Nicolas Caloia double bass | Lori Freedman b-flat and bass clarinet


Quicksilver apothecaries of pitch, timbre and time, the formidable Montreal-based pairing of clarinettist Lori Freedman and bassist Nicolas Caloia, reconvene their long-term Mercury connection for a fittingly volatile and strange, dangerous, and often beautiful, dose of deeply conceptual body music.

Skin is the culmination of a more than 20-year relationship of intense melodic, harmonic and rhythmic exploration, which has seen Freedman and Caloia interrogate the outer perimeters of spontaneous creation and avant-garde composition, together under the Mercury rubric or individually alongside such stellar names as Roscoe Mitchell, Marshall Allen, Steve Lacy, Matana Roberts, Toshimaru Nakamura and Joe McPhee.

On a dynamic recording capturing the urgent ferocity of the duo’s captivating live performances, Freedman and Caloia anatomise the human corpus  – ‘Eyeball’, ‘Hip – Thigh – Knee – Shin – Ankle’, ‘Head – Shoulder – Chest’, ‘Skin’ – the album’s title-touting disassembly of flesh-and-bone serving as bio metaphor for the pair’s surgical shattering of conventional musical restraints.

Listen to Caloia’s visceral arco scouring and shuddering spinetingling rattle, the respiratory emanations and cardiac pulse emitting from Freedman’s clarinet and the analogy is rendered stark, the pair’s corporeal capers supercharged with apposite epidermic notions relating to touch, intimacy, texture and sensitivity.

All music by Nicolas Caloia and Lori Freedman @ SOCAN

Recorded at Hotel2Tango, Montréal, July 9 and 11, 2023 | Engineered, edited and mixed by Shae Brossard | Mastered by Harris Newman, Grey Market Mastering, Montréal | Liner notes by Martin Arnold | Photo by Jeff Tessier (at SomethingElse Festival 2022, Hamilton)
Produced by Nicolas Caloia and Lori Freedman | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design by Travassos

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