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Smile Off-Line

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Price £12.50

A trio with great drive and momentum. Full of jazz influences and rhythms, there are musical and technical challenges for each player and this extended one-movement work is written in a modern but tonal idiom. It was composed for Bass-Fest and was premiered by David Heyes, Mette Hanskov and Peter Leerdam.


"John Alexander's smile off-line is rhythmically challenging enough to demand a few rehearsals devoted specifically towards overcoming those difficulties, however it is not so hard as to discourage anyone from attempting the work. According to the notes accompanying the sheet music, this piece was written in reaction to the frustration one often experiences when dealing with computers, and also the pleasure one experiences after leaving the 'computer schizoid machinations'.

The interplay between the voices is particularly enjoyable, whether they are answering one another or playing together at parallel intervals. The music is rather disjunct and angular (machine-like), with large leaps to strange-sounding intervals, but the strong rhythmic pulse makes the piece very cohesive." (Double Bassist)

Performance Level: Advanced


John Alexander was born in West Sussex in 1942 and began to compose at the age of 20. At the time he discovered a fascination for art, literature, dance, architecture and sculpture and these topics, along with mathematics, have continued to have a bearing on his work. He studied composition with Edmund Rubbra at the Guildhall School of Music in London, and later with Jonathan Harvey and Peter Wiegold at the University of Sussex.

John Alexander has never been a prolific composer, but an impressive and growing body of work reflects a rare eye for detail and structure - each work beautifully crafted and reworked until every inflection, detail and nuance is perfect. Probably best described as a miniaturist, he writes in a fluent, independent and strongly personal style with an intense desire to create music which communicates to both performer and audience alike.

In 1999 John Alexander won the 1st BIBF Composition Contest and was invited to be a judge for several BIBF competitions. He was a featured composer at Bass-Fest 2001, was an spnm short-listed composer for three years, and was Composer-in-residence at the 2004 Rotterdam Conservatoire Double Bass Weekend, Bass-Fest 2006 and 2007 Wells Double Bass Weekend. His works have been performed and broadcast throughout the world and he was written an impressive and unique body of work for double bass.

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Cat No. RM170
Price £12.50
ComposerJohn Alexander
CategoryDouble Bass Trio
PublisherRecital Music
Difficulty level8, Advanced
ISMN 979-0-57045-170-8
EAN-13 9790570451708
Weight 85 grams
Published 19th July 2009
Availability 4 in stock
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RM143  Blue Patches
RM249  UFO's Dance
RM891  micheldever, autumn of 1914 (DOUBLE BASS QUARTET)