NAMM MUSEUM of Making Music Presents “LOW: The Power & Beauty of Bass” an Interactive Exhibition of Low Register Sounds and Instruments
Exhibition allows visitors to see sound waves, feel bass frequencies, lower the register of their voice and check out some really big instruments
The NAMM MUSEUM of Making Music (MoMM) rounds out a successful year of vibrant events and well-attended exhibitions with “LOW: The Power & Beauty of Bass,” opening November 8, 2015. The latest special exhibition running through summer 2016 explores the world of bass – the sounds that fall below 262 Hertz on the frequency spectrum as well as the low register instruments that make them. Bass sounds are considered critical in music making with its importance often compared to an engine or compass within music.
This highly interactive and participatory exhibition introduces several aspects of the low register—bass—experience. With the overarching theme focusing on low sounds, the exhibition can also be experienced through unique elements that appeal to the senses of sight and touch.
“Our overall goal with this exhibition is to raise awareness of the essential role that low register instruments, sounds and rhythms play in a musical setting. We hope that the exhibition opens a door to a new sonic world and that will inspire visitors to listen differently to music and the world around them,” said Carolyn Grant, executive director of the NAMM MUSEUM of Making Music. “Ultimately, this exhibition will be deemed a success if someone, someday says to us, ‘Because of your exhibition I became a bass clarinet, saxophone, drum or guitar player.’ We know that there are many people out there whose true expression might come through a bass instrument.”
The elements “LOW: The Power & Beauty of Bass” include:
Four interactive stations, designed and created by sound artist and musical instrument inventor Dr. Chris Warren, allow visitors to see, feel and hear bass frequencies:
- SEE Low Sound: Video that explores how bass waves can be seen using a hose, water, and a subwoofer. An additional interactive sound art piece shows how the voice can be visualized using Chladni patterns. This digital recreation of Chladni’s experiments uses the sound of your voice to move pixels around like grains of sand. Ernst Chladni (1756-1827) was a musician and physicist who developed a unique method to make sonic vibrations visible.
- HEAR Low Sound: In opera, the lowest male voice is known as basso profondo, Italian for “deep bass.” This interactive invites the visitor to sing into a microphone to transform their voice into a basso profondo!
- FEEL Low Sound: Using a musical product called the ButtKicker, visitors can sit on a bench and feel bass frequencies. The “Buttkicker Concert” is a low frequency audio transducer that is designed specifically for musician monitoring and stage and studio use. It’s used by hundreds of musicians all over the world including the Rolling Stones, Usher, Alanis Morissette and more.
- Instrument Display: A wide sampling of low register instruments many on loan from NAMM member companies including Conn-Selmer, Inc., Bertrand’s Music, Sabian, Fender Musical Instruments, and Fleishman Instruments Corp.
- Bass Conversations: This insightful video developed under the musical direction of master musician and GRAMMY award winning producer Kamau Kenyatta presents a group of well-known San Diego musicians talking about why they play low register instruments and demonstrating their art.
- With or Without Bass?: A video featuring music selections played with and without bass. Does it make a difference?
- Hands-On Bass!: Visitors can experience what it’s like to play a bass instrument using the instruments generously loaned to the museum by C.F. Martin & Co., Gold Tone, Kala Brand Music Co. and more.
- Concert Series: As part of the exhibition, MoMM will host a series of bass-related concerts with iconic musicians including Alphonso Johnson, and Katie Thiroux, as well as workshops such as “Learn To…Taiko” and a family program exploring the history and sounds of the Didgeridoo. For up-to-date concert listings, please visit the MoMM website.
Exhibition Opening Details
“LOW: The Power & Beauty of Bass” Exhibition Opening Celebration
Date: Saturday, November 7, 2015
Cost: Free to current NAMM members and two guests, $15 per person for non-members
Location: NAMM Headquarters at the NAMM MUSEUM of Making Music, 5790 Armada Dr., Carlsbad, CA 92008
The exhibition is open to everyone starting Sunday, November 8, 2015. NAMM members are welcome to visit the museum seven days a week for free.
About the NAMM MUSEUM of Making Music
The NAMM MUSEUM of Making Music, a division of the NAMM Foundation, explores the history and impact of the music products industry and connects people of all ages with hands-on music making. Open to the public at NAMM industry headquarters since 2000, the Museum showcases the story of making, selling and using musical instruments and products from 1900 to present day. Committed to connecting people of all ages in active music making, the Museum offers performances, educational outreach programs, and hands-on workshops year-round. The Museum opens to the public Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m and to NAMM members daily. For more information, call (760) 438-5996, visit www.museumofmakingmusic.org, and follow on Twitter and Facebook.
The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 10,300 members located in 104 countries and regions. NAMM events and members fund The NAMM Foundation's efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music, and advance active participation in music making across the lifespan. For more information about NAMM, please visit www.namm.org, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.