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Malachy Robinson — “The Irish Double Bass” (2021)


In March 2021, I undertook the recording of “The Irish Double Bass,” encapsulating my three-decade journey in Ireland’s music scene, notably within New Music and collaborations with Dublin’s Crash Ensemble. Departing from classical norms, this album showcases a dynamic interplay between composer, performer, and The Work, fostering a collaborative spirit.

The selected repertoire is a personal odyssey, featuring works from Irish composers, half of which were specifically written for me. Ranging from my grandfather Joseph Groocock’s traditional Sonata to Ryan Molloy’s improvised “Bodhrán” and Deirdre Gribbin’s newly-commissioned “Maps of Awakening,” the pieces embody a rich tapestry of Irish musical voices, each with a profound personal connection.

Beyond the musical journey, the album documents the evolution of my sound, epitomized by the transition from a large orchestral bass to a chamber-sized instrument crafted by Christian Laborie. This shift not only influenced my sound but also prompted a transformation in posture, bow hold, and overall technique, revealing a more nuanced and resonant voice.

The recording process allowed me to revisit significant pieces, from developing a romantic sound for Joseph Groocock’s Sonata to concealing technical difficulties in Kevin O’Connell’s “Slattar.” Concluding with Deirdre Gribbin’s captivating “Maps of Awakening,” the album stands not just as a solo venture but as a musical exploration illuminating the unique qualities of the bass, the voices of Irish composers, and the evolving landscape of my artistic identity.

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ISSN: 2792-8349

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International Journal of Music