John McCabe's Pueblo for solo Double Bass. Duration: approx. 7 minutes.
Pueblo is an off-shoot of a series of compositions inspired by desert country, and it was commissioned by Leon Bosch with the aid of funds provided by North West Arts. The piece is continous, falling into several sections, and is largeley based on the high circling motif heard at the start and referred to again in the harmonics at the close.
It is prefaced by the following quotation from Scenes in American Deserta by Reyner Banham, published by Thames and Hudson:
"Clouds, high and flat, were now building up in the sky, the wind was settling to silent calm, the weather was very cold, and the stream through the center of the pueblo was almost frozen across, the Indians chipping out ice to melt down for water."
The aim in writing the piece was to express in musical terms a response to the vivid picture of a scene relating to life in the American desert conveyed by Reyner Banham's text. Although not numbered among other Desert works, this belongs to this family of compositions, along with another Banham setting, written for the King's Singers, Scenes In America Deserta. - John McCabe