SSR016 - Claws & Wings


release date: October 1, 2013


What do you do when someone special in your life dies? The shock can be numbing and disorienting. Within days of the death of his wife in November of 2011, cellist and composer Erik Friedlander fell off his bicycle on a wet morning in New York City, tearing completely the UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) of his thumb, and effectively putting himself out of commission for 3 months.  With concerts canceled and no practicing to be done Friedlander had a lot of time to think about difficult months he and his daughter had just gone through. Lynn, Erik’s wife of 22 years, an award-winning choreographer and writer, who collaborated frequently with her husband, had suffered from breast cancer and her slow descent had been tough on everyone.

After months of rehab and soul searching Friedlander began playing again. “For me it was time to back into the flow of life. Grieving wasn’t over -- it doesn’t really work like that -- but life is a hard-ass, it doesn’t stop,” Friedlander says.  “It was like climbing onto to a moving freight train and I was out of practice. The thing is, music had been there for me through a lot of tough times, and it was still there for me. I just needed give it some attention.”  

Sylvie Courvoisier - Erik Friedlander - Ikue Mori (photo by Ava Friedlander)

Sylvie Courvoisier - Erik Friedlander - Ikue Mori (photo by Ava Friedlander)

August, 2012 and Friedlander began composing again. He called to long-time collaborators Sylvie Courvoisier and Ikue Mori as well as producer/engineer Scott Solter and convened a 2-day session on the Lower East Side to record  the new project.  The music strongly resonates with Erik’s mind-set at the time: meditating on a life lost,  regaining his balance, and then moving forward with optimism.


My wife died in November of 2011 and I spent a good number of months trying to figure out what happened and recovering from a thumb injury.  Finally, in August of 2012 I felt the urge to write and I called Sylvie and Ikue to see if they were free to record.  The resulting project is Claws & Wings.  The CD will be out in July of 2013.  More info and downloads to come!


Photos from our recording session at 2nd Story Sound