Published May 18, 2015This evening's (May 17) piece by cellist Erik Friedlander's trio was called "Claws and Wings." It is a work of memory, written for Friedlander's wife, Lynne, a dancer and choreographer who died in late 2011. As on the Claws and Wings CD, Friedlander was accompanied by pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and the electronics of Ikue Mori. Both the women were also close to Lynne, assuring the music's intimacy and emotional charge.
The cello is capable of uniquely dolorous tones, but "Claws and Wings" eschewed easy tropes, opting for a sound expressing many feelings apart from sadness. The cello work, both plucked and bowed, tended towards simple statements with repeating motifs, most of them in the Western classical tradition. Courvoisier's piano work took a similar approach, although her aggression level was higher, mixing loud atonal clusters with delicate passages recalling early Messiaen. Mori's laptop work was subtle and outdoorsy in a strange way. Before the show, she told me she thought I'd find the work "very beautiful," and indeed I did.
I am uncomfortable assigning a numerical grade to a work this personal. But check out the CD. It's great.