Composer/pianist Brian Friedland’s music displays creativity through a large and varied body of works. His recordings include compositions for chamber orchestra, big band, strings, brass, saxophone quartet, prepared piano, and many small jazz groups. While rooted in jazz piano traditions, his compositions also show his love of genres ranging from Balkan Folk to classical minimalism. In addition to leading several jazz ensembles, his projects include an ongoing series of comedic songs inspired by commercial products and a quartet that blends sonic exploration, funky grooves, and keyboard drums. Friedland has released three albums, performed at venues across the US and internationally, and frequently performs and collaborates in his hometown of Boston. Grammy nominated composer and musical collaborator Kim Richmond describes Friedland’s music as “not only professional quality material, but inspirationally crafted, an excellent and interesting mix of art works. He shows his dedication towards creating and performing new music.”
Dreamscapes is music inspired by ideas and sounds shared by the faculty, WildUp musicians, and participants at the JCOI workshop. Personally, the most daunting part of composing any large ensemble music is deciding on the initial direction and material of a composition. To help make that choice this time around I thought about the many sonic possibilities, improvisational concepts, and compelling artistic visions presented throughout the intensive. I can’t always say what I exactly took from where, but as I started composing I could feel these and other past thoughts and experiences guide me along as I searched and struggled for the identity of my piece, which is the inspiration for the title. In response to James Newton’s adage to use one’s own musical language and with inspiration from the entire faculty at the JCOI Intensive this past summer, I’ve incorporated elements of the blues; methods of composing by transcribing my own improvisations; and revisiting Bela Bartok and Henri Dutilleux to further fertilize my imagination.
listen to Brian’s Kaleidoscope: