Photographer Mitch Epstein and I have collaborated on a new project called American Power. The concert mixes live solo cello, projected photography, and narration, as Epstein tells of traveling across the USA photographing the complex relationship between the power grid and human life. Weaving stories from his road trips, with the pictures he took and my music, the American Power project tells an unsettling story.
Cellist Erik Friedlander performs an intimate and breathtaking recital--rich, romantic, and gripping music to both challenge and soothe. A vital member of the Masada family from the very beginning, Erik Friedlander has hypnotized audiences both here and in Europe with his own bands. Stepping out in a special solo project, Erik shows off his remarkable technique in ten compositions from Zorn's lyrical Book of Angels.
Block Ice & Propane is a collection of tunes that evoke images of truck-stops, long, lonely highways, and stark panoramas. Friedlander has taken his inspiration from American Roots music, and accompanied by stories from Friedlander's childhood cross-country trips, images by Lee Friedlander, and films by Bill Morrison, he executes extraordinary finger-picking technique and reverberant tunings creating a new American cello music: lyrical, plain-spoken, and emotional.
The Broken Arm Trio - with Erik Friedlander, cello; Mike Sarin, drums; Trevor Dunn, bass.
In 1949 Oscar Pettiford broke his arm playing baseball. He could still move his fingers even though his arm was in a sling, so he began experimenting with a cello a friend had lent to him. He tuned the cello like a bass only an octave higher and later made history recording a series of cello-led projects including the great, under-recognized 1964 Fantasy release, "My Little Cello" featuring a photo of his newborn son whom he named Cello.
Erik Friedlander tosses away his bow for this new band, playing only pizzicato in a world steeped in the influences of Oscar Pettiford and the small group feel of Herbie Nichols.
Erik Friedlander's haunting new cd 'Fifty' is a collection of 50 miniature pieces-- little worlds-- some wild and free, some carefully constructed like line drawings, others lush watercolor landscapes. The piece was written during a particularly difficult time when Erik's wife Lynn was suffering from an unexplained and worsening leg pain that eventually turned out to be a breast cancer recurrence. Friedlander found refuge from the difficult atmosphere by immersing himself in composing for the five instruments (violin, cello, piano, bass, drums) making playful use of style and orchestration, he varied the groupings, the length of the pieces (some as short as seven seconds), and the mood.
New Release: "No Compass: Solter Resets Friedlander"
Producer/engineer Scott Solter brings you No Compass: Solter Resets Friedlander, an EP of five tracks from Erik Friedlander's 2008 "Broken Arm Trio" CD completely reinvented by Solter. In his hands the acoustic cello, bass and drums trio tracks have become vertigo-inducing panoramas -- kaleidoscopic recompositions. 5 striking examples of Solter's fearless studio craft.
You can check out the tracks at my bandcamp page and there's a new 10" vinyl on the way as well. More on that soon! Meanwhile, the CD is officially out on October 16.
Produced by Scott Solter & Erik Friedlander
Original Music by Erik Friedlander (Arconomics, ASCAP)
Remixes by Scott Solter (Black Background, ASCAP)
Mastered by Steve Berson at Total Sonic Media
Original Artwork by Rohner Segnitz
Design by Vanessa No Heart
Original Recordings: Pearls, Cake, Ink, Jim Zipper, Knife Points
From the "Broken Arm Trio" CD (SkipStone003, 2008)
Personnel: Erik Friedlander, cello; Michael Sarin, drums; Trevor Dunn, bass.
American Power 12" LP
American Power LP
Photographer Mitch Epstein and I have collaborated on a new limited edition LP entitled, American Power. The 500 hand-numbered albums are signed by both of us, and feature 6 new solo cello compositions, gate-fold artwork by Mitch Epstein, as well as a two-sided, 24x36 inch poster of Epstein’s photographs and my handwritten score. The poster was produced by Prestone Printed in Long Island City, New York, on 100# McCoy Silk text paper under supervision of the artist. Purchase of the 180-gram, audiophile LP is accompanied by a free digital download of the music.
In 2011, Mitch Epstein was awarded the Prix Pictet Photography Prize, and was asked to create a presentation to celebrate the award in Arles, France, in early July. In a Roman amphitheater in the center of Arles, Friedlander and Epstein collaborated on a presentation of music, narration, and photography. The success of the evening led to the creation of this beautiful LP, a special chronicle of their performance in Arles.
Mitch Epstein began work on American Power in 2003. The project was a five-year long, twenty-five state investigation of energy production and consumption in the United States, and how they had become manifest in the country's landscape and culture. The book was published in 2009 (Steidl).
Bonebridge is cellist Erik Friedlander's new band and it turns to the American South for inspiration. Taking a cue from his teenage passion for The Allman Brothers Band, Johnny Winter, and Southern rock in general, Friedlander brought in slide-guitar player and Memphis native Doug Wamble to share the front line of this new quartet. More Info
Single, Hide & Seek
Hide & Seek is a gorgeous vocal track (with vocoded harmonies) originally done by Imogen Heap on the record Speak for Yourself (2005). It just hit me one day - this would sound amazing as an all-cello piece.
New CD, "Fifty Miniatures for Improvising Quintet"
My new cd, 'Fifty,' is a collection of 50 miniature pieces-- little worlds-- some wild and free, some carefully constructed like line drawings, others lush watercolor landscapes. The piece was written during a particularly difficult time when my wife Lynn was suffering from an unexplained and worsening leg pain that eventually turned out to be a breast cancer recurrence. I found refuge from the difficult atmosphere by immersing myself in composing for the five instruments (violin, cello, piano, bass, drums) making use of style and orchestration, I experimented with the groupings, the length of the pieces, and the mood.
Composing became a fantastic escape for me during those months when we didn't know what was going on with Lynn's leg. I worked to write one miniature a day but often I'd get two or three done. It was exciting once I got in the groove and when you go through something like we did, it's important to try and carry on with your other life--the life that was there before the doctors and the hospitals impinged. When it all came together in the studio on that one long day at Kampo Studios, I was thrilled.
I'm releasing a digital only version of the Alchemy LP that came out early this year on Hronir. The download has a bunch of extra tracks, here's some info:
Alchemy is an ancient process of protochemistry and witchcraft which attempted to turn base metals to gold. Alchemy, Erik Friedlander's latest digital release, reverses the process, grabbing the cello roughly and breaking it down to its most basic elements-the scratching rough sound of a cross-cut saw, or the wispy scattering of pitchless pizzicato notes, and its singing, melodic tone. In this, his 50th year, Friedlander presents us with a bird's eye look at his cello landscape: Each track has the cello as the central focus, whether starkly alone, or in cello choirs-layered using studio magic.
Scraping roughly, plucking like a guitar, or bowing arching improvisations, Friedlander infuses this new CD with an adventurous spirit. Alchemy, the second release of Friedlander's 50th, and most productive year yet, is a collection of cello-centric gems: an alchemy of sound and texture that celebrates the character of this 300 year old instrument, as well as the skills of the player, now in only his 50th year.
"Lee Av," "Assasins or Bridge Blowers," "Wag," and "Out, Out" were recorded by Scott Solter, August 22-23, 2005 at Pueblo Studios, San Francisco, CA; mixed by Scott Solter at The Tiny Telephone, September 7, 2005. Keyboards and guitars for "Gentle Bonds" were recorded by Teho Teardo in Pordenone, Italy. All other tracks were recorded and mixed by Erik Friedlander at Arconomics during 2008-10.
Produced by Erik Friedlander
Erik Friedlander: cello, guitar, mandolin, keyboards, sample programming, mixing
Teho Teardo: keyboards, guitars (on one track)
Scott Solter: engineer and live processing
Design & Original Artwork by Candas Sisman
All compositions by Erik Friedlander (ASCAP) except "Gentle Bonds" which was written by Erik Friedlander & Teho Teardo
Available August 11, 2010 on iTunes/eMusic/Amazon
ALCHEMY - 10" Vinyl (Limited Ed.)
Solos and New Studio Pieces
Erik Friedlander: cello, sample programming, mixing
Scott Solter: engineer and live processing
Rashad Becker: mastering and vinyl cut at D&M Candas Sisman: design & original artwork
Limited edition: 500, vinyl only
To order use one of these hrönir distributer links:
Erik Friedlander, cello, electronics, piano programming; Michael Leonhart, trumpet, mellophone; Trevor Dunn, acoustic bass; Satoshi Takeishi, percussion.
"Aching Sarah" is part of Cutting-Room Floor Series -- movie characters are cut from a film, and with their lives only half-realized, walk in a kind of limbo, aimless and confused, with no way to live out the arc of their scripted lives.
THE BROKEN ARM
"Accident Can Lead to Invention"
In 1949 Oscar Pettiford broke his arm playing baseball.
He could still move his fingers even though his arm was
in a sling, so he began experimenting with a cello a
friend had lent to him. He tuned the cello like a bass
only an octave higher and later made history
a series of cello-led projects including the great,
under-recognized 1964 Fantasy release, "My Little
Cello" featuring a photo of his newborn son whom he
Erik Friedlander tosses away his bow for this new band,
playing only pizzicato in a world steeped in the
influences of Oscar Pettiford and the small group feel
of Herbie Nichols.
Erik Friedlander, cello, Mike Sarin,
drums, Trevor Dunn, bass More Info:Broken Arm EPK
BLOCK ICE & PROPANE
Block Ice & Propane is a collection of solo cello
tunes that evoke images of truck-stops, long, lonely
highways, and stark panoramas. Taking his inspiration
from American Roots music, Friedlander executes extraordinary
finger-picking technique and reverberant tunings creating
a new American cello music: lyrical, plain-spoken,
TEHO TEARDO (electronics) & ERIK FRIEDLANDER (cello)
Teho and I began our collaboration via the internet, exchanging
files and creating work. First I added cello tracks to things
he had created like the soundtrack to lavorare con lentezza (film
by guido chiesa) munifried Then we began work
on a project honoring the work of Paolo Pasolini the great
Italian director and poet. For this project I sent Teho a
handfull of improvs which were inspired by Pasolini's poetry.
Teho remixed these tracks to create wholly new visions of
the music. Our latest CD, "Giorni Rubati," is Out On Bip-Hop
These are recordings I made for various commercial projects
(jingles/soundtracks/film/radio). They range from symphonic
to solo cello with electronics. The CD features the playing
of many fine New York musicians (see below) and also has
a beautiful look courtesy of Candas Sisman's gorgeous artwork
and the design by Dan Judge at the Design Studio at Disc
with Ralph Alessi, trumpet; Joyce Hamman, Meg Okura, Jennifer
Choi, violins; Satoshi Takeishi, percussion; Matt Darriau,
winds; Brad Shepik, guitars, oud; Teho Teardo, keyboards,
guitars, laptop; Marty Ehrlich, clarinet; Sato Moughalian,
flute; John Madof, guitar; Kurt Gellersted, drum programming,
vocals,asst. engineer; Lucia Pulido, vocals.
Beautiful Duo CD with Erik Friedlander &
Recorded live in Schio, Italy. Fire &
Passion from Friedlander on cello and Dani on percussion.
pushing their own sonic landscapes to the limit and beyond.
co-produced with centro stabile di cultura in schio.
In January of 1996 I was scoring the dances for my wife's
N.Y. season and juggling different ideas for the group's
instrumentation. I had been listening to a variety of 70's
funk and fusion (Headhunters, Earth, Wind & Fire) and
so electric bass and alto saxophone seemed like a natural
choice. ...read more about the CD
Funky tight arrangements and fiery solos mark this debut
recording inspired by The Headhunters and Earth, Wind & Fire.
"Friedlander has quickly established himself as a potential
innovator, playing with the ease and swing of a wind instrument
player. Even more importantly, he has brought a cutting edge,
imaginative sensibility to his music, refusing to be restricted
by the blues and standards of much straight-ahead jazz."
Don Heckman, The Los Angeles Times
The Second Recording by Chimera. Exquisite compositions
beautifully performed by ace musicians. Haunting & Dark.
"..there is a devotional air and an implication that encouraging
individual expression within group playing is comparable
to setting light to a row of fireworks and waiting to see
which go off when." --The Wire
with Chris Speed, clarinet; Andrew D'Angelo, bass clarinet;
Drew Gress, string bass; Erik Friedlander, cello.
World Music with a New York edge. Guest artists: The Atlas
Cello Quartet, Alexander Fedoriouk, cimbalom.
"[Stomu] Takeishi's fretless work is marked by spot-on
intonation, tremendous facility and imagination. Apparently
Erik Friedlander doesn't feel challenged by the thought of
being the best cellist in jazz. Instead, he seems to focus
on participating in the most interesting projects he can
find...The joys of this recording are many, and Friedlander
is a bandleader to watch." Bill Bennett, JazzTimes
"The results are often surprisingly upbeat, as cohorts
Sotmu Takeishi (bass), Andy Laster (alto saxophone), and
Satoshi Takeishi (percussion) frequently navigate their unique
lineup through funk-infested waters, wedding '70s-inspired
grooves to music already infused with both jazz and classical
overtones. Meditative chants, Latin rhythms, and a cello
quartet are utilized liberally, marking Friedlander as one
of today's most ingenious and forward-thinking musical practitioners." Steve
Graybow, Billboard Magazine