Christie Echols is a bassist, composer, and vocalist who specializes in live electroacoustic music as well as orchestral, chamber, musical theater, and jazz performance. A passionate educator, Echols maintains a private bass studio in Hartford, Connecticut and regularly appears at schools and non-profit organizations as a guest artist for masterclasses, sectionals, and presentations. Currently she is a visiting artist at the Loomis Chaffee School.
Echols’ music centers around personal experiences and challenges with self-identity in culture, gender, and community. A frequent performer of her own electroacoustic works, she combines extended techniques, vocal melodies, and her own text to create hypnotizing textures. Her acousmatic works employ heavy sound manipulation to create shocking and familiar timbres. Echols enjoys collaborating with other artists and has worked with dancers, animators, and poets to create multi-disciplinary projects. Selected songs from her upcoming composition, The Modification of Oneself, are set to premiere in March 2022, with a full release in April 2022. Recent premieres of acoustic compositions include We Will Not Go Quietly, a chamber work commissioned and premiered by the Hartt School’s Foot in the Door Ensemble; Inherent Exertion, for spoken text and double bass, commissioned by The Uncertainty of Fate Festival and premiered by Robert Black; and Stand up and Listen, commissioned by the Bassists with Boobs Ensemble for International Women’s Day, March 2021. For live-processing performances she uses Ableton Live with the Akai professional APC Key 25 keyboard and the Keith McMillen SoftStep 2 midi controllers.
As a bassist, Echols regularly performs with ensembles across the globe. She is currently the assistant principal for the Missouri Symphony and has performed with the Amarillo Symphony, Midland-Odessa Symphony, and Asociación Cultural Carpe Diem Enharmonía. Echols has been featured as an electric bassist for the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra and the Other Orchestra, where she premiered works by Gabriel Lubell and The Brecker Brothers, respectively. In 2017, Echols won the Ernst Bacon Memorial Prize for performing Libby Larson’s “Four on the Floor '' for piano quartet with the West Texas A&M Symphony Orchestra on their European tour. Other notable performances include the premiere of Caroline Louise Miller’s “Hydra Nightingale'' for solo bass featured at the 2019 International Society of Bassists Convention and Missy Mazzoli’s “Magic for Everyday Objects'' at the Treefort Music Fest as a member of 208 Ensemble.
Echols’ principal teachers include Robert Black, Gary Karr, Andy Butler, and Nicholas Scales for double bass as well as Gilda Lyons and Ken Steen for composition. Echols holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance from West Texas A&M University and a Master of Music in Double Bass Performance from The Hartt School, University of Hartford. She is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma in Music Composition at The Hartt School, where she is also the Time & Space Fellow.