Originally from Arvada, double bass player Robert Black recorded an entire solo album using the natural acoustics of the canyons in Moab, Utah.
For his new solo album, Possessed, double bass player Robert Black explored the beauty of natural acoustics by setting up camp in canyons and man-made culverts around Moab, Utah. He and his team recorded the album over a three-day period with just two microphones, which were often set up a full 50 feet away from his instrument.
And most of the music was improvised, with nearby birds and insects chiming in.
“The whole idea was that it seems like it’s a solo album because I’m the only person playing music and it’s just one instrument, but actually it’s an ensemble effort with the environment,” Black said in an interview with Colorado Public Radio (CPR). “So capturing the acoustics of a location, capturing the sound of the birds or the insects, or the wind or the trees — all of that was very much a part of the idea. And those were my partners that I was improvising with.”
Black, who has been playing double bass since his middle school days in Arvada, Colorado, got the idea for the album when visiting Moab to perform at the Moab Music Festival. The rugged landscape inspired him to do something a little different from the norm.
Possessed was released September 22, by Cantaloupe Music. It features 18 tracks and can be purchased digitally, or through both CD and DVD versions.
Currently, Black resides in Hartford, Connecticut, and teaches music at the Hartt School/University of Hartford, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Festival Eleazar de Carvalho in Brazil.
To hear the full interview with CPR, as well as more clips from Possessed, click here.