Fantasy Eight cs714









"Fantasy Eight" is another all strings album by Ernesto and Guilherme, recorded actually by Guilherme Rodrigues in May 2021 at Vivaldisaal, Berlin. The Rodrigues family is joined by Julia Brüssel and Klaus Kürvers. The music is kind of suite/fantasy for a string quartet in 8 movements, in which the double bass replaces the second violin. Of course, it all sounds more like contemporary chamber music, and it is a contemporary chamber music, except that is to a great extend free improvised. All of the members of the quartet are technically and emotionally incredible -- the amount of techniques they demonstrate, the amount of ways, in which they can generate sounds from their instruments is breathtaking. Maciej Lewenstein

And Ernesto Rodrigues is starting to release more recordings from this year: I want to note especially the "string quartet" album Fantasy Eight (another shorter release, recorded in Berlin this past May), but also the "similar" followup to the quartet album Dis/con/sent (recorded in May 2018, as reviewed here in October 2018), Ulrichsberg (also recorded in May, but two weeks earlier). Starting from the latter, Dis/con/sent already had a direct followup in the digital-only Kühlspot Social Club (as mentioned here in December 2018, in an extended entry around violinist Dietrich Petzold), but this group (including Ernesto & Guilherme Rodrigues with Matthias Bauer on bass) obviously felt a need to continue, here in a less "noisy" rendition than e.g. the jagged bowed metal sounds of Dis/con/sent.... Indeed there's often more of a classical vibe, sometimes even tender or romantic, moving more into the ethereal & featuring (as expected) weird counterpoints. And there's more of a classical vibe to Fantasy Eight as well, featuring Julia Brüssel (violin, previously unknown to me...) & Klaus Kürvers (double bass, frequent Rodrigues collaborator...) joining the Rodrigueses in a similar quartet. Fantasy Eight also features short & evocative track titles, and might be regarded as something of a textural study, but the results are not only quite sophisticated technically (with a considerable level of ensemble coordination, given that this is improvised music), they retain an affective tension more or less throughout. (Perhaps I should also note the latest extended tapestry from the large IKB ensemble, Titanus giganteus: Once again, I don't really hear ethology per se in this beetle-inspired piece, but it's also unusually taut & vivid after some brief opening scuffling, so a highlight in that series, perhaps emerging from the excitement of being able to play together again, in that case just this past June....) One might compare such a series of miniatures with e.g. those of Vulcan by Stellari String Quartet (an ongoing group?) & its sense of ensemble, but Fantasy Eight projects its individual ideas more clearly & concisely. Beyond the classical counterpoint, then, the group also features various glissandi & twisting shapes, i.e. makes great use of the string resources, forging various webs of sound & affective relation — & more in an "erected" mode than "found," pace similar prior comments here. Rodrigues continues to perform in a variety of string quartets, but Fantasy Eight seems to take particularly conscious steps to develop a collective repertory (together with emotional resonance...) per se. (And I should probably also note that Kürvers was most recently mentioned here, also in the same December 2018 entry noted above, with Hexagon, another string album, also featuring various string bending around classical counterpoint....) I don't know the provenance of half the group, but there's also a sort of 20th century Eastern bloc feel to the string technique here, amid a relatively meaty sense of ensemble. Through its sophisticated harmonic combinations, Fantasy Eight thus also comes off as more substantial than its modest length. Todd McComb's Jazz Thoughts