Sound clips below
Total Album Time 47:57
All compositions © Eugene Friesen, Onegin Music (BMI)
and Paul Halley,
Back Alley Music (ASCAP)
PEL-LL103 sheet music
Private Weather 4:18
Child's Play 9:07
Pictures in a Pond 5:18
New Friend 3:56
Cathedral Pines 3:43
PEL-LL102 sheet music
Full Circle 6:16
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for Duet and Ensemble sheet music
Living tapestries of sound, woven by two master musicians, in the
acoustics of a great cathedral. With their free-wheeling duets for cello
blaze a new path for their instruments in this landmark album of
improvisations recorded in the vibrant acoustics of New York City's
Cathedral of St John the Divine. Starting from shared silence, offering
sounds in free dialogue, Halley and Friesen followed each other into
uncharted territory, calling into play all their listening instincts.
Musical sparks ignited into spontaneous compositon, tapping the deep
roots both shared in the traditionas of European classical music and
jazz. During the course of the next two hours as the tape rolled, this
album was born. This is music beyond categories, having both the
new-morning spirit of wilderness and the timeless character of classical
music. Elegant and earthy, rough-hewn and lyrical, it is honest music
that mirrors the warmth and wit of the two people playing.
from The Washington Post
"A most passionate and inspirational offering."
from Amazon.com - Bob Zeidler's Listmania
"I've had the pleasure of seeing Eugene Friesen and Paul Halley perform
together many times, and can vouch for the fact that their "act" is
(at times, very much to my wonderment).
collection of duets is THE perfect place to start, if the thought of
improvised duets performed by "classical musicians who have found a new
means of musical expression" strikes your fancy. These two
instrumentalists feed off each other in a way that borders on a psychic
connection, so well-formed and interconnected are their musical thoughts
The duets can be playful ("First Ride,"
"Child's Play") or ruminative ("Pictures in a Pond," "Pathfinder,"
"Cathedral Pines"), or "some of both" ("New Friend," "Full Circle"). All
are lyrical, some downright unabashedly so.
I find myself
favoring the more ruminative (and lyrical) tracks, particularly the ones
on which Halley moves over from his piano bench to the console of the
Aeolian-Skinner organ. There are three such tracks ("Pictures in a
Pond," "Pathfinder" and "Cathedral Pines"), each one better than the one
before. In fact, "Cathedral Pines" is a minor masterpiece in terms of
its lyrical beauty and soaring cello work by Friesen, perfectly matched
note-for-note by Halley's uncanny choices of voice leading, harmonies,
and organ voicing. More than once I've simply replayed this track time
and again, wallowing in its mellow, gentle beauty. It is truly one of
the finest things these two have ever done.
The sound on this
album - recorded in the huge acoustical space of the Cathedral of St.
John the Divine in New York could hardly be improved upon. And the
presence of the organ adds real substance to those tracks on which
Halley plays it. The mere thought of the sheer spatial distance between
the organ console - high up in the choir of the cathedral - and Friesen
located at "ground level" in the crossing makes the idea of these two
artists in total, constant musical communication that much more
Almost as an afterthought, knowing that
there is some percentage of music listeners who rely on headphones for
much - if not most - of their listening, I've begun to listen to all
music I'm reviewing both through my main system speakers and a new set
of Bose TriPort headphones. It turns out that "New Friend" is truly a
"good listen" using the phones: Despite the huge spatial volume and
"hard" reflective surfaces represented by the Cathedral, there is nary a
trace of ambient noise, save for the natural reverb associated with the
space. This is one fine album for headphone listening.
would also recommend - for additional opportunities to hear these two
superb instrumentalists together - their performance of "Almeira Duet"
on the Paul Winter Consort "Spanish Angel" album, as well as their
performance of "Night Glider" on Friesen's "Arms Around You" album.
from Amazon.com Customer Reviews
morning, listening to Lifestyles format on XMRadio via DirecTV while
drinking my morning coffee, I heard an exuberant cello dipping and
soaring a melody that could have come from only one album. I hustled
into the living room to look at the screen to jog my memory of the
identity of the artists and cd as I sank into the wondrous memories of
the cut "First Ride" and the extraordinary artists who created this
early "New Age" masterpiece. I hadn't heard it in years, as my cassette
version is long gone and had fallen apart from overuse anyway. Could it
be possible that I could find a copy of "New Friends" on a C/D? And the
answer was yes right here on Amazon. It is truly a jewel of a
collaboration of two artists who are sympatico beyond imagining. I
unqualifiedly recommend this C/D which will send you on an evocative
journey that is unparalled and that I have not experienced since I heard
this album years ago. Everything works in this album and it is a rare
and soulful expression that can and does touch anyone who hears it. If
you can get a copy, you will hang onto it for years...it is timeless.
- J. E. Carter, Santa Fe
Eugene Friesen - cello
Paul Halley -
Chris Brown, Recording Engineer
Eugene Frisen and Paul Winter,
Recorded at The Cathedral of St. John The Divine, New York,1986
All Rights Reserved
Made in USA
Eugene Friesen and Paul Halley c. 1986