Double Bass Line

Video posted April 20, 2016 in News by Roger Van Scyoc and Min Xian


The strings reverberate with each movement of the arm. As their elbows dance near their shoulders, the notes follow suit, drifting then diving into deeper tones. 

Alberto Jara and Shanti Nachtergaele are on stage, performing a double bass recital on March 26 in Esber Recital Hall in Penn State's Music Building. The audience settles in as the lights dim.

The chatter extinguishes and silence falls. With their instruments propped beneath them, the two musicians affix their gaze to the notes. Then they play.

"It's even more challenging to find repertoire for two double basses on baroque setting," Jara said.

The pair share a love for classical music steeped in antiquity and evocated by the double bass. It's a rarity -- even for the music school, Jara said. 

Jara, who is graduating soon, said he enjoys being able to pursue the double bass, the music he loves.

When the audience applauds, he and Nachtergaele shoot each other glances. Their smiles shine back at them from the polished wood. 

"It's cool to have the chance to do stuff that I like," Jara said.