister's harp.
"We had a very small house and it was hard to escape the sound of her practising. I decided to stick something over my bedroom door. I'd seen a tapestry in an antique store and saved up my ice cream money. I think the guy was impressed - he gave me a good price."
Karr cringes at the bland look of modern homes with their bare walls and floors. "It is visually very open and nice, but I hate the sound."
The same goes for restaurants. "The noise drives us crazy sometimes."
Karr and Lewis's design style might be called basic scrapbooking. Their home reflects what they've done, where they've been and who they've met.
"It's much better than an album - and nothing in this house is terribly expensive. Part of the fun is finding things that are affordable and beautiful."
Neither he nor Lewis is afraid of colour. One bedroom is asparagus green, another orange. The living room is a deep cherry-blossom pink while the den is spicy mustard.
Many of the furnishings - lamps, tiered stands and chairs - are from the Orient. Karr went on a shopping spree in Hong Kong, shortly after deciding to move here.
"We were performing there and it was a mecca for old Chinese furniture. One of the dealers was a friend from England with a warehouse full of stuff.
Harmon was convinced I had lost my mind because I bought 44 pieces of furniture," including soy sauce jars turned into lamps.
The trove included sturdy little benches that now serve as end tables.
"A friend convinced us to buy 10 of them," said Lewis, eyes rolling. "They were very inexpensive and it was suggested we keep a few and pay for shipping by selling the others." They ended up keeping all 10.
As you'd expect with musicians, the home is full of instruments: Lewis's 1896 grand piano, his Allen organ in the studio, a harpsichord, a player piano and a clavichord. Karr has 14 double basses, most of which stand almost two metres tall. His favourite is an 18th-century Italian instrument that belonged to his teacher.
"He had it for 55 years and I have now had it for one year longer. - He sold it to me for the same price he paid in 1900," said Karr, who was once described by Time magazine as "the world's greatest bassist." Discovered by Leonard Bernstein, he debuted at age 19 with the New York Philharmonic.
The Victoria-based musician, now 70, rarely plays in public, although he still enjoys it immensely.
In 2009, when Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited Victoria for their 50th anniversary, Karr and Lewis invited them for tea and a jam session.
Having played hundreds of concerts in Japan, including some at the imperial palaces in Tokyo, they thought the royal couple might enjoy an informal visit. The royals stayed two hours and the empress bought her own music to play.
Late last year, Karr and Lewis went to Sendai, Japan, to perform free concerts for thousands of survivors of the earthquake and tsunami. The two feel close to the Japanese, having travelled there more than 20 times and performed a dozen or more concerts each time.
"The empress was so happy we came and told us her people needed this to help release their pent-up emotion," Karr said.
It was an emotional experience for them, too.
"The biggest surprise was seeing our former manager, the most stoic, formal figure I ever met in Japan," said Karr. "He rushed backstage after the concert, crying like a baby. He hugged both of us. We were dumbfounded."
Master Hungarian American cellist Yanos Starker once told Gary Karr that after age 60, a string player's technique goes downhill.
"And so I decided to retire then, because I wanted to maintain my good technique without faltering," said Karr, a renowned bassist who has performed as a soloist with symphony orchestras on six continents.
"But miracle of miracles, I think I play better now than I ever have, partly because I am less aggressive, less uptight, more poetic."
While a young person plays with energy and intensity, Karr said, "in an older person, the audience hears sagacity."
Now 70, the musician, will give a rare public performance with his musical partner Harmon Lewis at Alix Goolden Hall, at 2: 30 p.m. Sunday, to benefit the Victoria Conservatory of Music. "The hall is acoustically very lively, which will make it interesting, and the light coming in the stained glass windows in the afternoon is gorgeous," he said.
Also performing are conservatory students, including violinist Nelson Moneo, guitarist Razvan Bezna, cellist Ethan Allers, and harpist Christina Chwyl. Tickets - $25 for adults, $20 for students and seniors - are available at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, Munro's Books, Ivy's Bookstore, Long & McQuade and Tom Lee Music and at the door.
it's a manuscript of the end of XVIII century (at least) founded and edited by Luca MARZETTI for MUSEDITA Editore. Probably, the doublebass player who wrote this method played on a little double bass that Marzetti has found near Trevi (Italy). He fingered in 1800 with 1-2-3-4. !!
The new Pirastro Double Bass Steel Core String, perfect for ARCO!
Pirastro has just recently (8/2010) released these new steel rope-core strings, which are tailor-made for orchestral bow style (arco) players. For a metal-based string, they are not "metallic" sounding at all, and have pretty "average" tension and feel.
They're not really aimed at the folks who play pizzicato most of the time - they're intentionally a little "dark" and don't have a lot of definition when plucked, especially the E and A strings. The word on the street is that they have big, projecting sound under the bow. Nice clarity, with a full, rich tone, and they're reportedly quite easy to bow.
Passione strings are now also available (and in stock) in STARK (Heavy) and SOLO Gauges.