In Indianapolis, an electric bassoon ensemble called Rock E Bassoon

Posted on: November 16, 2018

“The local electric bassoon ensemble [is] perhaps the world’s only electric bassoon ensemble,” writes David Lindquist in Thursday’s (11/15) Indianapolis Star. The group, Rock E Bassoon, was founded by Matt Gutwein, president and CEO of the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County. Before that, “Gutwein … hadn’t played the instrument in 37 years…. Gutwein’s band … an unlikely sextet that covers pop and rock songs on a decidedly non-pop/rock instrument [performed] before the Sept. 30 Indianapolis Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium … for two hours while fans formed pre-game lines.” Also performing in the sextet is “Mark Ortwein … a member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra… ‘Bassoon has a 3-1/2 octave range, but we like to say we can play bright, dark, whatever,’ Ortwein said. ‘It can sound like a flute, blend with trombones. It’s often put with French horns. It’s a really unique instrument.’ And that’s before factoring in Ortwein’s secret weapon: effects pedals similar to what you’d find at the feet of Jimi Hendrix in the 1960s or Eddie Van Halen today. All members of Rock E Bassoon use a transducer pickup positioned at their instrument’s bocal, or mouthpiece, that is connected to an amplifier.”

Posted November 16, 2018