Saturday, March 05, 2005

A Un Moment Donne

Lori Freedman: A Un Moment Donne. Posted by Hello

Women's History Month continues to unfold at HurdAudio with an active listen to A Un Moment Donne from 2002 by clarinetist Lori Freedman.

This disc consists of thirteen improvisations for solo clarinet or bass clarinet. Lori Freedman's inspired expressive improvisations traverse a wide dynamic range as she applies extended techniques in realizing a thoroughly developed sonic identity. This is a rewarding focus on the hue and timbre of this singular instrument as a medium for richly suggestive sonic sketches and paintings.

"Mouche A Peu" begins with a soft melodic line on clarinet that grows so soft that the clicking of the key pads takes over the sonicscape for a spell until the melodic material fades back in. As the melody crescendos the frequency range is expanded as Freedman pivots freely between high and mid register passages.

"Sky Pool" sets up with an intriguing sequential melodic pattern with numerous timbral inflections of muted and unmuted tones. The melodic contour then gives way to free exploration of timbral exploration on an expanding and contracting series of phrases. To my ears, this piece is one of the more compelling conceptual works on this disc. I love the sound of a heavily muted tone with slight singing tone underneath that suddenly opens up as it becomes unmuted. This is particularly effective when the sung tone is at a slightly different frequency than the one being "played."

"All Good Children" further explores the timbral implications of singing tones paired with instrumental tones. This time with a more introspective approach and a slowly unfolding melodic line. This piece is particularly beautiful and appealing.

Lori Freedman's unique approach to the clarinet reveals a vast, largely underutilized range of sounds for this member of the woodwind family. At times barely more than a whisper, at other times brash and aggressive. Her ideas flow freely and seem intuitively driven. This live, solo performance is well recorded with the sound of the room acoustics providing a subtle sense of being up close to the performer.

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