Terraphonia cs579









An absolutely unique album that finds two creative musicians finding new ways to communicate. Lisbon's Abdul Moimême expresses himself through prepared guitar as he duets with the expansively thinking New York based saxophonist Patrick Brennan. In the first and title track, the two pull, push, strike, and blow any number of sounds from their instruments, but not without purpose. Each sound compliments the next, or the former, or even something yet to happen. It could be the distant amplified thump against the body of Moimême's guitar, to which Brennan reacts with short swirling lines, or the quiet squeak of the woodwind underscored by slashes of near white noise from the guitar.

This is hard to define music, but even when the harshest tones are at play, the duo presents them with care and precision. Brennan compliments Moimême's sudden tonal attacks with quickly formed ideas, while Moimême fills the silences that the saxophonist's leave with unexpected sounds. The track 'gotabrilhar' stands out, the short track, mid-album, features a buzzing-bee sax and a darkly lit landscape painted by a droning and moaning guitar. The Free Jazz Collective

«Collaborative differences can forge some serious alchemies,» says New York-based alto sax and cornet player Patrick Brennan on his spontaneously composed dialogues with Portugese experimental guitarist-sound artist Abdul Moimême. Brennan and Moimême recorded seven duets for their debut album as a duo, «Terraphonia», at at Namouche studios, Lisbon, in April 2018.
Brennan’s projects interfaces flexibly jointed compositional matrices with polyrhythm & collective improvisation, collaboration with Morrocan Gnawa musicians and exploration of multilinear orchestral conceptions via his solo saxophone project r?nin. Moimême studies saxophone with Brennan in the mid-nineties, but now experiments on the timbral and textual expanse of the two laid down, prepared electric guitars and objects attached to their bodies and strings.
There are indeed many bold attempts on «Terraphonia» to offer a new sonic alchemy here, one with no clear narrative or even building a tension . But more than that, Brennan and Moimême sketch a new and brave space-time continuum where silences, cryptic, fragmented sounds and enigmatic, resonant noises introduce a unique listening experience. While diving deeper into the attentive duets of Brennan and Moimême you may realize how both carefully adapt and soon expand, shape and sculpt the sounds and the inner syntax of each other, creating their own, untimely vocabulary and language without compromising their own sonic identities. Brennan surprises with brief glimpses into melodic veins on pieces like «Nilch’i . Telespire . Nilch’i» and «Mycellerate» while Moimême structures his own version of a melodic drone on «Nd? Enwegh? Ihe Ab??/No Two» and fascinating, sparse architecture on «Tactiludic». Eyal Hareuveni (salt peanuts)

Alto saxophonist Patrick Brennan joins his former student, Portuguese native and prolific recording artist, critic and talented manipulator of sounds Abdul Moimême, in a delightful and surprisingly accessible set of unique, highly abstract improvisations. Brennan’s sparse recording output through the years makes this thrilling recording worth the wait.
The six tracks are filled with odd sounds from Moimême’s two manipulated guitars played together simultaneously with “objects”. While they sometimes
appear as sculpted sound structures, they combine constantly shifting moods. Brennan’s wailing jazzinfused saxophone explores stylistic nooks, with thinly
blown spurts, his sound and approach uniquely his, as he adds fascinating riffs, blats, ruptures and even postbop lines while his counterpart explores timbre and variegated concoctions of another order.
Surprisingly, it all holds together, the dynamics fairly even, with the two interlocked as partners-in-sound.
Each piece is different in emphasis, often in subtle ways, so on “Mycellerate”, for example, Brennan is all over the horn, though generally restrained by volume, against a deep listening vibe. But while the volume
is often subdued, there is much going on from the fascinating Moimême, sounds so different it is difficult to cite influence or compare the end product to other abstract works. What is unusual, too, is the way the players integrate their sounds so although they seem, at first blush, to portray a kind of indifference to each other, they are actually perfectly attuned.
In the end, there is an attractive nihilism to the performance, as the tracks somehow curiously form a unified static whole, going nowhere fast, but never
losing the listener’s attention. Just when you think there is nothing new under the sun, Brennan and Moimême come to the rescue, with something not only different but also compelling. Steve Loewy (New York City Jazz Record)

The seven spontaneous pieces on Terraphonia defy clarification, let alone categorization. Brennan's alto saxophone is enigmatic and abstract; Moimême's guitars—of his own design—are played together, with bow, mallet, or hand, and prepared with various objects. The interaction between musicians is not any easier to explain than the music itself. Moimême's guitars behave as completely foreign devices; the territory they occupy is no more familiar than the instruments. Karl Ackerman (at All About Jazz chooses terraphonia as among the the top 10 recordings of 2019)

“Corralling the guitars-and-objects’ wide vibrations, clangorous shuffles and washtub-like pulsating clouts, Moimême sets up a surging continuum around and within a sequence in which brennan’s reed smears and split tones gnaw outwards. In an adversarial relationship with the guitarist’s dial twisting frails and metallic smashes throughout, the saxophonist’s reed motifs often also resemble aviary peeps or small animal-like clawing. Eventually though, as guitar string pressure builds, hollow resonations and clarion reed cries maintain the sequences’ staccato strength. As far away for a standard saxophone-and-guitar(s) session as can be imagined, for sheer audacity alone terraphonia deserves attention.” Ken Waxman (JazzWord)