Conspiratorial and fulminate things happen cs776









Back in August 2019 I'd started a new page of entries here with a relatively extended discussion of Mycelial Studies, a double album from Udo Schindler with Ernesto & Guilherme Rodrigues (calling themselves "S2R"), and a release that already showed a progression from its first to second set/volume, i.e. toward a richer set of interactions, filamental multi-relations, spectral overtone correspondences varying across different tapestries, a flexible ongoing exploration of the affordances of spatial-musical ratios.... And now there's a second double album, with Nuno Torres (alto saxophone) joining the trio to form a quartet: Conspiratorial and fulminate things happen again consists of two sets recorded (around Munich) on consecutive dates, now November 2022, the first (studio) also seeming more preliminary than the second (live) — which is also longer, well over an hour of intricate timbral explorations. So especially with these prolific musicians, I do sometimes have difficulty orienting myself on "use" around specific releases, but as exploration per se, the (always preliminary...) results here are both ambitious & successful in the sense of finding new (vectorial, that is to say, in the sense of arising via musical motion, rather than static relations...) timbral combos. (That one might characterize such activity as conspiracy only adds to the fun... following the more literary fulminations of the studio date, surely something of a "get to know you" session for the quartet formation....) And as noted of Schindler — e.g. most recently in February's review of Rhapsodic Topologies — the addition of a third part to his typically detailed duo interactions does occur less frequently, as it increases considerably the textural intricacy & combinatorial possibilities (for overtone-interval relations). But as noted of Mycelial Studies a few years back, the two Rodrigueses can also almost sometimes seem to be one (string) performer, giving the trio exploration something of the sense of an augmented duo. Or "could" seem... as Guilherme does tend to assert more personality these days, including by introducing lyrical content low in the texture again here.... Yet the more obvious change is to a quartet via Torres: Of course the combinatorics increase considerably, and so the possibilities sketched as a result also end up seeming that much more arbitrary, in the sense that the "space" of their interaction is so much larger... i.e. akin to a few sketched lines across a very broad canvas. (But the music itself is not generally sparse.) Torres is also a significant choice, not only keeping the numbers toward the Portuguese side, but already as a participant on what has become something of an obscure classic for me (from 2016), the quartet album New Dynamics: I've subsequently come to associate these sorts of two horns & two strings ensembles with Ernesto Rodrigues in general, although note that there it's bass rather than cello (i.e. arguably a "simpler" configuration, still evoking a jazz ground). So Conspiratorial and fulminate things happen develops such an (overlapping) style of polyphony as well. And the (live) second volume indeed opens with a rather polyphonic tapestry, delicate across a sort of four-way surface, calm intensity (& focus).... But there's also more of a "concentration" of forces to come, less polyphonic per se, but cultivating distinctive timbral composites, building to more in the way of personal expression across a scenic environment (itself of low growling & extended hisses), e.g. quasi-"zoo" calls emerging (as synthetic novelty, instead of via mimesis...) through the also-substantial third track.... There's thus a sense of musical rhetoric — sometimes dramatic, even ominous... — developed as well. (Plus "urban sounds," e.g. traffic, polyphony & mediations....) All while seeking a kind of continuity (of "melody" even, perhaps...), a simmering intensity that eventually runs its course — after having taken many twisting turns & detours along the way. (But do note that Schindler is also on reeds only, clarinets & alto sax, the latter mirroring Torres.... So there's more timbral focus here in general than in some other investigations.) And yes, it can be a challenge to jump into the music, yet it's not sonically overwhelming, while rewarding close attention. ("Impressionistic" is probably a good adjective, and much spectral music does seem to recall impressionism....) I also don't end up with a coherent affective response (here anyway...), but I guess I do very much want to be a part of its (ongoing) fulmination of conspiracies. There's far more that can happen. Todd McComb's Jazz Thoughts