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Review

Dolf Mulder, Vital, no. 1181, April 29, 2019
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 Press

Lori Freedman is a very profiled Montréal-based clarinettist, improviser and performer of contemporary composed material, by others as well by her own hand. She worked over the years with diverse composers and performers like Maurice Kagel, Joëlle Léandre, Ab Baars, etc. Excess is her latest recording and documents her solo program The Virtuosity of Excess and has Freedman performing six compositions by Richard Barrett, Brian Ferneyhough, Paul Steenhuisen, Paolo Perezzani, Raphaël Cendo and one by herself. In 2016 she toured eleven cities in North America, and I guess the recording took place afterwards. Besides bass clarinet and contrabass clarinet, freedman plays kick drum, electronics and voice. Thematically this turns is about excess: ‘With this project, I wanted to discover the beauty of the extremes, exploit them and embody them in the music’, Freedman explains. With these, she is pushing the limits of what is possible on the low clarinets. In all its virtuosity there is also pure rawness in her performance that is loaden with her emotional energy. By far the oldest composition is Time and Motion Study I composed in 1977 by New Complexity composer Brian Ferneyhough. Maybe most close the theme of excess is the opening work Interference composed by Richard Barrett in 2000. This work starts with very expressive vocals by Freedman screaming, growling and shrieking, that after a while a changed for equally growling, etc. playing of the contrabass clarinet, supplemented with some kick drum. Also, the closing work Décombres by Raphaël Cendo is a very dramatic and extravagant work for contrabass clarinet and disturbing electronic noise. Her own composition Withwhatbecomes (2016) is in contrast with the above-mentioned works in the sense that we stay more in calm and quiet regions of the contrabass clarinet, with parts that are almost of a lyrical nature.

In all its virtuosity there is also pure rawness in her performance that is loaden with her emotional energy.

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