Super Bass: Can You Hit This Note? | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Super Bass: Can You Hit This Note?

Play associated audio

Calling all basses: Decca Records is on the hunt for someone who can sing a low E, nearly three octaves below middle C. The note is featured in a new piece called De Profundis (Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord — Psalm) by the Welsh composer Paul Mealor.

I'm really attracted to the depths of the human spectrum," Mealor tells NPR's Robert Siegel. "We're seeking to find the person that can sing the lowest note ever written in choral music — and not just that note, but the solo in this piece for bass solo and choir. So we're looking for someone very special."

Mealor is working with Decca to find that someone — they'll be accepting submissions online through February 24. Mealor says that making someone sing a dauntingly low note was always part of his thought process for the piece.

"I've been constantly been trying to write lower and lower, and the bassists I write for seem very pleased about this," He says. "We all have friends in the singing world who will try to bedazzle you with how low they can sing at the party afterwards. So I thought, this is a chance to give the low basses a chance to shine."

The full version of this story includes a demonstration from Roger Menees, the record holder for the lowest note ever sung. To hear it, click the audio link at the top of the page.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Puerto Rico Is Sowing A New Generation Of Small Farmers

Decades of industrialization have left the island reliant on imported food. But change is coming — from government subsidies for small farmers, to classes that teach school kids how to grow food.
NPR

Puerto Rico Is Sowing A New Generation Of Small Farmers

Decades of industrialization have left the island reliant on imported food. But change is coming — from government subsidies for small farmers, to classes that teach school kids how to grow food.
WAMU 88.5

Abortion Is Back In The Spotlight In Virginia

The state's current attorney general is overturning a ruling from the previous attorney general that would have shut down most of the abortion clinics in the state, and the issue isn't just about regulations and politics. It's also about money.
NPR

Smartphones Can Be Smart Enough To Find A Parasitic Worm

If someone is infected by the Loa loa worm, taking a drug to treat river blindness could be risky. Now there's a fast way to identify the worm — by turning a smartphone into a microscope.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.