Gigantic bass opens Only Connect

KL. 20:00 (exact start time)

Buy concert ticket, kr 200/150 (regular/member)
Includes Jana Winderen and Cikada​
Buy festival pass, kr 550/450 (regular/member)


Guro Moe med octobassen, Ole-Henrik Moe med piccolettofiolin. Foto: Henrik Beck.

The opening day of Only Connect presents the opportunity to experience one of the rarest acoustic instruments in the world, the octobass. A brand new octobass, built by a luthier in Germany, will have its world premiere at the festival with a specially created ensemble.

There are other octobasses in the world: at the Museé de la Musique in Paris, Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona and Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. And now: in Oslo - but not in a museum, this one will be in use. A lot.

More PICTURES of the octobass.

Video: Karoline Finnema.

Guro S. Moe, bassist, composer and one of Norway's most active improv musicians, known from the group MoE and All Ears festival, has been, together with composer and violinist Ole-Henrik Moe, the driving force behind the octobass project.

Moe: «An octobass is an acoustic bass with three strings and is three times larger as a conventional bass. It was originally constructed by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume in the 1800s. The bass's lowest frequency is about 16 hertz, which is just below the range of what the ear can perceive. With it's ghost tones the octobass will blast all earlier perceptions of overtones and create a distinct sound. 

The chamber orchestra, The Touchables, premieres with 11 musicians who have broad experience with improvisation, jazz, rock, baroque and classical. Since my background is from noise music, I also wanted to bring noise aesthetics into a classical chamber orchestra. The register for this orchestra is three octaves higher than other orchestras, giving us a unique opportunity to explore timbres and microtonality. 

It has taken about a year to build the octobass. Now it is finished, but it lacks strings and must dry up before it can be transported to Norway from Frankfurt. I talked to the guy who has build it on the phone before Christmas. I was ecstatic and told him that the project felt truly unreal to me. He replied back in a monotone voice: "It feels pretty real on my part", referring to the mountain of sawdust covering most of his workshop.»

Supported by Kulturrådet.

The Touchables

Gjertrud Pedersen - Bass Clarinet
Kristine Tjøgersen - Bass Clarinet
Martin Taxt - Tuba
Laura Marie Rueslåtten -  Bass Handbells
Ane Marthe Sørlien Holen - Bass Drum
Ole-Henrik Moe - Violin Piccolo
Kari Rønnekleiv - Viola
Kristin Strand - Cello
Magnus Skavhaug Nergaard - Bass
Guro Skumsnes Moe - Octobass

Only Connect:
The Deep

4 - 6 June 2015

Facebook event

Octobassen under konstruksjon. Byhhet av Flippo Staab.