Cimbasso? What???

As promised I’m posting an image of the shoot I did with Andrew Bove last year. When he told me about his instrument I was intrigued. I’m not a specialist when it comes to musical instruments but I never had heard the name or had seen this “Cimbasso” he was pulling out of a big bag in front of me in midst a Starbucks café in Manhattan. I was as astounded as the usually so knowledgeable and informed New Yorker onlookers around us. What is this? And what do you use it for?

I found some information on Wikipedia:

The modern cimbasso is most commonly used in opera scores by Verdi from Oberto to Aida and Puccini in Le villi only, though the word also appears in the score of Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma, premiered in 1831 when Verdi was 15 years old. In addition to opera orchestras, the cimbasso can be commonly heard in motion picture soundtracks.

The early use of “cimbasso” referred to an upright serpent of a narrower bore than the Basson Russe, usually made of wood with a brass bell. Later, this term had a more generic meaning referring to a range of instruments including the ophicleide, valved-ophicleide, and other instruments. In general, after the advent of the more conical bass tuba, the term was more used to refer to a more blending voice than the “Basso Tuba” or “Bombardone”, and began to imply the lowest trombone. Verdi, who at times specified a preference for the blending timbre of a low trombone over the heavier sounding tuba, developed an instrument with the firm Pelliti, which was a contrabass trombone in BBb wrapped in tuba form.

The instrument had also been featured on Korn’s Unplugged concert with MTV.

I had a great time working with Andrew and it was fantastic to have Toni his then girlfriend and now wife there as well who helped us with the styling. And the two of them were so nice to invite me for dinner after the shoot.

This image was shot here in the loft. It was not an easy setup. Six or seven flash heads were pointing at him, I had almost all my lighting equipment in action.

To see more of the images from that day please go to my website. To find out where and when Andrew is playing please go to his website (still under construction!).




“Cimbasso? What???” Williamsburg/Brooklyn/Andrew Bove with Cimbasso 11-01-09 at 06:33 PM

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