Kuori cs565









Besides classical string albums, Rodrigues also continues to be very active with ensembles including electric guitar and/or electronics more generally: Indeed, for me the most ear-catching of his recent albums has been Kuori, a relatively short production from Lisbon in December 2017 featuring Lauri Hyvärinen & Abdul Moimême on electric guitars, with Carlos Santos on synthesizer joining Rodrigues to form a quartet. Moimême recently appeared (in October) in this space with Dissection Room (a non-Rodrigues Creative Sources album recorded four days after Kuori), and has been a regular participant on the label. I was not previously familiar with Finnish guitarist Hyvärinen (b.1986), however, although perhaps I should have been: He's recorded with Colectivo maDam (whose album with Rodrigues, Coluro, has been a favorite), as well as with e.g. guitarist Sandy Ewen (about whom more soon) & drummer Andrew Drury (yielding the duo album The Islands, recorded this past April, and appearing on Drury's Different Track Recordings). Kuori is another rather sparse album, as seems to be typical of Hyvärinen as well, but is occasionally loud or intrusive with its fascinating & detailed timbral combinations. It thus projects something of an ambient character (perhaps recalling e.g. Rodrigues' acoustic Sîn), but also involves a variety of extreme pitches, from very low to very high, usually subtly. There's occasionally something of a "spacey" quality as a result, and in fact I was reminded of an image like "Distant Radio Transmissions," which happens to be a Roscoe Mitchell title. (In this case, the title is in Finnish, meaning a shell or casing, as are the track names.) The sometimes prominent ringing & "echo chamber" effects yield that sometimes "distant" impression... sometimes over or across what seems to be a windswept landscape. Despite (or maybe because of) the usual quiet, an intense feeling of ritual gravity is also projected. (The resulting framing & sparseness is indeed more evocative of the timbral spanning of Coluro than it is of e.g. Skiagraphía, which is more "centered" & continuous in tonal sweep, despite the relatively less timbral variety — even rigor — of Kuori.) Needless to say, it's also difficult to grasp who is doing what, particularly amid the electronic manipulations, but the resulting sound is (consequently) quite coherent. It's also quite distinctive, despite involving a quartet of mostly known performers, so I'll have to keep an ear on Hyvärinen now. Todd McComb's Jazz Thoughts

Finnish guitarist Lauri Hyvarinen joins Portugues Creative Sources collective members Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, Abdul Moimeme on electric guitar, and Carlos Santos on synthesizer, for a studio album whose title refers to the shell of an object, a mysterious reference peeled away by this quartet through subliminal playing of intense technique and concentration. (Squidco)


A concise disc of improvisations for viola, two electric guitars and synthesizer, recorded in Lisbon 2017. The emphasis, as is most often the case with Rodrigues' dispatches, is on extended techniques — those sounds and actions previously determined to be "extra-musical", but which now seem to be among most instrumentalist's toolkits. A wooden creak and far off winds open out into a collection of soundings that slowly coalesce over time, gaining density and mass.
The opener, "Nila" (Blue? Indigo?) contains lots of open space and slow drawn-out hisses spiked with small creaks and cracks. Build and pause. A layering of drones and groans and morse-code beeping with whines and sibilance. It seems hardly the work of four independent minds, more like a sound organism growing of its own accord. Metallic grit and sour string vibration wind down into harmonic faints. "Kalkki" (Quicklime, think calcium) begins with twittering strings underscored by a slowly building buzz, as though a cable has come disconnected. A spate of sputtering erupts and the twittering gives way to overtone and hissing that sounds like breath being sucked in. The overtones waver a bit and seem to circle 'round each other. Repeated beeps. All four of the selections here have a palpable tension which resolves in logical ways, nudged rather than forced into being. The final low grouping of drones is especially interesting for its placement of differing textures alongside each other.
The title seems to refer to a hard shell, but also reminds me of the English word "quarry", a not unrelated idea. Cover images of what looks like pumice may also be imagined as photos of pock-marked alien moons. These ideas may be attached to the playing here, but are more playful than definitive. Jeph Jerman (The Squid’s Ear)