Honors Projects

Cat's Cradle, For Solo Double Bass


Cat’s Cradle is an extended play (EP) of newly-commissioned works for the double bass on which I am acting as as the performer, producer, and recording engineer. The collection is composed of three works written expressly for this project. The EP itself is named after Kurt Vonnegut’s novel by the same name. Vonnegut uses the “cat’s cradle” as a metaphor to propose that people will often seek truths for life constructed out of lies they tell themselves. This collection of new music is also a sum of parts which individually seem antithetical to their constructed whole. Each piece separately is written as a series of isolated gestures which through a pursuit of overarching lyricism during the interpretive process creates an ironically-unified performance. One might not expect works with fractured sections to be fluid, however this is exactly what Cat’s Cradle accomplishes. Further, the three tracks are distinct aesthetically, yet due to this shared, fragmented compositional nature are rather complementary.

Beyond Cat’s Cradle’s existence as a collection of new music that is ready to be distributed on all major streaming platforms (Spotify, iTunes, YouTube Music), this project has also functioned as a technical proof of concept for the future self-production and distribution of my own music. Cat’s Cradle has allowed me to develop a professional-quality product beginning from the first step of commissioning works through the last step of distribution on music streaming platforms. The value developing the skills to accomplish these tasks as well as outlining a linear model for the creation of these types of projects in regards to my career as a performer and audio engineer will transcend beyond this Honors Project.


Music Performance Studies


Music Performance

First Advisor

Michael Laurello

First Advisor Department


Second Advisor

Robert Rohwer

Second Advisor Department

Music Performance Studies

Publication Date

Spring 5-23-2021

2021-04-14_Jeffer_EP_Master_threads_1_96k.wav (113344 kB)
Cat's Cradle, For Solo Double Bass - Track 1: "threads, wisps" by Steven Naylor

2021-04-14_Jeffer_EP_Master_fo[rest]land_1_96k.wav (99653 kB)
Cat's Cradle, For Solo Double Bass - Track 2: "fo[rest]land" by Leah Tracy

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Cat's Cradle, For Solo Double Bass - Track 3: "glass sparkles as it bounces" by Delanie Molnar