Gideon Freudmann: Adobe Dog House – with “Due Course” video coverPosted: February 10, 2014
Part 2 of 12 Albums That Stuck With Me
If it weren’t for a terrible teacher, I never would have heard of Gideon Freudmann.
My decision to leave high school and attend a hippie early college in the woods was not made lightly, but the pivotal factor was certainly an assignment that had 11th graders coloring a world map for a significant portion of our grade. So it’s fitting that Adobe Dog House, the fourth album from electric cellist Freudmann, includes a song called “Geography” with the silly but possibly insightful lyric, “If you don’t know what you’re looking at, you don’t know what you see.”
Freudmann was a frequent performer at my college campus, performing solo but building layers upon layers with a loop recording pedal. Many of his recordings are done without other musicians or overdubbing, just him and his technology. He calls his goofy style “CelloBop” and composes many instrumentals along with folky songs with words.
Adobe Dog House is his best mix of the two formats out of his many albums. With 10 instrumentals and five songs including vocals, it is contemplative, haunting, slightly bizarre, and tremendously fun. At times his lyrics and song titles (“Abra Cadaver”, “River Skeeters”, etc.) border on nonsense, but there’s always the sense of a man testing the limits of his compositional and improvisational skills. He quotes other music from Deep Purple to the Star Trek theme, which of course endears him to me immensely.
In most cases, I prefer studio albums to live performances, but part of Freudmann’s appeal is his infectious playfulness in concert. Adobe Dog House captures that playfulness quite well, but still takes itself just seriously enough to suggest that every note of every song was placed very deliberately. If nothing else, the inclusion of Freudmann’s dreamy “Over the Rainbow” cover should earn it a place in collections of renditions of that classic tune.