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cellist Erik Friedlander starts week-long residency at The Stone


Erik Friedlander was one of the musicians that took part in the all-day John Zorn marathon at the Metropolitan Museum in September. If you missed his set (and you might have, even if you attended — he went on before noon), Friedlander will be at Zorn’s East Village venue the Stone all week.

As is the custom, he’ll be performing different songs and with different bands each night. For tonight’s opening edition, he plays a pair of solo sets: his original “Block Ice & Propane” material and songs from John Zorn’s Volac -Masada: Book of Angels project. The latter tunes are the same batch he played at the Met; see a video of him jamming next to Assyrian ruins, below.

From there, he performs with an all-cello ensemble, his excellent Americana-y quartet Bonebridge (who will debut songs from their forthcoming CD NightHawks) and producer Scott Solter (who has engineering/recording credits include Superchunk’s I Hate Music, St. Vincent’s Actor and many others), among others.

The full schedule and details are listed, along with those  videos, below…

OCT 15–20

10/15 Tuesday
8 pm
Block Ice & Propane
Erik Friedlander (cello)
Cellist Erik Friedlander draws on his experiences as a child traveling across the United States with his family during the 1960s and ’70s to create Block Ice & Propane, an engaging solo performance that brings together Erik’s rich, Americana-inspired cello music, and his own stories from now-distant road trips.

10 pm
Volac–Music by John Zorn
Erik Friedlander (cello)
Volume 8 in the continuing “Book of Angels” series is an intimate and breathtaking recital by one of the world’s most accomplished cellists. 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 Topaz, Broken Arm and Grains of Paradise. Stepping out in a special solo project, Erik shows off his remarkable technique in ten compositions from Zorn’s lyrical “Book of Angels.” This is Erik at his best.

10/16 Wednesday
8 pm
Claws & Wings (premiere)
Sylvie Courvoisier (piano) Ikue Mori (electronics) Erik Friedlander (cello)
This new work is written in memory of Erik’s late wife. He, along with his daughter, were left to ponder how to make sense of the loss, and how to move on. 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. Claws & Wings.

10 pm
Mass Cello
Erik Friedlander, Jeffrey Ziegler, Greg Heffernen (cellos) and many special guests
New and old works for multiple celli–this will be a fun night! Guests include Jeffrey Ziegler, Christopher Hoffman, Greg Heffernen, and others! Works by Julius Hemphill, Imogen Heap, Friedlander and Verdi.

10/17 Thursday
8 pm
Broken Arm Trio
Michael Sarin (drums) Trevor Dunn (bass) Erik Friedlander (cello)
In 1949 bassist 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.

10 pm
Oscar Pettiford Project with Michael Blake
Erik Friedlander (cello) Michael Sarin (drums) Trevor Dunn (bass) Michael Blake (tenor sax)
A special tribute to jazz bassist (and cellist!) Oscar Pettiford. When you are an improvising cellist, there is not so much history to look back upon and contemplate. Unlike saxophone players or guitar players who have a long line of titans to measure themselves against, jazz cello players are more or less on their own. However, there is Oscar Pettiford. Pettiford tuned the cello like a bass so he’d be instantly familiar with where the notes lay, and he was passionate about the instrument, using it often in crucial sessions under his name–if it was an Oscar Pettiford recording the cello was often there in a central role. Joining the Broken Arm Trio is special guest Michael Blake on tenor, performing Pettiford works like “Tamalpais” and “Night at Falcon’s Lair,” as well as Friedlander originals.

10/18 Friday
8 pm
Erik Friedlander (cello) Chris Speed (clarinet) Andrew D’Angelo (bass clarinet) and a special guest bass player
Friedlander’s first working band. This amazing acoustic improvising quartet will reunite to perform for the first time since the late ’90s, performing works from Chimera (Avant) and The Watchman (Tzadik)…a mesmerizing tour through the dark corridors of modern jazz.

10 pm
Andy Laster (saxophone) Erik Friedlander (cello) Satoshi Takeishi (percussion) Stomu Takeishi (bass)
Friedlander’s working band until 2006, the Topaz quartet will perform from their 4 releases including the Cryptogramophone releases, Prowl and Quake. “Prowl presents cellist Erik Friedlander’s Topaz quartet for a set of rhythmic excursions that are as adventurous as they are accessible.”

10/19 Saturday
8 and 10 pm
Bonebridge (premiere)
Erik Friedlander (cello) Doug Wamble (slide-guitar) Trevor Dunn (bass) Michael Sarin (drums)
Friedlander will premier their new cd, “NightHawks” Bonebridge 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. Wamble joins a honed unit as Friedlander, Mike Sarin (drums) and Trevor Dunn (bass) have played together in New York City for years, most recently in the Broken Arm Trio. “Mr. Friedlander, an ingenious cellist who makes an art of soulful rusticity.”

10/20 Sunday
8 pm
Nothing On Earth (premiere)
Shoko Nagai (piano, accordion) Satoshi Takeishi (percussion) Erik Friedlander (cello)
A new trio formed to record music for the soundtrack Friedlander composed for Nothing on Earth, a film by Mick Angus which follows photographer Murray Fredericks to the stark and beautiful landscape of the icecap in Greenland. Friedlander, Nagai and Takeishi capture the mood as Fredericks relocates his work to the Greenland Icecap–atop a melting glacier and under the solar storms of the Aurora Borealis–he finds himself alone in a landscape he’s never been, in a place he doesn’t understand, hoping this time he hasn’t taken his quest too far.

10 pm
No Compass: Solter Resets Friedlander (premiere)
Scott Solter (electronics) Erik Friedlander (cello)
Producer Scott Solter has worked with numerous indie artists, including Spoon, The Mountain Goats, John Vanderslice, Lazarus, The Forms, Pattern is Movement, Superchunk, Okkervil River, Liam Singer, and St Vincent. He and cellist Erik Friedlander team up to bring you the first live performance of No Compass, the five-track remix EP released earlier this year. Friedlander and Solter have worked together since they met in 2006 working with The Mountain Goats on the Sunset Tree project. Their first effort together was Block Ice & Propane, Friedlander’s 2007 solo release.

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