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Gideon Freudmann (Not A) Coffeeshop Conversation (Not) at Artichoke Music #243 / About his new album

By TOM D'ANTONI // Remembering a conversation with cellist/composer about his new album Sasquatch with Lord Russ. Just out.

It’s an unusual Coffee Shop Conversation at Artichoke Music for several reasons.

First, we’re not at Artichoke Music which remains closed for obvious reasons and which we hope will re-open and thrive when this is over.

Second is because it isn’t going to be a conversation. I am sorry to report that I had a sparkling conversation via Skype with cellist and composer Gideon Freudmann who I am sure you recognize from his years of accomplishment and certainly know him from the Portland Cello Project. He was one of the founders.

What I’m sorry about was the failure of my Skype Recorder software. That means this conversation which was a one-time only occurrence, not to be duplicated, did not get recorded.

So here I am in front of the Coffeeshop Conversations microphone, with no coffeeshop and only a fond memory of my conversation with Gideon.

Therefore, I want to tell you about his new album Sasquatch which is what our conversation was about, except for the stuff about how we’re surviving being quarantined.

The answer to that is that we’re surviving.

This is kind of like a review, but one in which I do not pass judgement. Of course, like everything I’ve ever done at OMN, except for that mean Ace of Base piece, I wouldn’t write, or in this case, talk about it if I didn’t like it.

You may have noticed this over the years.

 The album, which features a snarly bunny rabbit smoking a cigarette, is the work of Gideon and a performer from Massachusetts named Lord Russ.

When we were talking about Lord Russ, Gideon mentioned glam rock and the Moody Blues and I said as how I had thought of them, too when I listened to the album, seen his pictures and watched some videos.

Lord Russ looks and sounds like a real rock star. Gideon looks like an academic, and not a rock star. How does Lord Russ fit in with Gideon’s style musically and in all other regards? Gideon says like a glove.

I’m going to use some things Gideon has written about them and the album since I’m still pissed off about losing the recording.

Yes, I blame myself.

First, here is how he describes the album:

“An album of countless sonic delights that are melodic, psychedelic, rockin’, poppin’, effervescent and wistful.”

I go along with that.

They met decades ago when Gideon was living in Massachusetts. Here’s what Gideon writes about their collaboration:

“This project began when I reached out to Russ whom I have long admired. I suggested we meet up and jam during one of my east coast trips and he said he preferred crafting tunes over jamming. So I recorded a new tune called Nebulus leaving space for him to do his thing and a week or so later he sent me back the piece with lots of brilliant additions. I sent another, he sent me one, and we went back and forth like like this for a couple a years. We hadn't set out to make a record but along the way it became evident that that’s what we were doing. We continued to challenge each other and ourselves stylistically but always left it to the other to add what he liked without making suggestions or editorials - at least not until we got to the mixing stage.”

Before we go any further, I asked Gideon what tune we should play at the end of our conversation. He suggested the title tune, “Sasquatch.”

Since there’s no conversation with an ending, and to keep you from falling asleep listening to me, here it is.

  • (In the recorded part)

I believe that a serious artist like Gideon is more apt to be able to write about his music better than some music journalist who is more fanboy than anything else.

He says:

I have been working on a new album for 2 years with my musician/friend Lord Russ who iss based in Massachusetts. We co-wrote all the music and did all the recording in our respective studios, sharing files and taking our sweet time, getting everything just so. I’m thrilled with the results. Its a musical departure for me and and incredibly fun listen full of beauty, weirdness, ecstasy and complexity.

In the end I couldn’t couldn’t be happier with the result. Russ is quite brilliant, an amazing singer and supremely inventive. 

Take Gideon’s word for it.

He also told me that that he misses that special relationship between a live audience and musician.

We all do.

Portland Cello Project has been streaming live solo and duo performances from their homes, including Gideon’s on Tuesday April 21.

Here’s where to buy Sasquatch and to find him.

My deepest apologies to Gideon for this fuck-up. I am old enough to know that shit happens and hot-headed enough to beat myself up about it.

Gideon? I owe you one.

I’ll be recording a Coffeeshop Conversation not at Artichoke Music with Shelly Rudolph next week. Stay tuned.

And by the way, continuing thanks for the use of Ghost Jazz by Jazztronica, Keith Schreiner and Derek Sims, as our theme music.

See you next time.

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