Tapping the Furnace

I’m listening to Craig Hultgren playing on Dorothy Hindman’s amplified cello piece, Drowning x Numbers, on her CD “Tapping the Furnace”. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of cello technique. I hesitate to call them “extended” in this day and age, and especially in light of how they’re used in this piece. Hultgren’s easy integration of “standard” and “extended” and frankly the common usage in the Deep South of the US in using this tech makes it less extended than a natural and necessary step forward. And DxN doesn’t just run a span of magical cello timbres, it explores the gamut of speed and dynamics as well, and somehow (for this listener) disintegrates the transition to ‘extended”.

I’ve been fortunate to work with Craig over the years. We’ve partnered as improvisors, a modern classical duet, and as composer-instrumentalist. Craig’s musical intelligence, acute ear, and attention to detail are things I’d learned to take for granted. These days at 5000 miles, I feel …