Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Erik Friedlander, Marjan Mozetich, Grandpa Elliott, Playing for Change: Playlist for The Open Window, June 1, 2009

The Open Window Airs at 6:30 am Mondays and 10am Sundays at www.cjly.net (Kootenay Cooperative Radio)

Erik Friedlander: King Rig, Dream Song, Airstream Envy, Rushmore, and Valley of Fire from Block Ice and Propane: Compositions and Improvisations for Solo Cello (Skipstone)

I have played this CD a few times on my music shows and it always elicits someone calling and saying "Who was that?" Cellist Erik Friedlander has played with John Zorn, Laurie Anderson and Courtney Love and he has also recorded 9 CDs as a leader. He's best known as an avant-garde jazz etc. player, but this one is a stunning solo synthesis of various kinds of American roots music, whatever that means, played with friendly virtuosity on bowed and plucked cello plus a bit of electronics occasionally. Just a few notes in to the CD you'll know that this is the real thing and you will have to buy it.

Marjan Mozetich: Affairs of the Heart: Concerto for Violin and Strings Orchestra per
formed by Juliette Kang, violin, with Mario Bernardi and the CBC Vancouver Orchestra from Affairs of the Heart (CBC)

Bob Olsen, who
knows a lot more about classical music than I, hosts Classical Corner on Kootenay Co-op Radio and he loaned me this CD after I heard it on his show. Marjan Mozetich is a Canadian composer who started out as a committed creator and teacher of very avant-garde music. He then underwent a serious about-face in the 1970s, when he started writing music that is part post-modernism (Glass, Reich, Reilly) and part 19th-century Romanticism. It's a fascinating combination. He made this change, he is quoted in the CD notes as saying, because "that world had become sterile: composers were supposed to create a hypothesis and then realize it musically, like a research paper. I thought it was ridiculous."

Playing for Change: Stand by Me, from Songs Around the World (Hear Music)

Head for the internet and look up Playing for Change and watch
a great series of music videos performed by dozens of people from around the world, playing their own parts in their own country, mostly outdoors, then edited and united by technology and the impulse to unite us all. Stand by Me is opened by two amazing street singers, Roger Ridley and Grandpa Elliott, but we also see/hear musicians and singers from Holland, South Africa, Congo, Spain, Russia, France, Venezuela, and Italy.

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