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Hug, Charlotte & Fred Lonberg-Holm: Fine Extension (Emanem)

Violist and vocalist Charlotte Hug met Fred Lonberg-Holm in Zurich, 2009 to make these concert recordings, a duo taking stringed instruments into unique and irrepressible territory.

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product information:

UPC: 5030243501229

Label: Emanem
Catalog ID: 5012
Squidco Product Code: 13821

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2010
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Cardstock foldover
Digital concert recording by Christian Wolfarth at WIM Zurich on March 30th, 2009.


Charlotte Hug-viola and voice

Fred Lonberg Holm-cello

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Artist Biographies:

"Fred Lonberg-Holm (born 1962) is an American cellist based in Chicago. He relocated from New York City to Chicago in 1995. Lonberg-Holm is most identified with playing free improvisation and free jazz. He is also a composer of concert works. As a session musician and arranger, he is credited on many rock, pop, and country records. Lonberg-Holm currently leads the Valentine Trio, with Jason Roebke (bass) and Frank Rosaly (drums). This jazz trio performs original compositions as well as tunes by both jazz composers (e.g. Sun Ra) and pop songwriters (e.g. Jeff Tweedy, Syd Barrett). The group released its first album Terminal Valentine, in 2007, which was reviewed by AllAboutJazz critic Nils Jacobson.

He coordinates and directs performances of his Lightbox Orchestra, an improvising ensemble with a flexible, ever-changing membership. Lonberg-Holm does not play an instrument in this group, but rather conducts its non-idiomatic improvisations via the "lightbox" and by holding up handwritten signs. The lightbox contains a light bulb for each musician which Lonberg-Holm switches on or off to suggest when they should play. Collective groups of which Lonberg-Holm is a member include Terminal 4 who released an album, in 2003, called When I'm Falling that received four and a half stars, and AMG Album Pick by Allmusic, and it was reviewed by Allmusic's Joslyn Layne, The Boxhead Ensemble, Pillow, the Lonberg-Holm/Kessler/Zerang trio (with Kent Kessler and Michael Zerang), and the Dörner/Lonberg-Holm duo (with Axel Dörner).

Among groups led by other people, he is a member of the Vandermark 5, the Joe McPhee Trio, the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, Keefe Jackson's Fast Citizens, and Ken Vandermark's Territory Band. When he lived in New York, Lonberg-Holm frequently collaborated with the rock group God Is My Co-Pilot pianist and composer Anthony Coleman as well as multi-instrumentalist Paul Duncan of Warm Ghost. In Chicago, he has worked with Jim O'Rourke, Bobby Conn (on "Llovessonngs" [1999] and "The Golden Age" [2001]), The Flying Luttenbachers, Lake Of Dracula, Wilco, Rivulets, Mats Gustafsson, Sten Sandell, Jaap Blonk, John Butcher, and a great many others.

Lonberg-Holm's concert works have been premiered by William Winant, Carrie Biolo, the Austin New Music Co-Op, Subtropics Ensemble, Duo Atypica, the Schanzer/Speach Duo, New Winds, Paul Hoskin, Kevin Norton, the E.S.P. Ensemble, and others. His scores for dance have been performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Dance Theater Workshop as well as many other venues. He is a former composition student of Anthony Braxton and Morton Feldman. He performed improvised music in the role of a troubled composer who finds inspiration in the love of a couple he spots on the street in a short film for the Playboy channel."

-Wikipedia (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:

1. Part One 26:45

2. Part Two 20:29

3. Part Three 5:33
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

Excerpts from sleeve notes:

"It takes two.

Two gears, two springs, two mechanisms. Two strings, two hands, two people.

The activity of calibrating requires two parts, a variable and a standard. Through the relativity of comparison (here's a gear, here's another; how do they fit together?), components can be adjusted to function properly, to run smoothly and mesh in perfect tandem. That's the way a machine can be fine-tuned.

The Charlotte Hug / Fred Lonberg-Holm duo is a machine of sorts. Not, of course, in the sterile, robotic, functional sense, but in the sense that together they enjoy a rare kind of calibration, a fine-tuning that one hears infrequently in improvised music, only from the very best collaborators. That they are string players means they come equipped - and burdened - with a lot of baggage, the kinds of classical associations from which it can be difficult to break free. The fussiness of intonation and phraseological inflexibility that one associates with everyday string players is nowhere to be found in Hug's incisive, spectral viola, or in Lonberg-Holm's rich, earthen cello.

When they play together, they become a unified machine, not because they do the same thing or play in unison, but precisely because they each have a part and they play it. And they play it together, as if the music was coming from a common place or meeting in a common place, part of a crystal clear operation the logic of which is fine-tuned in the moment of its unfolding, by means of listening and responding and initiating. And more listening. They have the reliability of a Swiss watch, its innards all working towards the single goal of keeping time, but in this case it's not mechanistic in the same way, the parts are all constantly changing, morphing, the one little gear is growing bigger or shrinking or getting more teeth or differently shaped cogs, so the other gear has to adjust immediately to keep up the proper torque.

Some Oulipo writers have insisted that any system, any procedure designed as a constraint for writing, needs to 'creak' a little. That is to say, it has to swing, to give a bit; the gears have to change shape, if only to keep things interesting. There's a lot of creaking going on here. Listen as Hug goes low, laying down a growling drone, meanwhile Lonberg-Holm squeaks and pops up top. Intensity and excitement, fission energy compacted into a chamber twosome.

Exactitude without fuss, and with a bit of creak - that's fine-tuning. A good reminder: It takes two."-John Corbett

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