Eight Zoological Sketches was composed for the 2007 BIBF/Recital Music 'One-Minute Wonders' project.
Each short piece has its own character and identity, offering a range of musical and technical challenges for the good intermediate bassist. The style is modern but accessible, and inventive and evocative piano accompaniments partner solo lines which utilise a range of colours throughout the low orchestral register of the double bass.
John R. Williamson writes: "The idea of 'One Minute Wonders' devised by David Heyes, gave me the initiative to write these eight pieces, and perhaps borrowing an idea from Saint-Saens, with his 'Carnival of the Animals', it seemed that the bass would describe some of the chosen creatures effectively enough, considering the nature of the instrument, its timbres, and given some inventive imagination of rhythm and melody in duo combination.
The pieces are also intended to provide the performer with imaginative freedom of expressive interpretation."
Eight Zoological Sketches was premiered on 30 September 2007 at Wells Cathedral School (Wells, Somerset) by Greg Childs (Double Bass) and Mark Cracknell (Piano).