contre-plongée [six cuts for string quartet]| cs011
é o adjectivo que demarca toda a acção deste quarteto
de cordas protagonizado pelo violinista Ernesto Rodrigues (violino e viola);
Gerhard Uebele (violino); Guilherme Rodrigues (violoncelo) e José
Oliveira (guitarra acústica e interior de piano). Concentrado fortemente
na penetração de espírito, muito por culpa dos momentos
silenciosos entre as seis “precisas” peças que compõem
este trabalho. «Contre-Plongée» coloca o ouvinte
numa zona espaço-temporal neutra, tanto pelas referências
imaginárias (por vezes complexas), como pelo sentido inesperado
que os sons chegam a assumir. O paralelismo com o cinema aqui expresso
(mais precisamente com a técnica fotográfica contre-plongée),
faz com que a “acção vista pelo ângulo inferior”
dos instrumentos crie inúmeras possibilidades sonoras emitidas
através das cordas. Conseguindo fazer com mestria qualquer coisa
de novo neste campo, Ernesto Rodrigues respeita enormemente a sua identidade
musical cada vez mais determinada e apurada. Carlos
Not taking its instrumentation into account, this album lands squarely within Ernesto Rodrigues’ average -- a demanding, intriguing and fascinating studio session, but not as gripping or involving as his previous release, the wonderful «Cesura». But as a new proposition for the string quartet format, it makes a much more powerful statement. This is not a string quartet in the traditional sense: there are two violins, one viola and one cello, but Rodrigues plays both violin and viola. The fourth player is José Oliveira, usually a percussionist in Rodrigues’ projects, but here playing acoustic guitar (often prepared) and occasionally scraping the strings of a nearby piano. «Contre-Plongée» is a French photo/cinema expression meaning “low-shot angle” or, within a sentence, “from below.” “From within” would have been more appropriate: surrounded by the scratching, tapping, brushing and -- yes -- occasional bowing, the listener has the distinct impression of sitting within one of the instruments -- or at the very least in the middle of the quartet, with the musicians sitting very close. The fact that the six pieces are titled “Cut1”, “Cut2”, etc., that they are presented in non-chronological order and that a graph at the back of the booklet puts them in sequence all imply that the music comes from a single 49-minute improvisation, broken down into six cuts and reassembled in a different order. If that is so, the editing job is seamless and the resulting “piece” makes as much (if not more) artistic sense than the original (and by programming the tracks in their namesake sequence, one can easily make the comparison). The whole piece is dense despite its ample use of silence, abstract and mysterious [...] François Couture (AMG)
I've always thought that most music including Ernesto and Guilherme Rodrigues - here exchanging sounds with Uebele's violin and Oliveira's inner piano and guitar - has a very definite "nocturnal" feel. Crawling and silently morphing into multiform spirits, this is a reproduction of what your mind and body experience during those moments when you revolve around yourself without finding a solution for anything. The vibration of metal and wood according to canons of unexpected aesthetics is lightly touching and concretely nerve-stimulating. The air is carved via those instrumental oddities that one wouldn't even expect to be used; instead, they reveal all their magic precisely at the due moment. It's like a rheumatic fever - bones crackling and all the rest - but the very same cause of discomfort rapidly becomes a much desired presence in the room. This quartet manages to reduce everything to a dire need of something, without knowing what that "something" actually is. Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)
On «Contre-Plongée», Rodrigues (violin, viola), Uebele (violin), Rodrigues (cello) and Oliveira (inside piano) continue the radical reinvention of music for strings that has dominated most of the releases on Creative Sources to date. As one component of their exploration of the possibilities of their instruments, the group bring into play extended playing techniques whose exploitation of new gestures and surfaces will doubtless chill the blood of any listener whose notions of musical probity remain defined by the dusty residua of the classical and romantic eras. However, what makes this and other recordings by the string players grouped around Creative Sources especially interesting is the combination of an avant-garde instrumentalism that embraces and develops the innovations of such figures from the world of new music as Helmut Lachenmann with a thoroughgoing repudiation of any element of control by documentary scores, the imperatives of indeterminacy, or other compositional devices. This use of advanced techniques (and a few more conventional sounds) in a free improvised context is seen to good effect on «Contre-Plongée». I suspect that the musicians have produced more extreme performances in their time; however, the quartet is alert, engaged, and responsive, and over the course of each of the six improvised "cuts" the collective interactions and constructions that comprise the group's extemporised dialogue prove consistently subtle and invigorating. «Contre-Plongée» is an excellent release that deserve a wide hearing. Wayne Spencer (Paris Transatlantic)
Time for some ass kissing. I’m an Ernesto Rodrigues fan. He is one of the only artists out there who can use minimalism in music and still paint an audio picture that I can understand. Yes, this is one of those recordings where you need to turn the volume up a little and wait for the sounds to come in when they feel like it. On this one, Ernesto joins a very unconventional “string quartet.” Unconventional because the instruments are not played in the fashion that they are traditionally employed. Not only that, but the inside “strings” of a piano are played as a string instrument. Neat aye? Well, add to that an improvisational session with all of these oddities just screeching and clawing their way in and out of existence in seconds flat, and you got yourself a real winner. (Neo-Zine)
sua obra “A Linguagem Cinematográfica”, o crítico
e teórico de cinema Marcel Martin advoga que os ângulos de
filmagem podem adquirir um significado psicológico particular.
Segundo este autor, o plano contrapicado ou contre-plongée “dá
em geral uma impressão de superioridade, de exaltação
e de triunfo, porque engrandece os indivíduos e tende a magnificá-los,
recortando-os no céu até os aureolar nas nuvens”.
musicians here hail from Lisbon, Portugal -- and are all trained traditionally
enough to know of the regard followers of so-called classical music hold
string groups, especially if they’re playing say, Beethoven or Schubert.
Yet the unorthodox explorers aren’t content to have this major contribution
to musical culture shoved into a sound museum.
cuarteto de cuerdas representa una de las cumbres de la expresión
musical en la tradición musical europea (la “música
clasica”). Ese mismo formato, en la libreimprovisación electroacustica,
poco tiene que ver.
Ernesto Rodrigues started his Creative Sources label somewhere in the
mid-90s he put a very clear stamp on improvised music. Each new record
illustrates his specific approach of improvised music and is a further
enrichment of his musical world. His improvisations are very much about
exploration of sound and texture, always in the context of groupimprovisation.
Because of this, unconventional playing techniques in order to create
new sounds are a common factor by all musicians involved. Of course they
not working on a catalogue of sounds that can be draw from the violin,
etc. First of all we have to deal here with delicate improvised music.
The Portuguese label Creative Sources has been releasing a formidable array of CDs of late – since 2004 alone, a dozen and counting. The titles are teasingly cryptic, the cover-art spare and beautiful; the music itself is ultra-minimalist improv, of a kind that, even though it involves acoustic instruments rather than laptops and the like, will probably appeal more to followers of the electroacoustic improv scene than fans of “traditional” free improvisation. Contre-Plongée is a “string quartet” album of sorts, featuring the father/son team of violinist/violist Ernesto Rodrigues and cellist Guilherme Rodrigues, plus violinist Gerhard Uebele and – no, not another fiddle, but José Oliviera on guitar and inside-piano. An earlier CS release was entitled Cesura – meaning both “cut” and “scar” – and the theme continues on Contre-Plongée, whose improvisations are dubbed “cuts.” The aesthetic is austere rather than lacerating, however: uneasy assemblages of rustles and whimpers and langorous rubbings, the musicians faintly grazing the surface of their instruments rather than penetrating further inside. Very rarely, a gesture sticks up out of the musical fabric – the little mew that pops up several times on cut 1, for instance – but for the most part the music is persistently quiet and undramatic: nothing really happens, yet something’s always happening. [...] it’s nonetheless an intriguing release that, as its title suggests (“en contre-plongée” means “from below,” as in a low-angled camera shot), offers a fresh perspective on string-quartet language. Nate Dorward (Bagatellen)
Avec beaucoup de patiente, les quatre instrumentistes transforment le silence en résonance et font jaillir d'elle des éclats qu'ils nouent plus ou moins lâchement. Tous les types de jeu et d'action sur l'instrument sont envisageables, le passé instrumental a perdu son évidence, l'instrument est abordé comme un nouveau-né. Les quatre instruments se trouvent donc transformés en caisses résonnantes qui réagissent à des ébranlements en réalité ou dans l'imaginaire, ces jeux conservent une part des capacités mélodiques des instruments; les trames musicales obtenues, à la fois percussives et mélodiques sont donc passionnantes, comme un violon qui posséderait une batterie: loin de la lettre, quelque chose de l'esprit de Max Roach. Noël Tachet (Improjazz)
Tout un monde de cordes triturées dans tous les sens pour faire découvrir une autre palette sonore autour d'une orchestration classique. Et tout cela dans une tension permanente. Jerôme Noetinger (Metamkine)
Ernesto Rodrigues (violon & violon alto), Gerhard Uebele (violon), Guilherme Rodrigues (violoncelle) et José Oliveira (guitare acoustique & intérieur d'un piano) forment un quatuor un corde qui n'en est pas vraiment un. Même si les informations inscrites sur le disque précisent qu'il s'agit d'un quatuor et que la musique est composée, l'instrumentation ne correspond déjà pas à la norme (généralement deux violons, un alto et un violoncelle), et rien ne semble rapprocher cette musique du quatuor en tant que forme musicale (composée généralement de quatre mouvements en forme sonate, rondo et scherzo).