On an icy Saturday night at the EWU Music Building Recital Hall,a crowd, ranging from old hipsters to kids playing with NinjaTurtles, gathered for a night of laughter and music.
For an instrument often associated with sadness, the annualCELLObration Spokane turned out to be the exact opposite.
The cello is often heard during a diamond commercial or whensomething bad happens in a film, giving the impression of sadness.Yet, the unique cello stylings of guest musician Gideon Freudmannchanged that perception.
There is no comparison for the way he blended his comedic, improvgenius and musical talent. Gallagher was never this good, even withsuspenders and a watermelon.
Freudmann played the cello every way that was humanly possible. Heused a variety of pedals, including a digital delay and phrasesampler that made the instrument sound like he was not alone onstage, while joking with the audience during songs.
At one point, he played recognizable snippets of “Smoke OnThe Water,” “Peter and the Wolf,” and theBeatles’ “Within You, Without You,” that soundedmuch trippier than the original version.
After that, there were problems with the lighting system, as thebackdrop to the stage accidentally turned pink and green.”The lightshow was free,” Freudmann said.
He then demonstrated cello distortion by rocking out and wildlyhead banging. It felt more bad-ass than most of the misuseddistortion in frat rock these days.
Intermission came around and it was time for the celloensemble.
“I don’t know how to follow that up,” said JohnMarshall, the cello instructor at Eastern.
For those of you lucky to be at the Sasquatch Festival last May, itwas like following up the Flaming Lips after witnessing confettiand robots. Well, maybe not quite, but in the world of cello, closeenough.
The ensemble was made up of amateurs, students, professionals,Marshall and Freudmann. They blazed their way through”Concerto in G,” “Gavotte,” and”Canon in D,” before moving on to three originalcompositions by Freudmann.
For the last number, the mysteriously titled “Robin HoodChanges His Oil,” the ensemble turned it into animprovisational jam session, with many artists performing wildsolos. Everything sounded beautiful.