AMN Reviews: Reinhold Friedl / Quatuor Diotima – String Quartets [Bocian Records]

Berlin-based composer Reinhold Friedl (b. 1964) occupies an emblematic place within contemporary art music. As the latter has become increasingly open to influences from other genres and cultures, it has ample room for a composer like Friedl, who has worked with artists from worlds as diverse as punk and post-punk rock, free improvisation and noise. Friedl’s background is itself diverse, including training in piano performance, mathematics and musicology as well as composition; as a pianist specializing in the techniques of playing inside the instrument, he performs with Zeitkratzer (“time scraper”), a chamber ensemble fluent in the musical languages of electronic sound, minimalism and improvisation as well as modern composition, which he founded and serves as musical director.

Not surprisingly, Friedl’s three string quartets, realized for this collection by the Quatuor Diotima, deliberately avoid the traditional string quartet conventions of linear and contrapuntal writing in favor of a texture-based manipulation of mobile sound masses. In String Quartet No. 1 (2005), he accomplishes this by centering the nine-and-a-half minute work on the development of a single gesture: circular bowing. The piece, which was commissioned by the BBC and is dedicated to cellist Anton Lukoszevieze, rides on a slowly crescendoing surf of white noise, glassy harmonics and muted and open strings. The ebb and flow of the sound follows the movements of the musicians’ bowing with an uncanny transparency.

At double the length of the first quartet, String Quartet No. 2, composed in 2009 for the Diotima quartet, erects an abstract acoustic wall of sound that develops by increases in saturation, volume and intensity. As with the first quartet the piece, which is constructed around sustained tremolo bowing of ever greater speed, is an essay in gestural crescendo.

The closest Friedl comes to traditional string quartet writing—and really it isn’t that close—is on 2016’s String Quartet No. 3, commissioned in Copenhagen and dedicated to Diotima cellist Pierre Morlet. The solidly constructed piece consists of long-toned, pungent chords arranged as sound blocks slowly moving in lockstep across audio space.

Daniel Barbiero

All About Jazz Reviews

Source: All About Jazz.

Roz Harding – Mike Outram – Jim Bashford
Super Mood (Leo Records)

Kukuruz Quartet
Julius Eastman – Piano Interpretations (Intakt Records)

Irene Aranda, Johannes Nästesjö And Núria Andorrà
Inner Core (Relative Pitch Records)

Devin Gray
Dirigo Rataplan II (Self Produced)

Soft Machine
Hidden Details (MoonJune Records)

District 5
Decoy (Intakt Records)

Cuong Vu 4Tet
Change In The Air (RareNoiseRecords)

This Week in New York


Big Dog Little Dog (Jessie Montgomery and Eleonore Oppenheim), itsnotyouitsme (Caleb Burhans and Grey McMurray), and The Hands Free (James Moore and Caroline Shaw) perform at Threes Brewing.
Monday, September 24 at 7:30 PM
Threes Brewing, 333 Douglass Street, Brooklyn, NY

Composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek reunite for Proving Up, a tale of a family’s pursuit of the American Dream set in post-Civil War Nebraska.
Wednesday, September 26 and Friday, September 28 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $40-$75
Miller Theatre, 2960 Broadway, New York, NY

French-born Brooklyn-based composer, Leila Bordreuil creates an immersive new performance and light installation exploring perceptual intersections between sound and light. The piece is a unique multidisciplinary work synthesizing Bordreuil’s myriad interests and aesthetic concerns, spanning neuro-somatic imperfection, the thresholds of perception, and quiet gestures expanded and magnified through spatialization and extreme amplification.
Wednesday, September 26 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $12
ISSUE Project Room, 22 Boerum Place, Brooklyn, NY

The Berlin-based Reidemeister Move (Robin Hayward – tuba; Christopher Williams – contrabass) perform Arcanum 17: a 45-minute piece composed by Christopher Williams & Charlie Morrow, with texts from André Breton’s book of the same name, set in the 8.1-channel immersive sound environment. Composer Miya Masaoka‘s Four Moons of Pluto—a piece which explores deep and relational resonances—will be performed by all-star cohort of 5 contrabass players Robert Black, Shayna Dulberger, Rebekah Griffin-Greene, James Ilgenfritz, and Zach Rowden. Masaoka also presents a new piece for string quartet, with a quartet featuring Stephanie Griffin (viola), Alex Shiozaki (violin), Michael Haas (cello) and violinist TBA.
Thursday, September 27 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $20, $15 students/seniors
Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Qubit presents the world premiere of Weston Olencki’s new work for solo trombone, Capacity, and the U.S. premiere of Ashkan Behzadi’s song cycle Love, Crystal and Stone performed by TAK ensemble.
Thursday, September 27 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $10-$15
Project Q, 1850 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY

Raba (which means bog in Estonian) is an immersive audio-visual concert piece inspired by the Marimetsa Raba, located about an hour drive from Tallinn. Scott L. Miller’s Raba was created for Ensemble U:, and is experienced by the audience seated in swiveling chairs and wearing VR headsets. In addition to Raba, Ensemble U: will premiere a new VR work by Estonian composer Tatjana Kozlova-Johannes, and present the NY premiere of Millers Accretion, also written for U:. VR headsets are limited, and therefore each performance will be limited to 20 audience members only.
Friday, September 28 at 7:00 PM
Tickets $15, $10 students/seniors
Spectrum, 70 Flushing Avenue, Garage A, Brooklyn, NY

JazzTimes Reviews

Source: JazzTimes.

Fay Victor’s SoundNoiseFunk: Wet Robots (ESP-Disk’)

No Fast Food: Settings for Three (CornerStore Jazz)

Matthew Lux’s Communication Arts Quartet: Contra/Fact (Astral Spirits)

Michael Musillami Trio +2: Life Anthem (Playscape)

Miles Okazaki: Work: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Monk, Volumes 1-6 (Miles Okazaki)

Jazz Right Now Reviews

Source: Jazz Right Now.

Review: Weasel Walter, Sam Weinberg, Carlo Quebrada Live at Wonders of Nature, Sep 5, 2018

Review: Blacks’ Myths, Live at Fridman Gallery, Sep 7, 2018

Review: James Brandon Lewis Solo, Live at the Fridman Gallery, Sep 7, 2018

Review: Charmaine Lee Solo at Wonders of Nature, Sep 5, 2018

Review: Lucas Brode and Kevin Shea Live at the Troost, August 22

Review and Exclusive Full Album Stream: Brandon Lopez – Quoniam Facta Sum Vilis

Review: Brian Chase and Zeena Parkins Live at San Damiano Church, Brooklyn