Renaud Garcia-Fons plays the double bass. He was born in France to a family with roots in the Catalonia region of Spain, and he’s fluent in French, Spanish and English. He easily switches between classical, jazz and flamenco. And he plays the double bass in a way that I’ve never seen before. As “Aqua Jan” opens he is tapping the strings with his bow, creating a very cool hammering effect and what sounds like very fast picking (but with a bow). Then the song switches to a more traditional bowing style and Renaud’s fingering is amazing to watch. He returns briefly back to the bouncing bow at the end.
The second song is “Hacia Compostela.” Compostela is a holy place in the north of Spain. It is a song about going to holy city. He opens the song with some harmonics (which he loops). It never occurred to me you could do harmonics on a double bass. And then he’s on to some lovely fretless bass playing. Then it’s on to some more bowing–very high-pitched and almost electronic sounding–it’s very cool. Back to some incredibly fast bowing and amazing finger work. The loops (I’m not sure when he was recording them, but they kept changing), add some great bass notes and some sort of percussive elements too).
The final song, “Rock Wandering” he introduces as saying that since most of you are standing, I w ill play something that is dancing.
It opens with more of that tapping style (and feels like rock chords the way he plays it). He makes them looping backing chords as he just goes to town with the virtuoso playing on the strings. He gives any guitarist a run for his money on the solos. It’s astonish to watch.
[READ: December 9, 2015] Sleepless Knight
I hadn’t kept up on my plan to read all of the First Second books, so as the year draws to an end, I decided to grab a few of the kids books, which I figured would be quick and would allow me to check off a few on the list (since they keep publishing more, I have to keep up).
I found two books by the creators of Adventures in Cartooning, a series of book which I haven’t read but which look like a lot of fun.
These two books are tiny graphic stories for very little kids–the art and story are very simple. And they are both really fun.
Sleepless Knight is the story of the knight (who is a little stick figure kinda guy with a knight’s helmet on) and his horse Edward. As the story opens they are planning for the best camping trip ever!
Poor Edward is laden down with so much stuff (including a cactus and a scooter). And while the knights considers that maybe he over packed, it doesn’t stop him from filing up a huge sack full of stuff.
After a brief hike, they stop to camp (the visual joke is very funny).
They have a campfire and marshmallows get ready to settle in. But the knight can’t find his teddy. And he can’t sleep without it!
In his quest for teddy he wakes up a very angry rabbit (I like that the rabbit can talk but Edward can’t). When he tells the rabbit what he is looking for, the rabbit says he has seen it and sends him off to find teddy.
His faithful horse is of no use in this crisis (he has eaten too many marshmallows and can’t wake up).
But while one crisis is averted, a new one comes along–with a very funny punchline.
I love the drawing style, so simple and childlike but so wonderfully expressive.
On the front and back inside covers, there are steps in how to draw the knight, Edward, a rabbit and a bear (all doing amazing things).