Penedo cs516









As I continue to be busy (with a more extended project to appear in this space), so does Ernesto Rodrigues, with several more new releases, both including himself & not. While I might have something to say later about some of the latter items, with the convenience of Bandcamp, I can make a few remarks about some of the former albums now: In particular, I want to continue a focus on albums oriented on violin family ensembles, perhaps with some added spice. Rodrigues continues to be one of the leading producers of improvised music for bowed string ensembles, and if anything, seems to be intensifying his explorations in this specific arena: Penedo (the name of a region in Portugal) was recorded last New Year's Eve, and is another very long album from Rodrigues, with three twenty+ minute tracks coming to well over an hour. The ensemble presents something of a continuation to the concerns of the trio We Still Have Bodies (discussed here in August), but Penedo employs a string trio with a second cello (frequent collaborator Miguel Mira, yielding a fuller sound) joining Ernesto & Guilherme Rodrigues, and Carlos Santos subbing for Richard Scott on electronics. Santos generally brings a "smoother" (or more austere) style than Scott, with less contrapuntal "melody" per se, and more looping or sustain of frequencies at the extremes. (One might thus compare Penedo to Jardin Carré, the latter being a generally grittier & more inward looking affair, using a different string trio, and yielding a sense of circular reflection....) The second cello, of course, reflects a common (string trio) configuration for Rodrigues, e.g. already on Incidental Projections & Xenon (both discussed here in May 2017), and yields a tenor emphasis: On Penedo (perhaps given its place name title), the "central" texture thus supports a broad landscape sweep, invoking & acknowledging flora & fauna amid a general windswept (including via electronics) expanse. When technology intervenes, or more simply humanity, a sense of hybrid mystery arises, such that one ultimately finds oneself transformed by the journey, yielding a calm awareness & new attentiveness to one's surroundings. (The farewell has something of the ongoing, exploratory feel of Nashaz....) Todd McComb's Jazz Thoughts

Recorded on New Years Eve in Sintra in the Penedo region of Portugal, three strings--viola from Ernesto Rodrigues, cello from Guilherme Rodrigues, and a second cello from Miguel Mira--are joined by Carlos Santos on electronics for three extended and richly detailed improvisations, active yet concentratively controlled, using impressive and extended techniques. (Squidco)

"Penedo" in three parts is, in a sense, a "classic" quartet with Miguel Mira on cello and Carlos Santos on electronics. This is Rodrigues family operation at its best, and another magisterial example of free minimal music. The set was recorded in December 2017 in Penedo, Sintra, Portugal, which explains the title. Maciej Lewenstein