Born into a musical family in Aleppo, Syria in 1931, double bass soloist and pedagogue François Rabbath worked in Beirut, Lebanon before emigrating to Paris in the 1950s. His musical career as a self-taught double bassist encompasses the recording studio, jazz café, opera house, and recital stage. Rabbath composed Poucha-Dass in 1968. The Indian Raga system inspired him to compose a piece in which the double bass imitates the distinctive sound of two plucked stringed instruments: the sitar, a melodic instrument with movable frets, and the tanpura, whose open strings provide a drone accompaniment in Hindu music. Throughout Poucha-Dass, the bassist plays against the normal physical aspects of handling the bow by increasing the speed of the arm and by reducing its weight, all while moving the bow close to the bridge to play sul ponticello in order to obtain the high overtones of the low fundamental notes. Poucha-Dass begins with calm, meditative music before transitioning to a driving polyrhythmic dance that intensifies inexorably until its final ascent.
Rabbath recorded Poucha-Dass in two different CDs on MN label « Multibasse » and «François Rabbath: Live Around the World. » Liben Music Publishers originally published Poucha-Dass in 1979 in « Solos for the Double Bassist. » In 2012, the French publisher « Leduc » released the current expanded version of the piece in the fourth volume of the New Technique for the Double Bass by François Rabbath.