I’m a double bass player and writer who’s also passionate about the environment, and so I incorporate looping bass improvisation with wild sounds in nature and my own poetry. I’ve played for outdoor festivals, indoor concerts, yoga classes and as enrichment for zoo animals. As much as possible I interact musically with the wild sounds that are happening at the time, either live or recorded, such as bird calls, whale songs and so on. By taking interspecies communication onto the musical level, I explore how our understanding of nature deepens as we listen, and how this can alter our awareness of being fundamentally interconnected with our natural environment in order to protect it.
Stay tuned for performances!
Looping bass improvisation, poetry and visuals telling the story of how (and why) I do cliff-jumping. A performance at Tripod Slideshow, Nov. 2021. (Full story here.) Starts at 26’50”.
Bass at the Conservatory Lanterns
In December 2020, for the winter solstice, I played looping double bass for a socially-distanced crowd at the Seymour Conservatory in Wright Park, Tacoma. It was a memorial for those lost in the pandemic, and part of the inaugural Tacoma Light Trail with lanterns made by Stars 4 Peace.
Playing with Wildlife
Howling with Wolves:
I got to play for the gray wolves at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park.
Whistling with Walruses:
Making music with two Pacific walruses at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.
Bass & yoga
What They’re Saying
“(Ponnekanti) plays for Point Defiance walruses, who sing along.” – Interview with Ed Ronco on NPR/KNKX “All Things Considered”
“Magical! The mercurial sound of the bass, from growly to ethereal, spoke the language of the trees and brought new insights to human ears.” – Julie Christoph, attendee at Solstice Lights performance
“An exceptional performance. I was mesmerized watching your music interact with the synesthetic lights. Thank you for encouraging us in the audience to interact with you and the bass afterwards.” – Kathleen Figetakis, attendee at Solstice Lights performance
“Rosemary Ponnekanti’s performance of looping bass was a stunning addition to Lakewold Garden’s Solstice Lights. Her live music was digitally translated into light through artist Sammel Stubblefield’s exhibition throughout the garden, and her real-time performance was thrilling to witness. Afterward, Rosemary offered a few audience members the opportunity to experience creating this music and art on her bass. Her ability to perform, interact, and engage made the evening incredibly memorable.” – Amy Wigstrom, curator of Solstice Lights