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I 06:32
II 06:21
III 11:47
IV 09:37
V 14:16 video
VI 16:34
VII 10:40


Composers/performers Lucie Vítková and James Ilgenfritz present a 75-minute suite of seven works for prepared contrabass and electronics, entitled Aging. Vítková and Ilgenfritz first collaborated as a drone accompaniment on accordion and bass for a performance by Charlemagne Palestine during the 2013 Ostrava Days festival in Ostrava, Czech Republic. After numerous performances together in New York, the pair decided to collaborate on a new work for bass and electronics. In fact, Vítková provided seven new works for bass and loudspeaker. While each piece can be performed on its own, all seven works, totalling 75 minutes of music, are on this album.

The genealogy of the piece started in 2009, when Vítková was studying composition at Janáček‘s Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno (CZ). As a student of composition, one has to compose a work for a solo instrument. Vítková chose the contrabass and created seven short pieces called Cycle for Contrabass. Vítková returned to the recording of those pieces for the collaboration with Ilgenfritz, as a nostalgic memory of her younger years when she had first begun composing at academia. The inspiration was to go back to that piece and investigate the beginner’s efforts, perspectives, and views on music, now from a vantage point acquired through many years of insights and experiences. The idea was to stretch one of the parts of the cycle into a longer time, so Vítková took the recording of the original piece and stretched it eight times, corresponding with the almost eight years that separated the original solo work from the completion of the seven new works - now and called Aging, according to the process.

Vítková decided to add electronics to the contrabass sound, as well as various preparations on the bass strings. The time stretching and further processing of the original audio tracks became the electronic tracks for the piece. From these sonic events, the score was derived, by rewriting the electronic sounds into the contrabass part. The preparations were added to blend the bass with the electronics. In performance the bass plays along with the electronics, following the player's ears and a timeline. There were seven parts in the original solo cycle, and that format was kept for the creation of seven electronic parts and seven new notated scores.


released May 14, 2021

Cover image by Lucie Vítková
Recorded & Mixed by Robbie Lee, Summer 2019
Mastered by Elliott Sharp October 2020
Layout & Design by Dustin Krcatovich
© & ℗ 2021 Lucie Vítková & James Ilgenfritz / Mountain Of Signs (ASCAP)


all rights reserved



Lucie Vítková / James Ilgenfritz New York, New York

Lucie Vítková & James Ilgenfritz present seven works for contrabass & electronics. The tracks are played from one loudspeaker, placed next to the performer to create an equal partner. The various metal, wood, rubber, and fabric objects in the preparations on the bass create a specific sonic environment where the bass and electronics are inseparable. ... more

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