exaíphnes cs310

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[...] Foi de certa maneira o inverso que aconteceu com “Exaiphnes”, outro registo recente de Miguel Mira. Este violoncelista e demais intervenientes de Portugal, Ernesto Rodrigues, Guilherme Rodrigues e Abdul Moimême (Rui Horta Santos de seu verdadeiro nome), permitiram ao grego Thanos Chrysakis que imprimisse a marca da sua cultura numa abordagem musical que habitualmente procura a universalidade, ou pelo menos uma certa distância relativamente a regionalismos: a da corrente reducionista e “near silence”.
É esse, de resto, um dos factores que tornam este título da lisboeta Creative Sources tão especial. O outro é a dramatização / encenação que emerge da organização sonora, algo de pouco usual nesta área da música e que ganha ainda maior significado por ter sido de elaboração espontânea e intuitiva. Ainda que esta circunstância a relacione com alguma música erudita contemporânea, aquela que se deixou contaminar pela tradição popular. Rui Eduardo Paes (Jazz.pt)

I haven’t had much time to review of late. I also find it difficult to understand and appreciate some of the albums that come my way. There’s just so much music out there and a lot of it sounds the same. Not so with Exaíphnes, sent to me by the wonderful and verstatile Thanos Chrysakis, whose music both solo and collective I’ve enjoyed over many years. This is such a wonderful offering – any problems around how to approach contemporary idioms are left behind as we listen to what is, simply, good music, a reality on its own, inhabiting its own space and obeying its own inner formal logic.
Exaíphnes means ‘suddenly’ or ‘unexpectedly’ which is odd because there were no shocks or sudden events as far as I could make out. No need, as Paul Virilio fears with so much of today’s fast and furious art, for the armchair to become the fighter pilot’s cockpit. Restraint (excuse my ignorance of Greek) would have been a far more appropriate title because Exaíphnes flows without too many sudden twists and turns. The only unexpected  thing is the title. I know now that it  refers to something social – to how the musicians were taken by surprise at what they had created, at the unfolding of their own processes.
There are three tracks, all played by a very tight band, each recognisable as the distinctive music of that ensemble. Most listeners will notice this as the first of the album’s many strengths. In track I, for example, with its nuances of ritual, you become familiar with the sounds very quickly, with their shapes and articulations, to the point that individual parts and overall coalescence become of equal weight, one of the hallmarks of a sound ensemble. There is compactness and consistency, fine interplay and responsiveness and few if any little flights of fancy towards morphological impoverishment. This relaxes the listener but keeps the ear keen. Instrumentation comes over as clever orchestration. The recognisability of the electric guitar is, wisely, well masked. To be honest I don’t really need to unpick too many strands from the work because I can guarantee that any listener to new music will immediately appreciate the high standards of this ensemble’s work. If this is free improvisation, and I think it is, there’s a deep understanding of emergent form, however abstract and indeterminate the organisation, an underlying implicate order, a holomovement, foregrounded by a distinctive ensemble sound which sets this work apart from a lot of what I’ve heard in the idiom. In addition to the variety and pace of the music, track I has a ‘proper’ ending to the piece – a gentle quiet diminuendo.
Track II opens with a beautifully sustained textural exploration which could, like the track itself, have spun out its formal properties over a much longer duration, such was the musical interest. This track in particular had something of the orient going on, eastern-flavoured drums, gongs and a windy blown thing of unknown origin. Very inventive. Yet there’s no percussionist as such listed nor any strictly categorised percussion instruments so the duties must have been shared using extended techniques and sustained timbres. Track III offers again an excellent blend of percussive sounds in which everything is wholesome and consistent, the kind of consistency one expects from conventional  instruments. There is also, as you listen over time, a very gentle collective touch where nothing abrasive is allowed to intrude.
My only criticism is directed at a possible weakness towards the end, where the music strays, becomes a bit directionless, a common problem in freely improvised music – if that’s what we have here – as if everyone is waiting and anticipating that the others will come to an end. But the many strengths of the music easily outweigh this small blip.
I can’t recommend the album highly enough. Even though tracks I and II are in my opinion too short, which unbalances the album a little, this instrumental ensemble is quite masterful in its simplicity and utterly convincing throughout. It all sounds like an album played by a seasoned band made up of the same personnel and who have been playing together for ages. That tells you something about the music. James Wyness (Fouter & Swick)

?ecký rodák Thanos Chrysakis letos sice zm?nil bydlišt? z Londýna na B?lorusko, ale cesty za hudebními setkáními provozuje stále stejn?. EXAÍPHNES je materiál nato?ený v portugalském Lisabonu se ?tve?icí tamn?jších špi?kových improvizujících instrumentalist? (Ernesto Rodrigues – viola; Abdul Moimême – elektrická kytara; Guilherme Rodrigues – violoncello; Miguel Mira – kontrabas). Máme zde tradi?ní model alba vzešlého z volné improvizace, tedy další d?kaz jevu, jak se ta d?íve zvaná „neidiomatická“ improvizace dnes bere již jako zavedený idiom ?i dokonce jako folklór jisté skupiny pozemš?an?. Hudba na tomto albu je p?íjemn? táhlá a vždy hezky pomalu graduje ?i se postupn? rozpadává. Trojice smy?c? s elektrickou kytarou tu vytvá?ejí plnokrevné struktury tón?, šum? a r?zn? pravidelnému pulzování. Thanos Chrasakis od klavíru zpo?átku vystupuje z celkové hudební hmoty výrazn?ji se sólem pro ru?ní šleha? na kávu, postupn? ale na intenzit? ubírá, nenápadn? ob?as p?ejímá také roli perkusí. S harfou pak ješt? lépe splývá s celkem. Celé se to p?íjemn? poslouchá a vlastn? je sympatická i opravdu neupovídaná celková stopáž nedosahující p?l hodiny. Ovšem snadno lze poznamenat, že pod sluncem se nic nového neobjevilo.
Na své nové sólové desce Above the Hidden Track an Endless Blaze vydané na vlastní zna?ce je Thanos Chrysakis podstatn? sd?ln?jší, co se hudebního výrazu tý?e (obal je na texty skoupý naprosto standardn?, avšak ve prosp?ch grafického designu). Je to série t?inácti elektronických skladeb pracujících s opravdu širokou škálou efektování a syntezátorového processingu. Výchozí zdroje pocházejí velmi ?asto spíše z akustických sfér, jsou to z?ejm? r?zné terénní nahrávky, lze ale zaznamenat také i jakési sborové zp?vy zmutované tak, že o jejich p?vodním smyslu lze jen fantazírovat. Se zvuky klasi?t?jších instrument? se tu ovšem pracuje také, p?edevším se všemi možnými perkusemi. Samply r?zných kovových bicích nástroj?, xylofon?, vibrafon?, marimb a kdoví?eho dalšího využívá nap?íklad skladba Interstellar Sacrament, salvy nepravidelných rytm? v mnoha partech s dominující epilepticky kabaretní marimbou tak snadno p?ipomenou i n?co z pozdních synclavierových kompozic Franka Zappy. ?ast?ji se nám tu ale m?že vybavit jiný stejn? významný velikán progresivní hudby, Sun Ra. P?estože na tomto CD máme kosmickou psychedelii již další generace, je stejn? opojná a podmanivá.
Krásn? strukturované polyrytmy realizované sytými elektroakustickými ?i elektronickými zvuky, které d?lají ve stereoobrazu výživné ale ne nep?íjemné psí kusy. Pom?r digitální ?istoty a lo-fi zvukové špíny je na tomto albu výjime?n? promyšlený a lze ho v tomto ohledu doporu?it jako velmi obsažný studijní materiál pro všechny hudebníky experimentující s elektronikou, pohybuje se od tribáln? ambientních struktur až k noisovým vrstvám, syntezátorovým víceoscilátorovým houpavým a bublavým proces?m a klidn? až glitchovým rytmizacím. A u sekvenceru našel Chrysakis také n?jaké ty nové „vrtáky do hlavy“. Tohle je opravdu skv?lá práce, v rámci pomyslné žánrové škatulky opravdu zábavná už na první poslech i na mnoho dalších. Jean Faix (HisVoice)

Der griechische Komponist Thanos Chrysakis verlangt seinen HörerInnen in der Regel ziemlich viel ab, schroffe Soundwelten treffen auf anspruchsvolle Konzeptionen – mitunter schmeißt da auch eine aufgeschlossene Hörerin die experimentelle Flinte ins Neutönerkorn. Dennoch mehren sich die Stimmen, die neben Chrysakis’ Kompromisslosigkeit und Fokussiertheit auch den enormen qualitativen Anspruch seiner Arbeit hervorheben und folgerichtig seine Außergewöhnlichkeit würdigen. Bei »Exaiphnes« steht der Komponist aber nicht an erster Stelle, es ist eine dreiteilige Suite für ein Quintett, das neben Chrysakis am Klavier und der Harfe noch Ernesto Rodrigues an der Viola, Abdul Moimême an der elektrischen Gitarre, Guilherme Rodrigues am Cello und Miguel Mira am Kontrabass umfasst. Bemerkenswerterweise geizt das Booklet mit der Kompositionsangabe, auch auf seiner Website schweigt sich Chrysakis aus, wir müssen also von einer Gruppenimprovisation ausgehen, worüber sich allerdings auch internationale Rezensenten nicht ganz sicher sind. Zurecht, denn »Exaiphnes« – was allem Anschein nach Plötzlichkeit oder Unerwartetheit bedeutet – klingt kaum nach den üblichen Impro-Klischees, viel zu homogen passen die drei Stücke zueinander, viel zu konzentriert ist das Zusammenspiel, das sich überhaupt keine Stimmungsschwankungen erlaubt, viel zu verdichtet ist der Gesamteindruck. Wo andere derartige Ensemblewerk Mühe haben, die geneigte Hörerin nach fünf Minuten noch bei Laune zu halten, da hat man nach den insgesamt 25 Minuten von »Exaiphnes« noch immer nicht genug gehört, so stringent bauen sich hier Stimmung und Sogwirkung auf. Auch wenn es letztendlich ein Gruppenwerk ist, so ist es doch ganz sicher die koordinierende und qualitätssichernde Hand von Chrysakis, die »Exaiphnes« die besondere Güte verleiht. Curt Cuisine (Skug)

By focusing exclusively on the physical characteristics of their joint exhalations deprived of intellectual appendages, in just over 27 minutes this quintet shows a remarkable commitment to the attainment of an intermutual fullness. It is interesting to note how the “all strings” setting gives birth to a cycle of aural frames that, intermittently, make us forget about the actual acoustic origin, notwithstanding the auricular membranes greeting swelling waves, squealing pitches, prismatic upper partials and, generally speaking, vibrational wisdom. Truly prominent, in fact, is the contingency of varyingly shaded layers of canorous emission and an environment that seems to act more as a shelter than an additive for that brain-activating coalescence.
If you’re used to incorrigibly looking to single out instruments during an improvised performance, the point is going to be totally missed in this case (although sharp ears can discern the sources with relative ease). However, the real preciousness conveyed by Exaíphnes is explicated by its impermeability against anal-retentive analysis and aesthetic judgement, all the while retaining a sense of modest beauty. We reiterated the spinning of the CD, always with the same result: being surrounded by ever-fascinating frequencies within an overall atmosphere of implied (or less) gestural awareness. Everything exists in the moment, combining for the time needed to suggest a constructive coexistence; and then disappears mysteriously, without a rational explanation for that impermanent charm. Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

Exaíphnes (apparently meaning "suddenly") was recorded in Lisbon this past January, and features Aural Terrains label leader Thanos Chrysakis on piano & harp, together with Ernesto Rodrigues, his son Guilherme, Moimême again, and Miguel Mira on bass. It's a short album, clocking in at 27 minutes, and features Chrysakis's classical sense of form, in a three movement work: There are ringing tones, trying to mark time, fading into a mythical past: A booming foghorn yields to jingling, a distant caravan comes closer: Squeaks shudder, buzzes whistle, and the event moves into the past before we ever seem to catch up with it. Exaíphnes thus has a rather distinctive sound for a Rodrigues album, but Chrysakis's sonorities are also given something of the "cloud" treatment. It's an enjoyable, sometimes sudden(?) ride. Todd McComb (Todd McComb's Jazz Thoughts)

This album matches Chrysakis, playing the piano and the harp, with Portuguese viola player Ernesto Rodrigues, cellist Guilherme Rodrigues, double bass player Miguel Mira (who plays the cello in sax player Rodrigo Amado Motion trio), and electric guitarist Abdul Moimême. This free-improvised session was recorded in Lisbon on January 2015.

These three improvised pieces, totalling a dense 27 minutes, work an impressive and profoundly rich, all-strings sonic spectrum. This patient, methodical investigation of the unique, shared timbral spectrum, the physical characteristics of the stringed instruments and their wooden bodies keeps exploring more and more nuanced layers, detailed colors and shades and vibrating-resonating overtones. All the instruments sound as one, massive unity, organically fit in the ever expanding sonic puzzle that reaches surprising depths in the longest, and most minimalist and quiet third piece. Eval Hareuveni (The Free Jazz Collective)