Color portrait of Katherine Balch, turned three-quarters, wearing glasses and a tan coat over a gray top, and standing next to a concrete ledge in an outdoor location

Katherine Balch

Elliott Carter Rome Prize
January 11–August 6, 2021
Composer, New York
Project title
Kalesa Ed Kaluca: Music for double bass (and)
Project description

I will use my time in Rome to compose and revise several works, completing an album of music that centers around the double bass. The album will include four works I have already written and the pieces I plan to compose in Rome: a solo work for Edward Kass, a double bass quartet, and a duo for double bass and electronics. Kass’s new solo work will take advantage of the double bass’s unique adeptness for scordatura and lush harmonic series, exploring the instrument’s range of sound production from harmonicity to noise.

Thorough documentation of the double bass’s sonic possibilities does not yet exist. Thus, another more scholarly aspect of this project will be collaborating with Kass to compile clear documentation of extended techniques, notation, and idiosyncratic features of the instrument, including its long history of scordatura. This research will be published as an open-source resource for composers, performers, and students.