HWY-005: Maldoror by Erik Friedlander
Maldoror is Erik Friedlander’s first solo recording, ten improvisations inspired by the surrealist poems of Le Comte de Lautréamont and recorded at Berlin’s Teldex Studios.
In a darkened recording studio in old East Berlin, in a seance-like atmosphere, a time-traveling collaboration took place between the lawless black humor of the 19th-century poet Isidore Ducasse and the daring and sensitivity of the 21st century cellist Erik Friedlander. Producer Michael Montes, an audience of one, had carefully selected excerpts from Ducasse’s Maldoror which he believed would be particularly good for inciting musical inspiration. In the course of one hour the excerpts were placed in front of Erik one at a time. He responded to each excerpt with what you hear on this recording. The music is beautiful, mystical, intense—a journey into music’s darkest heart.
The formula is simple: put a piece of Ducasse’s text in front of the cellist in the studio, along with a few notes, and let him compose music to match it on the spot. It panned out, more or less, not because Maldoror was conceived as a series of songs, but because Erik Friedlander can do things with a cello that should have a reasonable listener fearing for her life. Rostropovich one second and Rottweiler the next, Friedlander is a credible threat, working over the poet’s perverse logic with power tools.
1. May It Please Heaven
2. One Should Let One’s Fingernails Grow
3. The Wind Groans
4. O Stern Mathematics
5. The Palace of Pleasures
6. Here Comes the Madwoman
7. I Am Filthy
8. Flights of Starlings
9. He Contemplates the Moon
10. A Sewing-Machine and an Umbrella