Underwater Music cs450









Creative Sources continues its exploration of improvising string ensembles with Underwater Music by Ernesto & Guilherme Rodrigues & Alexander Frangenheim: The string trio format follows Rodrigues's output with the Lisbon String Trio, discussed extensively here in July. Of course, Frangenheim has appeared often with Rodrigues — I first took notice with Nor (recorded & released in 2014), and continue to admire e.g. his music on Light air still gets dark (which also explores another ongoing Creative Sources concern, extended vocal technique). In this case, Underwater Music actually consists of older recordings than the Lisbon String Trio series, as well as than recent Rodrigues string albums such as Xenon, Blattwerk & Nepenthes hibrida. Discussed in May with "String Theory" Xenon was Incidental Projections, another string trio — but with two cellos. That initiated the subject for me, but Underwater Music, which adopts the viola-cello-bass format, had already been recorded in Berlin in "Spring" 2016 (details not given), not so very long ago in the context of album releases, but prior to all of these others, and basically a year prior to the Lisbon String Trio series. I had thought that the "underwater" term might refer to the techniques involved, perhaps to a literal use of water (further suggested by the watery cover art), but now I'm guessing that it refers to a notion similar to stocks or real estate being "under water," i.e. that the concerns of the album were greatly extended in various directions prior to its release. (So it's an example of what I recently called "time travel" in music via recordings.) Perhaps that's the case: There is a worthwhile "mission statement" included regarding the string trio format & new possibilities for ensemble improvisation: The statement could as well apply to all the albums just mentioned, based as they are around string trios or quartets. Underwater Music consists of nine brief tracks that seem to have the character of studies. They illustrate various ideas for interactions, particularly strongly at the start, and maybe fall off a bit in inspiration as the album proceeds. (The mixing, by Frangenheim, is usually easy to hear.) The trio of musicians pass through a wide array of territories, sketching a variety of interactive (& often contrapuntal) ideas, generally in specific ways. There is consequently a greater clarity of approach on Underwater Music than on the other albums named, which tend to go in multiple directions at once. Perhaps it's an ideal introduction, then, particularly for those for whom the style is new. (It's really hard for me to say: Since I've been time traveling, the style isn't new.) [...] 16 October 2017. Todd McComb's Jazz Thoughts


Three rather recent examples of the mastery of the Rodrigues family. "Underwater Music" is an excellent album recorded by the father, the son and the prominent German double bass player, Alexander Frangenheim, born 1959 in Wuppertal. The music, obviously, has a lot of common with the contemporary chamber music of Helmut Lachenmann or Giacinto Scelsi, even though is more powerful and more expressive  listen to the nal of "Underwater Music I". "Underwater Music II" is totally different it is a slow track, more in the spirit of Pierre Boulez music and Henryk Mikolaj Górecki's string quartets.
My favorite is the nearly 7 minutes long "Underwater Music V", with beautiful combination of pizzicato and bowed lines, combined with percussion effects etc. Excellent record, very highly recommended!!! Maciej Lewenstein

Like the Lisbon String Trio, this trio explores strings in a viola, cello and double bass trio configuration, from Creative Sources core players Ernesto Rodrigues, Guilherme Rodrigues, and Alexander Frangenheim, exploring a classic trio concept towards new expressions and boundaries, through spritely interaction and sonic expedition. (Squidco)