The title of Montrealer Lori Freedman’s latest disc, Solor, could be a play on solo and Lor(i), but based on the recording’s explosive music, it could also be referring to the volcanic island of Indonesia of the same name. The seven works include five Freedman compositions, written between 2002 and 2018, and two improvised works. This lively and enjoyable set highlights multiple facets of Freedman’s intricate and highly personal language.
Freedman’s infinite sonic palette and ability to instantly switch gears while retaining coherence and clarity is evident throughout. The tracks not only run the gamut of sounds one can make with a voice and a family of B-flat, bass, and contrabass clarinets, but at the same time hint at the many strains of contemporary musics alive today. The opening track, “To the Bridge,” begins with a forty-second burst of guttural shrieks and gurgles before the first clarinet notes are sounded, followed by vocalizing through the instrument, a soaring jazzy line which cedes to some quieter atonality, a brief silence, some short pops and whistles, rubbery lines that squiggle and dart about, and more vocalizing that evokes a cat imitating a car careening around a corner. One can continue to describe the rapidly transitioning succession of timbres, rhythms, and melodies, but what really shines through is the humanness behind the sounds as the full range of possible emotions pour out.