|On this disc soloist Lori Freedman presents thirteen new improvised pieces for soprano and bass clarinets that were recorded at Radio-Canada’s Studio 12 in the spring of 2002.
Imposing an unbridled rhythm on her clarinets, this alchemist-musician invites us into a surprising world in which the music is allowed to develop on its own, vibrant and captivating. Propelling, in the fervour of the moment—a very exact moment—music that abounds in textures both complex and refined, she constructs a non-linear sound universe that is very close to the bizarre revelations travelled in dreams, furiously original, studded with frenzied, fleeting flashes.
Born in Toronto, Lori Freedman followed the twin paths of contemporary written and improvised music. A virtuoso on both the soprano and bass clarinets and a performer of more than 40 works composed especially for her, Lori Freedman is renowned as one of Canada’s most creative musicians. She received a Freddie Stone Award in 1998 for her contribution to the advancement of creative music, and her first solo disc, Huskless (Artifact 020), earned her a nomination at the Prairie Music Awards in 2000 for Best Classical Recording. She has composed works for soloists and for ensembles, for dance, for theatre, and for film. Lori Freedman has taken up a post as composer in residence at the Banff Centre’s Leighton Studios for the Arts in the autumn of 2002, after which she will present a series of concerts on a North America tour.
by Christian Carey
in Splendid E-Zine (USA), March 21, 2003
One of the most difficult tasks a composer can set for himself is to construct a solo work for a melodic, single line instrument. There are no chords and harmony to hide behind; there are no ensemble collaborators to engage in contrapuntal dialogue. The composer must endeavor to hold the listener’s interest with naught but the development of a single melodic line. For author and performer alike, this is some of the most exposed and naked music to present to the public -- it is like walking the tightrope without a net beneath you. For an improviser like Lori Freedman, this must be even more so the case -- not only is she up there alone, but she’s also trying to extemporize.
The Canadian clarinettist presents 13 improvised pieces here. Many of the works seem to have some affinity for the pointillistic and angular characteristics of avant-garde classical pieces like Stockhausen’s Amour (a 1976 set of pieces for solo clarinet). Others, like the bass clarinet solo Slappyspazzgruv, are imposing in an almost Eric Dolphy-esque grandeur, squalling and shredding a high melodic line almost to the point of disintegration. Freedman’s most distinguishing musical characteristic is her tendency to select a small cell of pitches as a central part of each piece (see ab). Rather than dealing with them in an ostinato/minimalist approach, she tends to use these fragments as a springboard for musical development, transforming seemingly limited pitch materials through transposition, inversion, registral displacement, and timbral effects such as microtones, rasps, and glissandi (the bending of pitches). From a minimal palette of material, Freedman creates a maximal amount of variety and invention.