Lori Presthus’s "A Moment in Time"

With the end of the fiscal year looming, I’ve been in a mad rush to spend as much of DePauw’s money as possible. The Faculty Fellowship I’ve held over the past three years, to work on my book about improvisation, carries an annual budget for expenses, and I have quite a bit left, which I can spend up through the last day of June.

So last week I dove into the Amazon (dot com) and bought as many improvisation-related books, CDs, and DVDs as I could find. Yes, it is great fun spending wildly with someone else’s money.

Right now I’m enjoying listening to Lori Presthus’s lovely and plaintive CD A Moment in Time (that link takes you to the album’s page on CD Baby, where you can listen to excerpts). It’s somewhat unique among improvised cello CDs in that most of the pieces are two-track: she recorded an improvisation and then recorded a second track.

There are plenty of multitrack cello CDs out there, by folks like David Darling (original music), Peter Lewy (original music), Maia Beyser (arrangements and commissions of progressive classical music), and Matthew Barley (arrangements of more traditional classical music). Lori’s the only one I’ve run across to limit herself–quite effectively–to just tracks. She creates a wonderful dialogue. The musical snob in me notes that just about the whole thing is in G. But almost all of my tonal or modal improvisations are in G or C, or Aeolian or Dorian, so who am I to complain? I like it.


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