Crom-Tech/Jefferson Friedman, Eight Songs (1997/2004)
1. Ex-Prestu: Plod
2. Brammix-Q: 49 Face
5. You not mexiquot
7. To the Pods
8. Wemcraftor: Limsniffer
I first heard Crom-Tech in 1997. Being a long-time fan of the Washington, DC, post-punk hardcore scene, when I heard both Ian MacKaye and Guy Picciotto of Fugazi go on record as saying that Crom-Tech was their favorite new band, I knew it was something I had to get. I got back to my apartment with their first seven-inch record in my hands, threw it on my turntable, and then proceeded to check a number of times whether I had mistakenly set the record player to 45 rpms; I just could not believe that anyone could play that fast and that tight.
It was simply like nothing I had ever heard before (or since) - spastic, almost non-sensical riffs strung together to make these gigantic miniatures, with a drummer and guitarist so locked into each other, it was almost psychic. And then I saw them live. They couldn't possibly play those songs the way they did on the record. And I was right; they played them faster and tighter and better.
A few years later, I met Sam Solomon. After getting to know him personally and musically, I made him a CD of some bands I thought he would like, including some songs by Crom-Tech, and told him that I would be willing to do an arrangement of some of their songs for his duo. In the end, my job ended up being at varying points along the continuum of transcription-arrangement-composition, depending on the particular section at hand. As much as possible, I tried to respect the original material, but in order to do that (and in order to make it humanly possible) some tweaking was necessary. When all is said and done, though, these are Crom-Tech's songs, and I'm just happy to have played a small part in spreading the gospel.
Jefferson Friedman's works have been performed in the United States and abroad, most notably at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Alice Tully Hall, and Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall. Most recently, he received a Rome Prize Fellowship in Musical Composition for 2003-2004 from the American Academy in Rome. He has been commissioned twice by Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra, the first piece having been performed in September 2001 and the second to be premiered in October 2004. His String Quartet No. 2 won the 2000 ASCAP Leo Kaplan Award and also a 2000 BMI Student Composer Award. String Quartet No. 2 is published by G. Schirmer, Inc., as part of their New American Voices series and will be recorded by the Corigliano Quartet on their debut recording. His orchestral work, Sacred Heart: Explosion, received a 2001 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award and the 2001 Palmer Dixson Prize. It was also selected as one of the 2001 Juilliard Orchestra Competition winners, and was performed by the Juilliard Symphony, conducted by Jeffrey Milarsky. He received his M.M. degree in music composition from the Juilliard School in May 2001, where he studied with John Corigliano. He received his B.A. from Columbia University, where his teachers included David Rakowski and Jonathan Kramer and where he was named the 1996 Music Department Honors Graduate. He has attended the Aspen Music Festival three times, studying with George Tsontakis twice, and with John Corigliano and Christopher Rouse as part of the Summer 2000 Masterclass Program, for which he received a full fellowship. In January 2003, he was in residence at the Seaside Institute in Seaside, FL. He currently lives and composes in Rome, Italy.