Maestro, first of all I wish he took away a curiosity: with his great qualities as a musician why did you chose an instrument which is as noble as the double
I was really first a rock and jazz musician playing electric bass.
I had played violin as a child but it did not really fit me - not the right sound or colour for my personality.
I had a fantastic double bass teacher in Sweden , Göran Nyberg. After studying the bass a few months with him I knew this was "my " instrument.
It is mainly the singing qualities of the bass that attracted me - reminded me of the human voice.
2 -Maestro, you have
studied with three great bass players of the world: Nyberg, Guettler and Gary Karr.
What have you learned from each of these?
Nyberg taught me to love the instrument.
Güettler focused on technical control.
Karr helped me find my "own sound " and to open up musically.
3 -I noticed that
you play with the French bow. Why this choice? Is it better than the
It was mainly, that in Sweden and Norway most bassists played French bow.
Today I teach both. Some things might be easier on French some on German bow but I dont think there is a big difference. Both can be used the same way with the same
It´s mostly a personal choice.
4 -You have
a beautiful sound, powerful and mellow. Merit School of Karr or your bass Gasparo da
Salò in 1585? How do you feel in playing one of the most important double bass in the world?
At first it was quite scary playing this Gasparo with its old fantastic history. Especially to travel with it !!! I was pretty overwhelmed
Up until then I had really only played modern instruments.
Karr did help me a lot with developing my sound.
The Gasparo took me one step further.
I feel that I still develop a lot as a musician by playing this bass.
There are sounds and colours in there that I have never been able to produce before.
I am still looking , learning and finding new things. Very exciting. The resonans in that bass is so long that I can do things on it that I have never been able to on any
other bass before.
But it has to be played the way it wants - I can´t really force it to do something it does not like.
5 -You love
playing contemporary music that many composers wrote especially for you. How did this
It has grown in to a passion of mine.
I have been working with many composers and they have tried their ideas on me and my bass. They have discovered what works and what doesnt. They have gotten new ideas also just
from hearing the sound of the Gasparo.
It has developed them as composers and me as musician.
6 -In your opinion,
what is the main difference between your music and that of the great bass players like
Stefano Scodanibbio or Ferdinando Grillo?
At the moment I beleive I am more focused on sound and colour.
For me the personal sound a musician produces with his or hers instrument is the most significant mark on a persons playing.
But I love and also play their music and I admire what they have done for our instrument !!
They were also composers , I am not. They created their own music , I interpret other peoples music even if it is often written for me.
7 -I like a lot Martinsson’s
Concerto written for you. Which are the main difficulties and can it be considered the “Koussevitzky” Concerto of nowadays?!?
I beleive the Martinsson Concerto might become "Our times Koussevitsky ".
Other people are playing it already.
The most difficult part of that Concerto is that it is very heavy and static to play. It lasts 30 minutes and long parts ligh in very high positions.
Even if there are very technical challenges the cantability and sound production is most important.
8 -Do you think in
“your” contemporary music there is a “ musical line” similar do the one of Bottesini? Why should the students prepare themselves also in this so difficult music?
Most of the pieces I play are based on traditional bass technique. When I comission new pieces I ask the composers if the can write also melodic , singing music for
I beleive its very rewarding for students to study and play these pieces.
It developes them technically, musically and develops also their sound !! It developes their musical understanding, also of "older" music.
Maestro, one suggestment for student: what is
important to study today for not remaining out of the great world of music, expecially in the world of the classical double bass?
I encourage my students to mix contemporary pieces with more traditional repertoire in their
recitals. I also think that is very nice for the audience.
Maestro, what do you study today for having a so brilliant
technique? Studies, Scales, Aperggios and so on.
9 - I think it is very important for all musicians , students and professionals, to be curious and inquisitive. To seek new music, new ideas , new techniques. To combine all this with
the great pieces of former times. For me that is not opposites but different parts of the same musikal scale,
I beleive it is important for everyone to do technical studies , scales etc. They are the fastest and shortest way to develop and to stay in good playing
10- Last question: You are considered
one of the most famous double bass player in all the world. Which are your main works for your future (Cds, Concerts and so on)?
I have many plans for the future. I am working with new Composers like Norwegian Marcus Paus.
Swedish composer Christian Lindberg wants to compose a new Concerto for me. I have to fond founding for that.
I have just recorded a violin / bass duo with violinist Dora Schwarzberg composed by Jorge Bosso.
In February I will record a CD with music by French bassist, composer and conductor Bernard Salles. And later many more recording plans - Nordheim , Lutoslawski,
I also really enjoy playing Chamber Music with fellow musicians - with old friends and making new friends.
I also find teaching very important and spends quite a lot of time doing that.