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New Friend

Eugene Friesen
Paul Halley

Pipe Organ

Fabulous improvisational
duets recorded in
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine

Pelagos no longer carries this CD.


To listen to sound clips, see track list below.


A most passionate and inspirational offering. "
The Washington Post



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Total Album Time 57:34

All compositions are
improvisations by
Paul Halley,
Back Alley Music (ASCAP)
and Eugene Friesen,
Onegin Music (BMI).

1.  ◙♫
First Ride

2.  ◙♫
Morning Duet

3.  ◙♫
Private Weather

4.  ◙♫
Child’s Play

5.  ◙♫
Pictures in a Pond

6.  ◙♫
New Friend

7.  ◙♫

8.  ◙♫
Cathedral Pines

9.  ◙♫
Full Circle

All compositions
by Paul Halley
Back Alley Music
(ASCAP) are
administered by
Pelagos Incorporated

Catalogue No. LM81513

Pelagos no longer carries this CD.

for recordings

Sheet Music

for 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 and keyboards, Friesen and Halley 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 unchartered territory, calling into play all their listening instincts. Musical sparks ignited into spontaneous composition, tapping the deep roots both shared in the traditions 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 - 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 fully-improvised (at times, very much to my wonderment).

This 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 and threads.

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 astounding.

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.

Finally, I 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.

Bob Zeidler

  from Customer Reviews

"This 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 is timeless.

- J. E. Carter, Santa Fe

Photo of Eugene Friesen and Paul Halley, 1986


Eugene Friesen
Paul Halley

Eugene Friesen - cello
Paul Halley - piano  and pipe organ


Produced by Paul Winter and Eugene Friesen

Chris Brown - recording engineer

Recorded at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, NY

1986 Earth Music Productions, LLC.
All Rights Reserved
Made in USA