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About Will

Baltimore City

Will Yager's picture
Will Yager is a double bassist committed to experimental music, improvisation, and collaborating with other artists in the creation of new solo and chamber repertoire for the double bass. He is a founding member of both LIGAMENT, a duo with soprano Anika Kildegaard, and the trio Wombat with Justin Comer and Carlos Cotallo Solares. Performance highlights include appearances at the High Zero Festival, Omaha Under the Radar, University of Iowa Center for New Music, Experimental Sound Studios’ Quarantine... more

Solo Work/Commissioning

My work as a soloist is defined largely by my interest in and dedication to the world of new/contemporary classical music. My relationship to the interpretation of notated/composed music is borne of my classical training, and my interest in creating new repertoire for the double bass, collaborating with composers, and addressing issues of gender and racial representation in the field of classical music.

  • Douglas Osmun: IMPEND

    A live performance of Douglas Osmun's IMPEND from the University of Iowa's Center for New Music in April 2022. Douglas' program note reads: IMPEND is the faltering machine, the system decay in which the system does not know the tools to repair itself. Its only designated logic is to continue churning regardless of any impeding entropy. What becomes of an unsustainable system, its limits now clearly articulated but which only knows its linear continuity?
  • Sivan Cohen Elias: RESET

    This recording was the premiere of Sivan Cohen Elias' RESET, a piece for double bass and live electronics (performed here by the composer). Sivan's program note reads: RESET is structured as a continuous loop of beginning and ending of the same material, which keeps morphing into new reflections of itself as a dented mirror would do to its reflection. In the center of Reset the main material is by itself a cut-up shifts between sonic memories of nature, classical music, and noise, repeatedly coming to an end and starting over.
  • Elliott Lupp - a warp along the length of the face

    Elliott's program note reads: This piece was written for and in collaboration with double bassist and friend Will Yager over a two year period. The work uses a series of cue like notational ‘guides’ (provided in real time via laptop) to instruct the performer through a series of physical, semi-improvisatory performative instructions.
  • Davide Ianni: Beneath the Music From a Further Room

    Davide Ianni: Beneath the Music From a Further Room (2016-17) for double bass and two singing bass drums Will Yager, double bass Davide Ianni, composition & live electronics University of Iowa Center for New Music April 25, 2021
  • Jean-François Charles: Petrified

    Will Yager, double bass Jean-François Charles, live electronics This work is part of a large-scale commissioning effort that comprised the bulk of my doctoral dissertation at the University of Iowa.
  • Benjamin Patterson - Variations for Double Bass

    This performance was recorded as part of the 2020 Nief-Norf Virtual Marathon Concert.
  • Rebecca Saunders: Fury II

    Will Yager, solo double bass University of Iowa Center for New Music: Mauricio Silva, bass clarinet Simone Baron, accordion Nicha Pimthong, piano Peter Naughton, percussion Travis Newman, percussion Hui-Hsuan Su, cello David Gompper, conductor April 14, 2019 Saunders' program note reads: Fury means rage. An explosion of rage. Endeavouring to release an extreme energy.
  • James May: glances full of muted colors

    live from Omaha Under the Radar 2022

Improvised Music

Improvising is a vital part of my music-making, and has been one of the few constants in my ever-evolving relationship to sound. In addition to the solo work, improvisation serves as a portal for collaboration with others. These recordings document my solo practice (and its development) in the last few years, alongside musical meetings with various friends and colleagues.

LIGAMENT

Described as “perverse and nihilistic”, Anika Kildegaard (voice) and Will Yager (double bass) perform as LIGAMENT, an ensemble dedicated to commissioning new music and creating work for their unique instrumentation. LIGAMENT’s performances are a fusion of standard and non-standard elements; sometimes there are high heels and sometimes there are electric toothbrushes (and sometimes both). The duo is equally at home with extended techniques as with extra-musical elements. LIGAMENT means business: they’ve been ensemble fellows at New Music on the Point and Cortona Sessions for New Music; have performed in concert series iHearIC, Feed Me Weird Things, and the University of Iowa Center for New Music; have been tapped as the collaborating ensemble for dance performances not I but that which works within me (Alyssa Gersony) and Struggle for Pleasure (Armando Duarte). They’ve been featured on the Kansas City Contemporary Music Festival and Cleveland Uncommon Sound Project’s Re:Sound, and were the 2022 ensemble-in-residence for Washington DC’s District New Music Coalition. Early 2023 will see LIGAMENT on tour with the acclaimed saxophone duo Ogni Suono, in residence at the Universities of Idaho and Iowa, and collaborations with composition students at the Peabody Conservatory. They have premiered many new works, and have an upcoming album of pieces written expressly for the duo. LIGAMENT is currently based in Baltimore and Philadelphia.

Wombat

Wombat is an improvising trio that combines deep sonic exploration through experimental playing techniques, live signal processing, and instrumental preparations with a real-time compositional approach, creating engaging structural shapes and contrasting sections. The relationships between the three of us are in constant flux: merging into a single sonic entity, building contrapuntal textures, or letting one performer lead the trio as a soloist. Improvisers Justin K. Comer (saxophones), Carlos Cotallo Solares (guitar/electronics), and Will Yager (double bass) formed Wombat in October 2017. Together they explore new sonic textures and instrumental techniques in concert halls, coffee shops, and backyards. Though the performances are never planned beforehand, the trio's music is influenced by their collective experience with contemporary art music, noise, jazz, metal, and drone. Performance highlights include the Maximum Ames festival (Ames, IA), Composers' Workshops and Center for New Music at the University of Iowa, the Feed Me Weird Things concert series, Oh My Ears Festival (Phoenix, AZ), Imaginary Network Topologies, and tours across the Midwest. The have multiple recordings available on Bandcamp.

Will's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.