quarta-feira, 16 de junho de 2010

Photo: Ernesto Rodrigues with Carlos Bechegas and Lino Neves

Ernesto Rodrigues and Manuel Mota may be standing on top of a very strong tradition in what concerns the relations between an arco string instrument and a guitar: the one introduced before the Second World War in improvisation by Stephane Grapelli and Django Reinhardt with the Quintet of the Hot Club de France. They certainly come from that heritage, even if aesthetically we can’t find any other common point besides the same naturalness in terms of sound and interaction. Like what happened with those two great figures, the extraordinary thing is that Rodrigues and Mota backgrounds couldn’t be more different. The violist had classical training and went through free jazz before arriving to the non-idiomatic music he now embraces, and the guitarrist learned to pluck his ax by himself, moving his path from a minimalist-like drone work and re-discovered fingerstyle in the Delta blues based music.
And that’s what characterizes this duo: even if free in form, even if inovative in terms of vocabulary and the technical procedures used, the music they play has a strong sense of history. Elements of post-serialism and of the trademark conceptions of Xenakis and Lachenmann melt in some way with echoes of Robert Johnson’s playing, and jazz stylings connects with references coming from the written European music of the two last centuries. This meeting of cultures could seem bizarre, but it’s so interiorized by both Ernesto Rodrigues and Manuel Mota that it’s not a matter of fusion or collage. It’s like this music always existed, ready to be performed, as something that is only the result of a continuity and a simultaneity of musical data. Hybrids are the natural cultural objects in this beginning of the 21st century.
.. Rui Eduardo Paes

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