Household Items is music that examines the realities of everyday life. Literally. Utilizing texts from items that are typically found in the household, Friedland’s music creates atmospheres that comically enhance the product’s claims or give it a new spin. Household Items is a commentary on the ridiculous nature of advertising claims, warning labels, ingredient lists, and instructional manuals, expressed through an eclectic mixture of styles that range from Irish jigs to Gospel anthems. It addresses nearly all tangible aspects of domestic life including the kitchen, bathroom, garage, and wine cellar. Many of the songs in Friedland's Household Items universe can be heard on the album of the same name, recorded with vocalist Angela Vicente.
Brian Friedland Big Band
Friedland's big band works capture explore a wide range of emotions and ideas brought to life and enhanced by an accomplished, dedicated band. Tinting modern jazz with influences ranging from classical minimalism to techno in attempts to musically reflect on personal experiences, his writing displays a relentless creativity and open-mindedness that is quickly evident. Grammy nominated composer, USC faculty member, and musical collaborator Kim Richmond describes Friedland's music as "not only professional quality material, but inspirationally crafted, an excellent and interesting mix of art works. He shows his dedication towards creating and performing new music." Many of Friedland’s works for big band were composed while working with New Engand Conservatory’s Jazz Composer’s Orcherstra, where Friedland earned his Master’s degree in jazz composition and met many members of his band. The band also features many of his frequent collaborators in Boston, and draws on repertoire he wrote for his six piece band Rhombus.
The six piece ensemble Rhombus fuses intricate compositions with bold collective improvisations. Their music draws on a vast array of influences, fusing the sonorities of modern jazz, the rhythmic complexities of Balkan music, and the energy of rock, with the experimentation of avant-garde improvisation, and the thematic development of classical music. Since its inception, Rhombus has performed over 30 new works in Boston area jazz clubs (Ryles, Lily Pad) coffeehouses (Luna Cafe), and neighborhood bars (Midway Cafe, Savant Project). Rhombus has also played outside of Boston at with performances at Goodbye Blue Monday in New York and The Barley Pub in Dover, New Hampshire. Rhombus vocalist Aubrey Johnson, saxophonist Sean Berry, guitarist Phil Sargent, bassist Greg Loughman, and drummer Mike Connors have with a long list of jazz luminaries and have many critically acclaimed recordings to their names.
Man On Land
Man On Land is a collectively led trio with bassist Greg Loughman and drummer Austin McMahon. Their original music places a great emphasis on melody, narrative, atmosphere, and interaction and seamlessly blends together their compositional voices. Their 3 performances have all been very warmly received by Boston audiences.
The KeyDrum project is Friedland's most fun and bizarre musical endeavor. Saxophonists Tucker Antell and Rick Stone, guitarist Nick Grondin, and bassist Brad Barrett take audiences on a unpredictable adventure with Friedland manning the keyboard drums. The band can go in a lot of directions in one set--spontaneous techno jam with laser sounds to a jazz-metal cover of John Williams' "Imperial March" to funky originals. Wherever they go, the music remains engaging and playful.