Sturm’s book nominated for ARSC award
calendar icon26 Jan 2023
Lincoln, Neb.--Hixson-Lied Professor of Double Bass and Jazz Studies Hans Sturm’s book, “75 Years on 4 Strings: The Life and Music of François Rabbath,” has been nominated for the 2023 Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research.
The ARSC awards recognize and draw attention to the finest work now being published in the field of recorded sound research. The winners will be announced in September. The ARSC (https://www.arsc-audio.org) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and study of sound recordings, in all genres of music and speech, in all formats, and from all periods.
“It was a delightful shock to learn that ’75 Years on 4 Strings’ had been nominated for an ARSC book award out of the blue,” Sturm said. “As I considered why the book might have been nominated, it occurred to me that there are numerous descriptions of his work in the recording studios—including his first solo recording (released 1963), which was the first recording featuring only bass and drums. That recording was also made when overdubbing was in its infancy, and François overdubbed as many as five bass parts. All that said, I frankly feel very honored and a little overwhelmed.”
“75 Years on 4 Strings: The Life and Music of François Rabbath” was published in 2022 and is available for sale on Sturm’s website at http://avant-bass.com. It is a biography about Rabbath, a French double-bass virtuoso, soloist and composer who has influenced countless bassists around the world.
Rabbath, who is now in his 90s, is renowned in the bass world for his innovative left-hand technique and pedagogy that has revolutionized the way the bass is played and taught. Sturm has worked with Rabbath since 2000.
“I’ve known about him for a lot longer, since the early 80s when he first kind of came out,” Sturm said. “I went and studied with him. I would go over two to three times a year, starting in 2000, and that led to the creation of the two DVDs that I produced called ‘The Art of the Bow’ and ‘The Art of the Left Hand.’”
But Sturm was also interested in Rabbath’s stories.
“One of the things that’s so fascinating about François is his history and background,” Sturm said. “In making the DVDs, we would talk about his philosophy, then he would tell another story about his past. Each one he would recall, then that would bring to mind another one.”
In Rabbath’s method, the entire fingerboard is divided into only six positions, made possible with a technique called pivoting. His methods focus on the use of the left hand and his detailed attention to the bow arm.
For Sturm, both the book and his relationship with Rabbath are personal.
“He has completely changed the way that I play, approach, teach and think about this instrument,” Sturm said. “The second thing I can say is his generosity, and the infectiousness of how he gives and how he wants everybody to grow. And then lastly, it’s his love of humanity. There is this bit of the story that comes back several times where he’s rejected in one way or the other. And he always comes back to the bass. It’s the sharing of love through the music.”