Cellist Erik Friedlander is a composer, an improviser, and a veteran of NYC's Downtown scene. Friedlander started studying music at an early age, beginning at 5 with guitar, and then at 8, cello lessons. He grew up in a house filled with music, as his father, the photographer Lee Friedlander is an avid music lover, and made countless mixtapes which played daily in their home. Erik spent his twenties honing his skills as a player and an improviser and quickly became a sought after studio musician, performing with The Mountain Goats, John Zorn, Dave Douglas and Courtney Love. Erik's desire to actively participate in the swirl of music styles he was surrounded by led him to find new ways to play the cello and drives his solo work which is varied and unusual.
Friedlander's recent projects includes Nighthawks, a new album that was conceived during the blackout in lower Manhattan caused by Hurricane Sandy. The album features his Bonebridge Band, a slide-guitar, cello, bass and drums quartet; Claws & Wings, the elegiac work dedicated to Erik's late wife, featuring laptop percussionist Ikue Mori and pianist Sylvie Courvoisier; and a limited edition LP with photographer Mitch Epstein entitled American Power. The New Yorker called his solo cello reinterpretation of American roots music (Block Ice & Propane) "..a magnificent new solo album.." and The New York Times said Friedlander's Broken Arm Trio, a tribute to bassist Oscar Pettiford, was "..effervescent small-group jazz executed with wit and soul."
Friedlander has composed music for ads, dance works, documentaries and, most recently completed the score for Nothing on Earth, a documentary about the work of landscape photographer Murray Fredericks's dangerous visits to the Greenland icecap. Erik scored the feature film Future Weather, released in 2013. Nate Chinen of The New York Times wrote: "Mr. Friedlander, an ingenious cellist who makes an art of soulful rusticity."