As the world continues to recover from the Coronavirus, we're all finding ourselves in unfamiliar territory given the subsequent lockdown that is keeping us off of stages and confined to our homes. Luckily, there's comfort in the fact that we're all in this together, and that there are still many outlets for us musicians to keep us active and sane throughout this quarantine. We're checking in with bass players from all over the world to see what they're doing to stay entertained, healthy, productive, and safe during this trying time.
Bass Player: Gina Schwarz
Bands & Artists: Solo Artist & Composer
Home: Vienna, Austria
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
I am spending time with distance teaching, practicing, promoting my new album, Pannonica, organizing things, daily cycling, and painting walls in my apartment.
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
At the moment I am working on rhythm stuff. My next project to check out is: The Gateway to Rhythm, Konokol is the universal system of mastering rhythm without drums.
What music, songs, recordings, artists, bass players have you been listening to as a source of comfort and inspiration that you can recommend?
Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, Charlie Haden’s Closeness, Brad Mehldau’s Songs: The Art of the Trio Volume Three, with Larry Grenadier on bass, Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew and Live Evil, [Swedish bassist] Anders Jormin—the list is endless.
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
On my new album, Pannonica, I played gut strings by Gerold Gennsler. It was a tip from Larry Grenadier. I am currently testing Pirastro Perpetual, which are steel strings. If I have to play with my own amplifier, I use Acoustic Image, but I prefer a microphone.
What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
For movies, Malik Bendjelloul’s Searching for Sugarman, Jim Jarmusch’s Night on Earth, and Stanley Nelson’s Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool. Readinng-wise, Michelle Mercer’s Footprints, and The Universal Tone,by Ashley Kahn, Hal Miller, and Carlos Santana. I try to do neck exercises every day. I can recommend these videos:
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
In the fall I have some concerts with my band Pannonica, and we’ll play music from my latest album. I play with Playground4, an international womens band, as well as other sidewoman gigs. In October, I’ve been invited to perform at Multiphonics Jazz Festival in Köln, Germany. I have two recordings, in duo and trio, which are not yet mixed. I’m looking forward to working on them.
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
Trust and follow your intuition, clean and protect your aura through meditation, accept the situation and try to gain positive results for you and your loved ones. Try to search for creative ideas for the new situation.
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All check-ins compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria & Chris Jisi