Nuït - Fridman, van Veen

Nuït - Fridman, van Veen

trptk  TTK0081

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Chamber

Improvisations by Maya Fridman (cello) and Maarten van Veen (piano)

This album pays tribute to the goddess of the night sky, Nuit, depicted on the Stele of Revealing as a woman bending over the earth with a body completely covered in stars.

To me, the best way to get to know an artist is through improvising. A spontaneous conversation — whether by means of words or sounds — can sometimes lead to subjects so deep that at some point all words and sounds resolve into stillness. After a moment of such stillness, I told Maarten about one of my dreams that came back to me during our first improvisation session.

In that dream I walked through endless streets of a grey city when, suddenly, I was transported into an empty space that expanded with ever-increasing speed. I saw a star approaching me and absorbing me in its brilliant nothingness. That nothingness in form of dark night sky was full of colors and sounds which I seemed to perceive with every particle of my body. Then, even so abruptly, I was back on the streets which were not grey anymore but full of colors and of distant music. I found my way into an observatory, looked for the largest telescope and tried to identify the star I just met by listening to the music it produced.

Perhaps the telescope in Maarten’s studio was partly responsible for bringing this memory back. But mostly it was improvising together with Maarten that made me reflect intensely on Nuit, the goddess of the starry night sky representing all that is in its infinity. In my mind, that dream is connected to my understanding of Nuït and it comes back to me when we perform.

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Comments (1)

Comment by Marcus DiBenedetto - June 7, 2022 (1 of 1)

My first exposure to Maya Fridman was her album with the Aeon Trio (with Atzko Kohashi & Frans van der Hoeven) called "Elegy". It's a classical/jazz fusion album that was met with high praise. This new release is a much more modern (read, sometimes experimental) style of music. The genre is called Classical/Contemporary (>1920). Along with Fridman is pianist Maarten van Veen. Maya wrote the album's introduction in the liner notes: "This album pays tribute to the goddess of the night sky, Nuit, depicted on the Stele of Revealing as a woman bending over the earth with a body completely covered in stars." Per The Wandering Stars website: "The Stele of Ankh-af-na-Khonsu is an ancient Egyptian wooden funerary offering tablet dated to circa 680–670 BCE ... Above these two figures is a depiction of Nut, or Nuit, the sky goddess, arching from horizon to horizon, her hands and feet touching the earth."

The album presents many moods, some are musical melodies and some are unworldly. It is all improvisational. I really enjoyed how van Veen is not afraid to play deep bass notes on his piano. The sound greatly compliments Fridman's cello. The cello playing is also marvelous and is, as I would call it, classic Maya Fridman. As with "Elegy" she can play edgy notes that communicate an almost spiritual set of emotions. I've listened to the album many times now and each time I begin to hear music that I missed previously.

Sonics in surround are excellent which is typical for TRPTK. Brendon Heinst (recording/mastering engineer) just released a YouTube video of one of the tracks ( Of course, all the tracks offer samples on the TRPTK website.

On a side note: I asked Brendon how he masters multichannel mixes. His reply was lengthy but the cliff notes version is as follows: The front three speakers present all of the music. He uses ITU format using rear surround speakers. containing ambient sound. He says he puts the listener closer than audience but not as close to the stage as a conductor.

Marcus DiBenedetto
Las Vegas, NV