The special record label TRPTK has released a new CD: Ten Songs Of Change, on which cellist Maya Fridman plays the leading role, in collaboration with composer and pianist Marion von Tilzer.
That cellist Maya Fridman (1989) does not shy away from any challenge is by now well known. Her latest leap into the deep end is a collaboration with composer and pianist Marion von Tilzer (1968). She composed a cycle based on the Chinese ‘I Ching’ with ten poems selected by the well-known author Lulu Wang. Title is ‘Ten Songs of Change’, released by TRPTK.
Von Tilzer, who hails from Austria, has been active since the 1990s and has a broad background as a composer; transcending genres. The TRPTK record label says in its press release, “You will find influences from jazz, world music and classical music. She has also composed for dance performances, films and television documentaries.
She was able to fully utilize her versatility for her new project based on the ‘I Ching’, the classic of Chinese literature. The eight trigrams that form the basis of this book are her source of inspiration: Heaven, Lake, Fire, Thunder, Wind, Water, Mountain and Earth. These are arranged so that the cycle spans the time of a twenty-four hour day.
Von Tilzer herself added a prologue and epilogue to the eight selected poems: the music begins with a morning song in which Fridman improvises on her cello during a recording of a singing young woman of the Mosuo tribe. At the conclusion of the cycle, Fridman sings a poem by the Chinese poet Li Shanyin (813-858) while simultaneously performing a cello composition. Fridman proves to be a force to be reckoned with even as a vocalist!’
Understanding without words
What is remarkable is how text and music come together in “Ten Songs of Change. “You have no idea how liberating our collaboration feels,” Fridman says. “Marion and I understand each other without words. Many notes are already on paper, but there is also plenty of room for improvisation. I hope that listeners, like us, can let go of their thoughts and really feel the music.”
Emperor Zhuang Zhou dreamt he was a butterfly; or – he wondered, was he a butterfly dreaming that he was the emperor?
“It’s an intricate fabric of music and poems that you have to try to surrender to as a listener,” Von Tilzer adds. “In our music and go in search of a deeper truth. We are putting our money where our mouth is and have linked an extensive summer tour with concerts in various spiritual places, ranging from churches and synagogues to Buddhist temples, with the presentation of the CD. We are very curious what the reactions will be and hope to bring a positive artistic message after that difficult period, when the corona virus held the world in its grip.”