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BASS2BASS with Freekbass – Michael Manring

BASS2BASS with Freekbass – Michael Manring

BASS2BASS with Freekbass – Michael Manring

In all walks of life, there are figures who don’t recognize that there are boundaries for their passion. Michael Manring has manifested this with his bass playing. Whether he is acting as an accompaniment or soloist, he stretches and bends the musical spectrum to new sonic places. Like the wise-sage sitting on the hill, Manring continues to give us the musical answers we are seeking. It’s been my honor to connect with someone who has so much musical talent and wisdom to share: Michael Manring in this month’s “BASS2BASS with Freekbass”.

Michael Manring

As a bass instructor, what is your essential go-to song to help a new student get an overall feel for the instrument?

I try to adjust my teaching to the needs of each student, so it really depends on the goals and skills of the individual. That said, “Chameleon” is a place a lot of folks seem to like to start!

Time travel becomes reality. You get to work with any composer from a pre-electric-era and bring them to 2020 to compose a new piece for you. Who would you choose to work with, knowing they have just discovered the electric bass?

I imagine everyone’s first thought would be Bach, and that would be beyond awesome, but I’ll bet he’d write something quite similar to the wonderful suites for unaccompanied cello. Since he already gave us that masterpiece I wouldn’t want to impose on him, so I think I’d try to pick someone else. It’s fun to think of what Scarlatti might write, or Haydn, Beethoven or Schubert. The thought of a Wagner solo bass piece cracks me up!

I’m tempted to say Chopin, but one of the great things about his music is how intrinsic it is to the piano. It would take him a long time to get up to speed on the bass, and it might not work. We know he loved the guitar but he never wrote anything for it, so maybe it’s a bad idea.

I’d love to have a piece by one of the trinity of Carnatic composers. Something by Tyagaraja would be amazing, but again, probably not substantially different from what we already have.

I think I’d pick Francisco Tarrega. The bass wouldn’t be too foreign to him and I’m sure he’d write something absolutely beautiful that we’d all want to play.

You are asked to rework an existing movie score/soundtrack using bass as the dominant instrument. What movie would be your dream project and how do you transform it?

It would be a thrill to score Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Stalker.” I’d love to have a go at it with lots of strange bass effects. Artemyev’s score is really lovely, though, so maybe it’d be better to re-do Tarkovsky’s “Solaris,” which I think might be nice with something a bit stranger.

If you were only able to play bass in one key of music for the rest of your career, what would you choose and why?

I wouldn’t mind spending the rest of my life playing in the Carnatic Raga Mayamalavagowla. It’s complex and beautiful and would certainly keep my interest.

What superhero would make the best bass player?

I’d like to be able to say Man-Thing because he’s my namesake, but I doubt he has the requisite sensitivity, and I’m not sure he even has fingers. I was going to go with Dr. Strange, but my daughter pointed out that he never got a cure for his shaky hands. So I’m going to say The Ancient One. She has wisdom, excellent control over time, patience and little apparent need for self-aggrandizement.

I’d like to be able to say Man-Thing because he’s my namesake, but I doubt he has the requisite sensitivity, and I’m not sure he even has fingers. I was going to go with Dr. Strange, but my daughter pointed out that he never got a cure for his shaky hands. So I’m going to say The Ancient One. She has wisdom, excellent control over time, patience and little apparent need for self-aggrandizement.

Visit online at manthing.com

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