CD recording - Light

Light was recorded in the Lindeman Hall and the Levin Hall at the Norwegian Academy of Music between November 2008 and January 2011, produced by Prof. Knut Guettler with Cato Langnes from NOTAM (Norwegian Center for Technology in Music and the Arts) as sound engineer. The album features three pieces for double bass that were composed during the fellowship period, as well as the earlier pieces Amarcord and oibbinadocS for solo double bass. Two duos, Light and Glasperlenspielv are performed together with the Italian violinist Marco Rogliano and Norwegian tenor Frank Havrøy. The tape part for Shared moments was recorded and realised at NOTAM together with composer and programmer Asbjørn Flø. The tape contains solely sounds from the double bass, except for a short section with an Indian tabla drum that was played by Andreas Bratlie.

The recording process turned out to become major research project on the recording of the double bass. I wanted to use the CD as a medium to reproduce and to enhance details in the sound which are not easily perceived in a live situation. At times, Cato Langnes used more than 12 microphones for the recording of just one instrument. Together with the acoustical expertise of Knut Guettler, Langnes was able to capture very precise and clear details of instrumental sound, while at the same time preserving the sound and reverberation of the halls. With so many microphones in action, it was easy to adjust to soft details or complex sounds, and experiment with overall timbre in the mix. We mixed the recording in NOTAM’s Studio Nordheim with Pro Tools audio software.

As a result, I am happy to say that we present a CD with some of the best recorded sound quality of the double bass in history.

Cato Langnes has written a paper entitled Solo kontrabass og nye opptaksteknikker (Solo double bass and new recording techniques, in Norwegian only), giving a summary of the work we did together. The article gives detailed information on microphone placement, recording, mixing and editing.

Download Cato Langnes: Solo kontrabass og nye opptaksteknikker

Link to NOTAM


CD cover: Light

Cover design by Bjørn Thevik

Light is released by Atterklang, and can be ordered here.

Supported by

Excerpts from the CD can be listened to here:

  1. Amarcord (solo double bass, 2003) 0.00-1.05
  2. oibbinadocS (solo double bass, 2004) 0.00-1.22
  3. Light (violin and double bass, 2008) 5.29-7.15
  4. Shared moments (solo double bass with tape, 2009) 4.21-5.40
  5. Glasperlenspiel (double bass and vocal tenor, 2010) 7.39-8.58