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Leo Geyer

composer | conductor

BBC News Feature

 Full recording by Toby Hughes

Water Boatman 2020

double bass and loop pedal 

Commissioned by the Worshipful Company of Musicians for Toby Hughes and premiered online on 26th February 2021.  

Duration 6mins | Difficulty Professional | Scoring solo double bass and loop pedal

Programme Note 

As the title suggests, this composition was inspired by the insect - the lesser water boatman. Distinct from the greater water boatman (or the common backswimmer) which is carnivorous and swims on its back, the herbivorous lesser boatman has long, oar-like legs to swim on its front. This composition describes the water boatman’s astonishing ability to journey from watery depths, up to the surface and then to take flight.


Water Boatman was written in collaboration with my good friend and virtuosic double bassist Toby Hughes. Composed during the Covid-19 pandemic, we shared and explored ideas online whilst in self-isolation. Though this was challenging, it did inspire us to consider how we could extend the possibilities of the solo double bass, hence the incorporation of a loop pedal. 


Perusal Score 

Please note that this music is in copyright and it is illegal to copy or perform from the perusal score. 

Performance History 

26th February 2021 - Toby Hughes, online  

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