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Serbian Chant


    South Side Fantasy

    An Electro-acoustic work for Double Bass and CD (2002)

A Homage to the Popovich Brothers Tamburitza Orchestra
In Memoriam: Adam Popovich

LOOK-South Side Fantasy (excerpt).pdf
LISTEN- South Side Fantasy (excerpt-A).mp3
LISTEN-South Side Fantasy (excerpt-B).mp3
unbound score/CD

"South Side Fantasy" was written during the late spring of 2002 for Double Bass player George Vance (Silver Springs, Maryland) who requested a solo work.  Mr. Vance premiered the composition at Ball State in Indiana in February, 2003 and subsequently performed the work in Adelaide, Australia and most recently at the 2007 International Society of Bassists Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

"South Side Fantasy" for solo Double Bass and CD is a fantasy journey into a large Serbian hall on the south side of Chigago during the mid 1900's.  It's late at night and the Popovich Brothers tamburitza orchestra is performing on stage.  We enter into that acoustical world the same way we leave - to the strains of the traditional Serbian farewell song 'Maro Resavkinjo' as sung by Teddy Popovich (a fitting homage to the late Adam Popovich who reposed in 2001).

The journey into this ethnic world is personalized for the audience by the double bass solo which at the same time both participates in the Serbian ethnic experience and transforms it into a modern American experience.  The new and the old are woven together into the sometimes chromatic and othertimes modal and ethnic scales that form the basis of the soloist's melodic material.

Structurally, the work is a suite of continuous movements - a large 'ABaC' form with both the 'A' and 'B' themes reprised toward the end of the fast 'C' section and tranformed by their new context.  Everything is securely anchored by a tonality of D, which for emphasis and tension is contrasted against its tri-tone counterpart - A-flat.  Within this diametrically opposed tonal complex one can clearly hear standard Serbian harmonic cadential progressions which tie in with the Popovich Brothers musical excerpts.  These exceprts are prominently featured at transition points and form a musical framework for the entire composition.   Many of the other sounds one hears in the CD accompaniment are digitally processed double bass samples (glissandi, harmonics sul-ponticello, tapping with the tip of the bow, etc.)   For example, the loud banging that opens the work is actually a digitally processed sample of a single tap on the double bass soundboard.

"South Side Fantasy" is a work which seeks to express both the heroic and spirited character of the Serbian soul;  qualities which I saw in Adam Popovich whom I had the personal pleasure of meeting and chating with on several occasions. The mp3 excerpts above feature George Vance on Double Bass.


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