terça-feira, 27 de julho de 2010

A rare chance to see two important improvisers from Lisbon, Portugal

Photo: Ernesto Rodrigues with Carlos Santos, Bernhard Gal and Adriana Sá

Ernesto Rodrigues runs the Creative Sources label out of Lisbon  
(http://www.creativesourcesrec.com) and is a pivotal figure in the  
improv scene there. He and Manuel are visiting the West Coast for 
the  first time to take part in the Seattle Improvised Music Festival 
and are  continuing afterwords with a brief tour of the West Coast. 
Don't miss  this chance to catch them here in Portland. It will be a 
while before  they can make it out this way again. David Abel 
(passages at rdrop.com)

terça-feira, 6 de julho de 2010

European Scene

Photo: Ernesto Rodrigues with Nuno Torres and Ricardo Jacinto

Since the 1960s, when British musicians like Derek Bailey, Evan Parker and John Stevens forged a radical strain of non-idiomatic improvisation, abstract on-the-fly music making has gone through loads of permutations. But over the last decade or so, perhaps the biggest factor in the music’s growth has been non-musical. The Internet has allowed an international community of musicians to flourish and interact, and now it’s hardly surprising that strong players thrive in far-flung locales.

“It’s played an essential role in what concerns the edification of an international community, and we’re all part of it,” Portuguese violinist Ernesto Rodrigues said. In Lisbon, a city whose best-known musical export remains the emotionally fraught fado, he’s emerged as a distinctive voice of experimentation. Thanks to his Creative Sources label, the world is becoming an even smaller place.
Although Rodrigues grew up around the arts — his father was a playwright and his godfather was a classical musician — a childhood pal got him enrolled in a conservatory. While he studied the classics, he was pursuing a strong interest in experimental music and soon became influenced by the English school of free improvisation. “The relationship with my instrument is focused on textural elements,” he said. “Electronic music was an early influence on my approach to violin playing, which challenges traditional romantic concepts of the instrument through the use of preparations and micro-tuning.”
Rodrigues launched the label in 2001, pri- marily to document his own work. He quickly managed to survey a broader range of activity in Lisbon with recordings that featured guitarists Manuel Mota and José Oliveira, pianist Gabriel Paiuk, bassist Margarida Garcia and his son, cellist Guilherme Rodrigues, among others. Much of the work subscribes to a minimal, gestural style of free improvisation, although Rodrigues recog- nizes a distinctly Mediterranean quality, “that one doesn’t find outside the country. There’s generally some feeling of contemplation and lyricism,” he said.
Before long the strength of the work began attracting others, and now, with a catalog that boasts more than 50 titles, Creative Sources not only represents the state of the art of improvisation in Europe — with work from people like Axel Dörner (Germany), Stéphane Rives (France), Ingar Zach (Norway) and Alessandro Bosetti (Italy) — but in other locales as well, including the United States, Japan and Lebanon. Now Lisbon has become an important stop on any international itinerary, and early this year Rodrigues will be touring the United States with Mota. Peter Margasak (Down Beat)