Vulgaris cs464









Correctly configured, the Portugese ensemble Octopus is an octet, and though named after the most common of the breed, this 8-tentacled orchestration of strings, flute, trumpet, piano, guitar, electronics and percussion, all using extended techniques, slides deftly and with incredible restraint through a large, detailed dark-water work of electroacoustic improvisation. Most of the players are Creative Sources regulars, and years of working together these musicians almost telepathically anticipate the movement of each other. Their patient development of this work is remarkable, allowing space and silence to envelop the sound as they carefully move forward, like their proverbial octopus cautiously assessing each transition in a careful slide along the ocean floor.
The attentive listener is rewarded by the sliding interactions of each tentacular motion, as it progresses and comes to a rest guided by horns and strings into deep water silence. It's beautiful collective improvisation and a great example of the work Rodrigues and company have been evolving over the last two decades, a kind of organic collective improvisation that has developed a unique and consistent voice. That they can perform this kind of improvisation live, here caught at O'culto da Ajuda in Lisbon in 2017, is a testament to the dedication of their effort, and a fitting tribute to the name of their collective. (Squidco)

Of course, Ernesto did recorded also with larger ensembles in 2017, like Suspensão (see below), or the present octet, Octopus Ensemble. "Octopus Vulgaris" was recorded at O'culto da Ayuda in Lisbon in June 2017. The octet has a very rich sound: in addition to strings there are: a trumpet, a flute, piano and psaltery, electronics and percussion. Still, the music is extremely tranquil and meditative. The Polish accent is provided by Anna Piosik, a formidable trumpet player. Maciej Lewenstein