Nick Roth Music

Arris (2019)

for solo extended double bass

‘These are their signs: right of the back, left of the back, athwart the back, through the back, around the back. It’s how one climbs a tree, namely, treading on the root of the tree first with your right hand before you and your left hand after.’

Auraicept na n-Éces, 7th-century A.D.


Arris (for Solo Double Bass) was commissioned by Caimin Gilmore with support from the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Arts Grants 2018.

The work explores the Irish Ogham script, intersecting with painter John Noel Smith’s concept of ogham as ‘visual rhythm’, and informed by the work of Dr. Nora White, principal investigator of the Ogham in 3D project at the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies (DIAS). 

Arris, which means the sharp edge formed by two intersecting surfaces, is, as ogham itself, the key to a sonic cipher. The work can be performed as the decryption of any ogham inscription, reading from the bottom to the top as one climbs a tree.

Arris was premiered on Saturday November 23rd 2019 in the Crawford Gallery as part of the Quiet Lights Festival, using Oghams Greenhill I-II.