Volume 17, June 2023
Learning Strategies for Complex Rhythms: Approaching Richard Barrett's splinter for contrabass solo (2018-2022)

by Kathryn Schulmeister

Volume 17 of the OJBR presents Learning Strategies for Complex Rhythms: Approaching Richard Barrett's splinter for contrabass solo (2018-2022) by Kathryn Schulmeister.

Kathryn Schulmeister's award-winning article examines the rhythmic complexities of Richard Barrett's solo double bass work splinter, in meticulous and vivid detail. More importantly, the article discusses approaches to analyzing, preparing, and practicing the difficult rhythmic passages, in addition to discussing the theoretical and interpretive underpinnings for those approaches. Fans of Brian Ferneyhough's Trittico per G.S. (1989) for solo double bass and Theraps (1976) by Iannis Xenakis would also be interested in learning about Barrett's splinter. Also, any musical practitioner in any genre of music who has taken on or is currently taking on the challenge of performing very complex rhythmic passages in their solo and/or orchestral repertoire would be interested in the solutions that the author proposes.

The article was the winner of the 2022 ISB Research Competition, in the Student Division, while the author was a graduate student at the University of California San Diego.

Kathryn Schulmeister is a member of several contemporary music ensembles including the renowned Australian ELISION Ensemble, Fonema Consort (NYC), and the Echoi Ensemble (LA). She has performed as a guest artist with various adventurous international ensembles such as Klangforum Wien, Ensemble MusikFabrik, Delirium Musicum, Ensemble Dal Niente, and Ensemble Vertixe Sonora. Kathryn served as a core member of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra for three consecutive seasons from 2014-2017 and has performed with the Ojai Festival Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, New West Symphony, California Chamber Orchestra, Lucerne Festival Alumni Orchestra, Pacific Lyric Opera, Maui Chamber Orchestra, and Hawaii Opera Theater. Kathryn received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Contemporary Music Performance from the University of California San Diego, Master of Music degree from McGill University, and Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music.

1. Introduction

2. New Complexity

3. Trittico per G.S. and Theraps

4. Richard Barrett

5. splinter for contrabass solo (2018-2022) by Richard Barrett

6. The process of rhythmic translation

7. Examples of rhythmic translation in Barrett's splinter

8. The method of creating and practicing with customized click tracks

9. Methods of practice

10. Conclusion

11. References

12. Bibliography

13. About the Author