Armand Russell was born in Seattle, Washington in 1932 and has had a busy and successful career as a composer, orchestral bassist and university lecturer. He has composed many works for double bass - from 1 to 12 basses - and for every level of performer, and in recent years has written many chamber pieces which include double bass. Armand Russell's music combines musical and technical challenges in equal measure and he writes in a modern but still lyrical and accessible idiom. The style is always direct and with a clarity of line and texture to the fore, offering music which should communicate to both performers and audiences alike.
ADVENTURES was originally called Ventures and was composed in 1971. This suite of five short pieces is ideal for the intermediate bassist offering effective recital repertoire in the lower orchestral register of the double bass. None of the pieces outstay their welcome and they can be performed singly or as a suite.
1. The Returning Idea features a two bar motive which returns twice, first in inversion and then an octave lower. The accompanient contrasts a slow and chordal figure in the right hand against a more repetitive and insistent rhythmic figure in the left.
2. Two Contrasting Voices features arco and pizzicato effects for the double bass with a relaxed and slow moving chordal accompaniment.
3. An Emerging Concern begins gently but becomes stronger, with its intense and dramatic climax subsiding towards a gentler conclusion.
4. Travelling Friends combines a lyrical and sonorous solo line with two contrasting ideas in the accompanient - a busy active moving quaver figure and a slow chordal element, primarily in 3rds, to create a harmonic foundation.
5. Actions & Thoughts is in ternary form. The actions are the vigorous and bold passages in the fast and last sections, framing a more thoughtful and quieter melodic section.