Ensemble: double bass and piano
When Robert and Jacob and take the stage, the first thing you notice is the hair. When they start to play, the second thing you notice is that they are rock stars. The term hair band refers to a type of 1970s-80s rock group that cultivated long, curly hairstyles as a signature part of their acts. This piece maximizes the performers’ ability to play in tight ensemble like a band, and to achieve an enormous range of colors. The bass line of Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Nite” provides the source material manipulated in the work into gestures that blend and expand both the notes and the abilities of each instrument. Regarding the subtitle: with Jacob on the cusp of his career, Grow It is the overarching gesture that drives this piece. Grow It also refers to Robert’s series of “It” pieces for solo double bass. Finally, Hair Band (Grow It) attempts to settle the question once and for all regarding basses, and whether the pianist can just do it with their left hand.
Premiere: April 29, 2018
Robert Black, double bass
Jacob Mason, piano
Hartt School of Music, Hartford, CT