About this recording: This recording presents tunes I have written over the past few months, as well as compositions conceived spontaneously while in the studio. Actually, I never really know when a new tune will arise, but I've learned to be ready when it does. All of these compositions reflect captured moments, translated into music, much like a photographer captures his subject. An invaluable and vital component of this project was having my generous friend and sound engineer, Randy Everett, a six time Grammy nominee, ready at the controls when inspiration struck. In fact, Randy is such an integral part of this recording that it's as much a duo collaboration as it is a solo project. We learned to have the recorder up and running when I walked into the studio, because sometimes the best ideas come when I first sit down to play.
The tracks on this CD were all performed on cello, recorded a single track at a time, which can occasionally prove to be a challenge as far as establishing a certain mood or groove, because the element of spontaneity that occurs in a live performance by an entire ensemble was missing. However, this configuration gave me the flexibility and freedom to compose on the spot if inspiration struck and to just flow where the music took me. After establishing and recording the basic structural form of the tune, I would let the solos occur spontaneously and freely. If they stunk, I'd just do them over, but I tried to keep as many first takes as possible.
I chose Arrhythmia as the title of this project because I enjoy the challenge of composing in uncommon time signatures or inserting meter changes in unexpected places to add a bit of " spice ". It also can also imply unpredictability, excitability and intensity, qualities I hope to produce in certain tunes. ( It's been pointed out to me that arrhythmia can also mean " without rhythm ", a quality of music I steadfastly attempt to avoid! ).
Special acknowledgements: I have been given opportunities that I certainly did not deserve, given my age and experience, and I have been the recipient of the generosity and encouragement of world class performers. Mark O'Connor took me out on the road my first professional tour in 2006. That act alone opened so many doors for me. I subsequently was hired by Natalie MacMaster in 2007 and she has contributed enormously to my musical development. Thanks to Natalie, I was invited by the great cellist Yo-Yo Ma to help compose the cello part of a tune he recorded with her in 2008. I met Yo-Yo at Legacy Studios in New York where we worked on the tune together, an experience I'll never forget. Darol Anger hired me to appear on a DVD of featured fiddle masters and I have had some of the most memorable musical moments of my life jamming with him. I recently had the honor of performing in concert with Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck and also to tour as a member of the Jeremy Kittel Band. I am grateful to all of the wonderful friends who have made these opportunities possible for me. They have taught me that music thrives in the context of an extensive community that transcends barriers that would otherwise keep us separated. I hope that in some way this recording honors the influence they have had on me.