Cellist Erik Friedlander is bringing his multimedia show Block Ice and Propane back home to Rockland County, N.Y., this Sunday when he performs at the Rockland Center for the Arts (RoCA).
Block Ice is a cycle of compositions based on the road trips that New City native Erik’s family took every summer in a camper atop a 1966 Chevrolet pickup truck. Erik couples his music with images to give the audience a chance to share his childhood experiences. While Erik plays, the audience will see projections of photos taken famous father, photographer Lee Friedlander, who still lives in Rockland. If it weren’t for Lee’s work, Erik might never have taken the summertime road trips that inspired Block Ice.
If you don’t know Erik’s work, come knowing that this won’t be a conventional, classical concert. Erik is one of the world’s premier experimental cello players. He coaxes an amazing array of sounds from his cello. He takes what he likes from classical, jazz and pop, unfettered by conventional rules. And he’s not shy about working with other musicians in all genres, either. He’s collaborated with artists as varied as performance artist Laurie Anderson and indie rockers The Mountain Goats.
Erik is keeping his RoCA show intimate to fit the space, but it’s worth noting that he has created another, larger-scale version of Block Ice with Bill Morrison, an experimental filmmaker. The full-blown version, designed for bigger venues, couples Lee’s images with Bill’s new videos of some of the places the Friedlander family traveled. He’ll be performing this version in December at the Wexner Art Center in Columbus, Ohio, and the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis. (See WYMMWIG‘s previous post about Erik.)
In the RoCA show, Erik tells WYMMWIG:
“I will have more freedom to pick from my repertoire to perform pieces I don’t get a chance to play in the usual ‘Taking Trips To America’ show. Things like Carlos Santana’s Golden Dawn, Eric Dolphy’s Serene and Arthur Blythe’s Lower Nile are all tunes I love to play and haven’t had a chance recently.”
“Also there’s all the [John] Zorn Volac, Masada Book II music that is also in play. So, though there aren’t any films, there will be images from the family trips and a whole lot of cool music I look forward to playing.”
Erik Friedlander performs at 2 pm on Sunday, Oct. 4, at Rockland Center for the Arts, 27 South Greenbush Road, West Nyack, N.Y. More information is available here. Call (845) 358-0877 for tickets. $20/$15 for RoCA members.