Red Velvet – A Celebration of Love
About half a year ago, we decided that to celebrate being married to each other for a year, we would give each other the gift of an album recording.
Red Velvet, therefore, is a celebration of love. But more than just a celebration of love between husband and wife; a celebration of love between members of a family, a love for a certain place on earth; a love for the abstract divine…
Love, like music, is something poetical, and therefore best expressed through poetry. Some of the pieces on this album were inspired by poetry, other pieces seemed to have a deep connection with pre-existing pieces of poetry. Reading through the booklet of the physical CD while listening to the music, reads like a collection of assorted poems in many languages, from many different cultures, displaying many different sides of love.
The album title was named after the one piece interconnecting all others. Red Velvet, written by Iranian composer Kaveh Vares, was brought to life specially for Maya and her cello. After the premiere of the piece during Maya’s concert at the old Synagogue room of MerkAz, the whole album fell into place. Written about the atrocities in the Middle-East, with its beastly chaos, screams of victims of a war with no winning side, ultimately expressed by an almost inaudibly silent ending, Red Velvet seemed to be the perfect ending to an album that displays the infinitely many sides of love.
After Red Velvet, the album is ultimately concluded by Alisa Apreleva’s Silentium. Seven years ago, Maya heard this piece being performed by Apreleva herself, inspiring her to also combine the voice of her cello with her own voice. Silentium, however, is not the only piece in which she sings while playing the cello. Louis Andriessen’s La Voce, was specifically written for not just the cello itself, but the cellist. Intertwining the sound of Maya’s voice with her cello, the human-like voice of the cello and her singing truly become one cluster of sound.
Recording-wise, I wanted to try a different approach for this album. Instead of sitting behind a pane of glass or a thick wall, with only a talkback microphone connecting us, I wanted to get up close and personal with the artist. Sitting at just seven meters away in the old Synagogue room, the recording sessions that went into this album were some of the most personal events of my recording career. Both as the artist, as well as the recording engineer, you lay yourself bare to one another, unable to hide any of the emotions that go into such recordings.
In many ways, this album was a first for both Maya as a cellist and myself as a recording engineer. But it was love; the love for each other, and most of all, the love for music and the art of recording, that turned Red Velvet into what Red Velvet is today. We hope you enjoy the album, and will celebrate this love with us on this special day.
Maya Fridman & Brendon Heinst