Metamorfose cs660

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ernesto Rodrigues has continued to release several new albums over the past couple of weeks, including some recorded in 2018: Given his usual very fast release pace, that seems like a while ago for Rodrigues, but perhaps the quarantine presents an opportunity to finish some older productions that may have drifted to the back burner.... Among these, I especially want to highlight Metamorfose, recorded in Lisbon in December 2018 by the duo of Rodrigues (on both violin & viola) & Carlos Santos (live electronics). Rodrigues & Santos, frequent collaborators in various groups, had already released the duo album Piano (as mentioned here in August 2017 & January 2019), and in involving a single instrument between them, it also included distinct roles, i.e. Santos at the keyboard & Rodrigues manipulating the strings inside. Roles are distinct on Metamorfose too, with Rodrigues playing violin or viola & Santos manipulating the sound via various timbral disarticulations & echoes, but while Piano never really "sounds like a piano," Metamorfose sounds like a traditional string instrument much of the time: Indeed, the magical parts of the performance are the sudden & disorienting realizations of what seems like a violin being revealed to have been slowly & almost imperceptibly transformed into something else — more than a violin. At times, then, there is some "real" electronic counterpoint, or more often various drones (whether above or below the texture) & echoes, but such involvements tend to be oriented around what mostly seems to be a solo string performance. And that soloistic character is also what makes Metamorfose such a striking release for Rodrigues, as his prolific contributions are often buried within various broader textures: Here they're usually front & center, though, opening with what sounds like trickling water & moving through various waves of (usually) continuous transformation, sometimes grainy & sometimes into a shimmering spaciness via high position harmonics & electronic processing in turn.... (The soloistic quality can be compared with that of the recent trio album Multiforms, as discussed here in May, albeit there in a more typically energetic free jazz setting. In contrast, the various figures & transformations of Metamorfose do not suggest a specific prior idiom....) The sometimes subtle electronics thus serve to proliferate & ramify string figures into a variety of textures, some more expansive — not so unlike the various transformations & wave-like complexifications animating Setúbal (& some other newer productions, as recently noted), there becoming more expansive & forceful via multiple acoustic instruments. The greater sense of concentration & economy — albeit boosted by electronics at various points — suggests a more specific tour-de-force on Metamorfose then, including through a variety of techniques highlighting the violin in quasi-traditional ways. (One might e.g. recall extremes of technical duration & harmonics in e.g. Irvine Arditti's "naked" performances of Cage's late violin works with their long held tones, but here a wobble can lead in turn to exposing a detail of string grain explicitly or an entire spectrum of timbre via further electronic interrogation....) In that, it's not so different from some other duo albums featuring live electronics/sampling around a traditional instrument, e.g. as recalled here around Elective Affinities just this past March... where it's also a matter of multiplying the resources of the instrument, including while often leaving it recognizable. In this, Metamorfose further suggests a sense of evolutionary becoming & even liminality per se (more so than e.g. a travelogue, as posited around some other productions) via extended variation — & marks a new vision of contemporary violin/viola solo performance in the process: In short, it becomes its own world. Todd McComb's Jazz Thoughts

 

O título diz tudo: parceiros em numerosas situações com o envolvimento de outros músicos, neste disco Ernesto Rodrigues e Carlos Santos centram-se na ideia de tornar o violino e a viola do primeiro em instrumentos expansivos, ou seja, com qualidades metamórficas que vão muito para além das suas capacidades acústicas naturais, mas que nunca iludem essa origem. Como? Com o seu computador, Santos processa em tempo real o que o companheiro faz, numa exploração que é predominantemente tímbrica, mas, regra geral, tão discreta e tão determinada em deixar incólume a sonoridade do violino ou da viola, que é como se este duo fosse, na verdade, um solo assistido de Rodrigues. Se a anterior combinação destes dois improvisadores, “Piano”, optou por prescindir dos instrumentos com que habitualmente os ouvimos a tocar, ocupando-se o violetista das cordas interiores de um piano e utilizando o manipulador electrónico, em simultâneo, o teclado desse mesmo piano, neste “Metamorfose” a motivação é tornar em ferramentas cibernéticas os cordofones em causa sem lhes retirar humanidade.
Carlos Santos é exímio neste tipo de procedimentos, como de resto sabíamos pelo trabalho que desenvolvia num grupo que tarda em repetir apresentações de palco, o ZNGR Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, com Carlos “Zíngaro” e Emídio Buchinho, mas tendo em conta o muito que já fez com Ernesto Rodrigues e encontramos no catálogo da Creative Sources faltava saber como resultaria uma abordagem deste género num contexto que substitui totalmente a frase pela textura, o discurso ainda melódico e narrativo da música improvisada herdeira do free jazz pelo uso plástico e abstracionista dos materiais sonoros segundo as premissas deixadas pela música erudita contemporânea (estou a falar em predominâncias de linguagem, pois “Zíngaro” também toca texturalmente e Rodrigues pode ser, por vezes, frásico). Agora sabemos, numa música que ora recorre ao “drone”, ora se torna acentuadamente percussiva, e que nos vai gradualmente fascinando ao longo de 36 minutos. Sim, este é, sem dúvida, um dos álbuns do ano… Rui Eduardo Paes (Jazz.pt)