Late Summer |cs230

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naturellement, le fait de retrouver le tromboniste Radu Malfatti entouré des cordes d'Ernesto Rodrigues (alto) et de l'ordinateur de Ricardo Guerreiro remet en tête le fameux trio que le souffleur formait il y a quinze ans avec Durrant et Lehn sur les disquesBeinhaltung et Dach ; pourtant le rapprochement, s'il n'est pas complètement vain – davantage que la fine pyrotechnie de Lehn, le travail de tramage qu'opère Guerreiro, par exemple, évoquerait celui de Klaus Filip (dans Imaoto ou Building Excess) – atteint vite ses limites... C'est à Lisbonne, au lendemain d'un concert commun et lors de deux sessions consécutives (les 21 et 22 septembre), dans deux studios distincts, que le trio s'est retrouvé : les deux disques qui rendent compte de ces séances d'enregistrement recèlent chacun, avec une qualité toute paysagère, quarante minutes de la discrète rumeur d'un monde. Le silence habité qui règne, ni aride ni crispé, est celui de l'attention – nocturne, minutieuse, d'une certaine sensualité lente, comme perméable au climat de cet été finissant et aux sons extérieurs. Posément réparties, les interventions des musiciens opèrent en rehauts, en respirations, et si la présence de Malfatti (paradoxale dans son retranchement) agit comme une influence, le groupe n'en est pas plus tétanisé que l'auditeur qui trouve où circuler, silencieux, en chaussettes... Est-ce pieds nus que l'on écoutera le live du 20 septembre au Musica Viva Festival ? Le label du tromboniste, B-Boim, l'a conservé sous le titre Shimosaki. Guillaume Tarche (Le Son du Grisli)

Late Summer may be the name of the album, but it also works nicely on this calm, quiet winter day. Stillness is required for an appreciation of this music, a soft blending of Ernesto Rodrigues’ viola, Radu Malfatti’s trombone, and Ricardo Guerreiro’s fragile sine waves and computerized hums. 

Over the course of two 40-minute tracks, the trio exercises superhuman patience and restraint. There are no loud or sudden movements; everything is quietly calculated and deployed. The faintest whisper of breath through trombone, the slightest touch of bow to string, all riding above Guerreiro’s barely-there electronics, pitches that are often at the very cusp of our hearing range, tones so high or low that they hardly seem to originate from somewhere outside of our own heads. Drawn away by the smallest distraction, you can totally miss this music. Headphones are a must. 

If Late Summer sounds boring, I say it’s all in how you approach it. It is music that demands time and attention—background noise in the wrong environment is enough to completely cancel out much of these delicate improvisations. Not that a state of pure silence is a feasible listening situation, either. In fact, what becomes fascinating about Late Summer is the way it sort of permeates your listening field, how you become unsure of whether certain sounds are the subtlest gestures from one of the musicians, or something seeping in from elsewhere in the house. The second piece even further amplifies this effect: the external sounds of traffic and birds and people in their recording environment are also mixed in, further blurring the lines between musical intention and mere circumstance. 

Rodrigues and Malfatti in particular are known for their immense restraint and desire to subtract any perceived superfluities in sound or gesture. The music they make is not for everyone. Some may even question whether such extreme minimalism even constitutes music. But Late Summer serves as an important reminder. In our frenetic modern lives, it can be difficult to slow down to Late Summer’s pace. It almost seems paradoxical, perverse even, that the second recording appropriates rushed city sounds, deploying them to its own unhurried, introspective ends. Finding stillness and a few moments of contemplation in our daily lives is often a tall order. Late Summer makes a stand for these fleeting qualities, things we let slip away at our own peril: attention to detail, awareness of space, time to sit, room to breathe deeply and exhale. Dan Sorrells (Free Jazz)

“Late Summer”, que no contexto da actividade do violetista português nestes últimos tempos só posso entender como a sua homenagem pessoal ao ideólogo do minimalismo improvisacional extremo, Radu Malfatti, agora que dele parece ter-se distanciado. Não deixa de ser revelador que este duplo álbum registado com o próprio Malfatti (e com Ricardo Guerreiro, à semelhança de “Shimosaki”, edição da B-Boim) seja o menos interessante do lote.

O que não surpreende, de resto. O grande problema do trombonista alemão foi nunca ter compreendido o carácter ambíguo do gestualismo na improvisação. No seu conflito com o expressionismo do free jazz e da música improvisada “old school” (aquela mais próxima da matriz jazzística), Malfatti entende o gesto como a demasia da expressão e não algo com uma multiplicidade de nuances – tal como, aliás, nos demonstra o Butô japonês. Um episódio confirma esta sua postura – no final de um concerto do trio que a presente formação inevitavelmente recorda devido ao semelhante instrumentário, a que manteve com Phil Durrant e Thomas Lehn, criticou neste último o “excesso” de movimentação física com o argumento de que tal histrionismo não era um factor de “silêncio”.

O que até está em contradição com o que ouvimos na segunda longa peça de “Late Summer”: muito à maneira de John Cage, os sons envolventes do bulício urbano são incorporados na narrativa musical. A transversalidade do reducionismo com o noise está aqui muito evidente, mas o procedimento não terá sido entendido como tal pelo músico. É, no entanto, de presumir que assim o assumiram os intervenientes nacionais, desse modo equilibrando uma colaboração em que se verificam algumas concessões relativamente aos postulados pessoais de Radu Malfatti. Rui Eduardo Paes (Jazz.pt)

A 2-disc set containing a pair of 40-minute slices from two days of performances of Rodrigues (viola), Malfatti (trombone) and Guerreiro (computer), both very beautiful. It's interesting to consider the effect of the presence of musicians like Malfatti (or Sean Meehan in the US) on any proceedings in which they take part. You know that they have a set range within which they're comfortable playing and, further, know that that's more or less what they're going to do. Malfatti's not about to go all efi on anyone. Chances are, as a musical partner, you bend his way (not an off-putting proposition as what Malfatti brings to an event is very rich and valuable). Conceivably, you set up in opposition but my guess is that Malfatti's pretty implacable--an attempt I'd be curious to hear, however. Rodrigues' range of attacks is wider but he's certainly at home with the very considered, terse realm that Malfatti inhabits (I'm not as familiar with Guerreiro) and the result here is very fine. A plane overhead is perfectly and quickly echoed by the trombone; there are a number of super-low growls that I admit loving to an absurd degree. Other exterior sounds--voices, traffic, doors, laughter-- are picked up by thin scrapings of strings, transparent sine layers, creaks of chairs. In some respects, it's a very "dach"-like experience. Activity on the second day, at least what's extracted here, bares a bit more bristle, the computer sputtering and pinging, the horn breathier. The outside world, while still present, is less of a factor, foregrounding the trio, perhaps encouraging a modicum of greater activity and dynamics, providing enough of a contrast to justify the second disc. I might slightly prefer Disc One due to that extra sense of adjacent activity, but both are quite strong, unforced and very, very satisfying. Excellent work. Brian Olewnick (Just Outside)

L'été dernier, en septembre, les musiciens portugais Ernesto RODRIGUES (alto) et Ricardo GUERREIRO (électronique) — dont les discographies ne cessent de croître à un rythme frénétique, rencontraient Radu MALFATTI (trombone). Les deux premiers sont réputés pour leurs nombreuses improvisations libres non-idiomatiques, le dernier est un des papes du minimalisme contemporain, et son influence est des plus déterminantes sur ce disque. Une rencontre un peu inattendue, mais qui semble avoir convaincu chacun des musiciens puisque quelques semaines après la sortie de ce double CD nommé Late Summer sur le label de RODRIUGUES, c'est MALFATTI qui publiait un enregistrement de cette même rencontre, intitulé Shimosaki. Sur cette publication, deux improvisations enregistrées deux soirs d'affilée. Les deux se ressemblent, et ressemblent également au disque paru sur b-boim. Les trois musiciens jouent peu et à un très faible volume. Un volume qui égale à peu près celui de l'environnement extérieur, un environnement accueilli avec attention (des bruits de pas aux avions en passant par des aboiements) et complètement intégré aux performances. Du coup, c'est la frontière entre le public et l'environnement qui se trouve abolie, entre l'espace intérieur à la représentation et ce qui lui est extérieur. Et au sein de cet espace protéiforme, où on ne sait plus très bien ce qui relève de la performance ou non, toute une foule de détails, d'interventions microscopiques qui se succèdent sans ordre, un fourmillement
très espacé par de grands silences. C'est d'ailleurs cette variété des textures et cette diversité formelle des interventions qui marquent bien la différence entre ces improvisations et les compositions de MALFATTI. Pas de répétition mécanique des mêmes notes ici, dans le contenu, le vocabulaire de l'improvisation libre non-idiomatique est repris ici au service d'une improvisation minimaliste (radicale) dans la forme. Un disque qui joue sur les détails, sur la fragilité du son, sur le silence (jamais réellement présent en tant que tel, toujours perturbé), et sur la frontière entre le musical et le sonore, la représentation et son environnement. Une belle rencontre. Julien Héraud (Révue & Corrigée)

Contrasting with Trees’ relatively thick textures and dynamic ranges is the double CD Late Summer [cs230], with Ernesto Rodrigues, Radu Malfatti on trombone, and Rodrigues’ frequent collaborator Ricardo Guerreiro on computer. This is an extremely subtle set of music in two long tracks notable for their thorough-going porosity. The deliberate interstices between the musicians’ sounds leave significant and frequent points of entry for ambient sounds to seep in—bits of distant conversation, traffic, someone knocking at a door. Much of the music transpires in a liminal zone poised at the edge of hearing, and it’s almost a shock when a harmony briefly emerges from the trombone and viola. Daniel Barbiero (Percorsi Musicali)

Two discs worth of ultra quiet minimalist music from this trio of viola, trombone and computer. Anyone familiar with Malfatti's work or the Wandelweiser aesthetic will know, at least partly, what to expect: extremely quiet improvisations that could be described as exercises in playing along with a room. There's a lot of sound coming from everywhere except the players: traffic and work sounds from outside, chair squeaks and building groans, bits of almost within ear-shot conversations, and at least one rather loud plane. Within this rich field of quotidian sound, the trio patiently deploys their arsenal of calm. The seemingly random string pluck or bump, trombone pop and held tone, and hum buzz or crackle from the computer seem to fit in and often interact with the room and outdoor sonics, sometimes to (I'm sure unintended) comic effect. The computer sounds are often hard to differentiate from what could also be a passing bus or idling truck. I find this a perfect example of John Cage's notion of music that wouldn't be interrupted by the sounds from its surroundings. The players and the place meld together as one sonic event.
Both discs contain one long improvisation each, with a date for a title. The second disc has much less outside "noise", perhaps recorded in a quieter public place or a studio (there is only minimal information on the sleeve). This recording allows for closer inspection of the player's sounds alone, barring, of course, whatever sound is happening in one's playback space. On headphones it's a long stretch of quiet interaction and soft surprise. Clicks, pops, hisses, scrapes and hums are tossed over a plain field, where they stick out despite their minimal volume. Jeph Jerman (The Squid's Ear)

Além de Ernesto Rodrigues (viola) e Ricardo Guerreiro (laptop), este disco conta com a presença de uma lenda viva da improvisação livre europeia - o histórico Radu Malfatti, no trombone. Neste disco duplo a homenagem ao veterano austríaco (pioneiro da improvisação, percursor do reducionismo) faz-se pela imposição absoluta do silêncio. Assim, a presença dos instrumentos passa a ser quase microscópica, ficando a música despida até ao tutano, numa contenção brutal. Este ritual de celebração do silêncio - e de Malfatti - prolonga-se durante uns exactos quarenta minutos, em cada um dos discos. Nuno Catarino (Bodyspace)