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Unreleased Masterworks

by Edmund Welles: the bass clarinet quartet



The Unreleased Masterworks are:

An Apicultural Excursion (1996-7) 3 movements
Another Apicultural Excursion (2007) 3 movements
Opium & Absinthe (2004) 4 movements
2012: A Requiem [for Baktun 12, the 13th and Final Cycle]
(2007) 3 movements

Edmund Welles was founded as a seedling in 1996 when Kevin Shima lent me (Cornelius Boots) his cassette 4-track Portastudio and I crafted the track "In a Crowded Comb" which was to be movement one of a trilogy that was dedicated to the imagined experiences of a beekeeper and his bees.

In addition to an earlier piece for 2 Bb clarinets, 2 contrabass clarinets and percussion (bassclarinet.bandcamp.com/track/hazelnut-original-flavor),
this bee track was a successful composition project, an exciting template and progenitor, in my opinion, and inspired more new compositions and the gathering of the live group, The Cornelius Boots Trio, which was two bass clarinets and drums. We were active throughout the summer of 1996 wherein we recorded many tracks and played a handful of shows. That album can be found over here:

The appeal of four-voiced bass clarinet composing and arranging drew me back into it and the next 15 years were dedicated to the bass clarinet and the bass clarinet quartet. In spite of an impressive and creatively successful discography for such an unusual, original composition-based group, many of the multi-movement bass clarinet quartets that I wrote never received a definitive, "studio"-quality or professional-level, live AND complete recording.

Since Edmund Welles as both an active composition project and live ensemble closed the book on itself in 2015, the question of how to release these hidden masterworks--along with many arrangements, live recordings and other gems--has hung like Tibetan incense in a still, quiet room.

I say to you: listen with peace in your heart and Golden Ewoks in your ears and have a fun journey with us back through the shadowed pages and corners of the book of EDMUND WELLES, the bass clarinet quartet.


released July 17, 2017

See individual tracks for full credits.

Cornelius Boots: all compositions and bass clarinet IV on all tracks.

Jeff Anderle, Jonathan Russell and Aaron Novik: bass clarinets I, II, and III on live tracks.

Cover Photo from June 22, 2007 at the Berkeley Hillside Club.
From L to R:
Cornelius Boots, Aaron Novik, Jeff Anderle, Jonathan Russell


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Edmund Welles: the bass clarinet quartet Oakland, California

Edmund Welles has the distinction of being the world’s only original, composing band of four bass clarinetist: they invent and perform heavy chamber music. Drawing virtuosic precision from the classical realm; innovation and texture from jazz; and power, rhythm and overall perspective from rock and metal, the quartet’s sound is characterized by a thickness of tone and absolute rhythmic prowess. ... more

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