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Rubank's Contest Collection for Bass Clarinet and Piano has never been recorded. Almost 40 years later, now it will be.
Rubank's Contest Collection for Bass Clarinet and Piano has never been recorded. Almost 40 years later, now it will be.
118 backers pledged $4,740 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Remember when you started the clarinet (or bass clarinet, or whatever instrument you play), and your teacher used to say "Okay, I need you to just listen to a recording"? 

Me too. Clarinet recordings were pretty easy to find. Bass Clarinet ones, not so much. In fact, there are exactly ZERO recordings of just about every student bass clarinet piece out there. None. Zip. Nada. 

So, as many of you know, I started my YouTube series "So You Want To Be a Bass Clarinet Player" as a way to address the fact that so little was available to bass clarinet students to listen to. And over the past two years, I've recorded about 40 videos, where I play and talk about pieces ranging from etudes to orchestral excerpts.

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(Prelude from Bach Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, from "So You Want To Be a Bass Clarinet Player")

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Well, The Rubank Concert and Contest Collection for Bass Clarinet is one of the most-played beginner books in all of bass clarinet repertoire. It was my first book for bass clarinet back in 1979, and I played through it for a long, long time.

Okay, fast-forward 30 years. My kid plays violin. She played through the Suzuki method — still does actually — and what I thought was great about that series of books was that they came with good recordings of each of the pieces. 

I had a lightbulb moment: Ariel was progressing through the Suzuki books, which require lots and lots of listening as you learn the pieces. And she was playing them correctly, with right notes, rhythms and interpretations.

I was teaching my own young students the Rubank book, which had no recordings, so no listening got done. And my students were struggling.

I thought: hmmm, there must be a connection. 

I decided that I needed to remedy this situation for the bass clarinet. But I didn't want to have to ask all of these young players to BUY a recording. I feel that they should be made available with the book. Simply put, I want to offer these recordings for free to anyone who wants them.

I'm going to record these works with piano, AND my friend Maxim is going to record just the piano accompaniment by itself, so that everyone can play along, like the Suzuki recordings. 

Again, I'm going to offer it as a digital download to anyone who wants, for FREE. Your support will enable me to pay Max, the recording studio and piano rental, engineer and editor. But to be clear, I will not be taking any salary from this project. For me it's a labor of love.

So even though it's almost 35 years too late for me to take advantage of it, let's do this now. Pay it forward. Support the bass clarinet. Do it in honor of your teacher or mentor.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for your support.

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STRETCH GOAL JUST ADDED!

For every $250 over my goal, I will record an additional piece of student repertoire. Which ones? Well, that's where you come in. Once the project funding time limit is over, I will create a survey (only for backers!) and take suggestions from you all! Want in on the action? Pledge at least $25 and you'll get a vote!

Thanks again for being so supportive of the bass clarinet!

Risks and challenges

To be honest, risks are not especially high with this project. If the project is funded, it happens. The funding will be to pay the pianist, rent the studio, pay the engineer and editor, and create/mail all of those awesome rewards.

Again, to be clear: I will be donating my time for the recording of the project. I won't receive a dime for anything, ever.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    A note of thanks, and my unbridled love. Every dollar helps!

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A set of 4 irreverently bassalicous stickers to graffiti up your music stand or instrument case, or locker, or whatever. (Text: "go bass or go home." and "my reed can kick your reed's ass." -- plus an earspasm.com logo sticker to show off how awesome you are. Oh, and for those who don't know, "earspasm" is my site/music company/alter ego)

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    An autographed reed that I used to record something, sometime, somewhere. I promise it won't be disgusting. I'll even pre-soak it in peroxide (or whiskey) for 10 minutes to kill any germs if you want.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    A personalized, autographed 20 x 30 poster of Yours Truly. Damn I'm good looking.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    "I don't need nuthin. I just like your idea and want to contribute." If this sounds like you, I love you already.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Show off your bass clarinet/sax/trombone/saroozaphone pride with one of earspasm music's irreverent T-Shirts — your choice of style/color. (Go to earspasm.spreadshirt.com to see the choices)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A kick-ass stainless steel water bottle with your choice of irreverent bass-clarinet-superiority-themed text on it. (Go to earspasm.spreadshirt.com to see the choices)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    I will record a video on my YouTube series: "So You Want To Be a Bass Clarinet Player" with the piece of your choice. (No, I will not record the Ferneyhough "Time And Motion Study." Let's be reasonable.)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    An autographed set of all 5 of my CDs — Woot!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    A 60-minute Skype lesson on whatever you want (e.g. it can be about clarinet, or we can just talk about life for an hour...but no nudity.)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    My mouthpiece/ligature/reed setup, personally selected by me. This includes: one Vandoren B50 Bass Clarinet mouthpiece, one Vandoren Optimum Ligature and two boxes of Vandoren V12 bass clarinet reeds. Wanna guess who sponsored this reward? (Thanks guys!)

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    I'll fly to your house and give you a lesson (or we can just hang out and drink, which is also fine)

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Funding period

- (30 days)