The wreck of former boundaries (contrabass solo)



instrumentation: solo contrabass
date: 2014-15
duration: 6’00
details: 5 pages, including performance instructions; A3 portrait; full color

Programme Note

The wreck of former boundaries, for contrabass solo, is part of a larger conglomerate of works—each sharing the same title—that includes a range of solo works, small chamber works, works for electronics, and an extended ensemble work for two trumpet soloists, clarinet, saxophone, trombone, electric lap steel guitar, double bass, and multichannel electronics, ranging in duration from six to 35 minutes.

The work emerges out of a recent fascination with curves, arcs, bubbles, and foams, and foregrounds an undercutting and liquidation of the geometric, architectural, latticed methodology that has guided most of my work to date, particularly with regard to rhythm and its notation, and to the relationship between formal design and local-level decision making. It is a work that sets movement, energy, force, and velocity against various states of friction, resistance, viscosity, and elasticity. 


A way of making ghosts. Ensemble Musikfabrik, ELISION, JACK Quartet, Line Upon Line. Kathryn Schulmeister, double bass (ELISION). Also includes A republic of spaces, String Quartet (2002), a/grammatical study for three (quasi-)independent players, and three solos from The wreck of former boundaries. Kairos 0015073KAI, December 2022.


At the end of the recording session at Ginger Studios, Melbourne, for a future commercial release, Kathryn Schulmeister recorded a full run of the piece for video. Thanks to Jimi Lloyd-Wyatt, owner and recording engineer at Ginger Studios, and to Raph Buckley for making the video.

Trailer video (by Angela Guyton) for the full ensemble version of The wreck of former boundaries, featuring Joan Wright, contrabass.


Kathryn Schulmeister, recording session at Ginger Studios, Melbourne, 13 April 2018.

Kathryn Schulmeister, double bass, Ginger Studios, Melbourne, 13 April 2018
Kathryn Schulmeister, double bass; Jimi Lloyd-Wyatt, recording engineer
Jimi Lloyd-Wyatt, Ginger Studios, Melbourne; Kathryn Schulmeister, double bass

Early rehearsals and creative development sessions with Joan Wright, Melbourne, September 2015

Matthew Henson, double bass. Conrad Prebys Music Center Experimental Theater, UCSD. May 9, 2022.

Kathryn Schulmeister, double bass. University of California, San Diego. February 23, 2019.

Kathryn Schulmeister, double bass (ELISION). Festival Vértice, Sala Rosario Castellanos, Mexico City. October 25, 2018. 

Joan Wright, contrabass (ELISION). Arts @ 29 Garden, Harvard University, USA. May 16, 2017.

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