Twrf neus ciglau

Ernesto Rodrigues, Rhodri Davies, Guillerme Rodrigues, Carlos Santos & Stéphane Rives

℗ 2009 Creative Sources - cs156


Se a impressão com que fiquei do concerto em que foram gravados estes 34 breves minutos (Música Portuguesa Hoje, CCB, 2008) não foi a melhor, devo dizer que em disco a música até funciona. São dois os planos associados pelos intervenientes (Rhodri Davies, Stéphane Rives, Ernesto Rodrigues, Guilherme Rodrigues e Carlos Santos), em alguns casos simultaneamente: uma gestão pontilhística das texturas e a sustentação de “drones” por várias camadas. Ainda assim, todos estes músicos já nos ofereceram mais gratificantes criações na área do chamado “reducionismo”. A esse respeito, a desilusão que na altura me provocou Davies – talvez “o” mais interessante harpista da música improvisada – confirma-se aqui.


Tadeusz Kosiek

Pierwszy dysk nagrany przez Ernesto i Guilherme Rodriguesow wespól z walijskim harfista I "elektronikiem" Rhodrim Daviesem francuskim saksofonista Stephenem Rivesem oraz portugalskim laptopista Carlosem Santosem, zawiera jedno nagranie zarejestrowane podczas ubieglorocznego festiwalu "Musica Portugesa Hoje". "Twrf Neus Ciglau" niczym szczególnym nie zaskakuje; ba, jawi sie wrecz jako wzorcowy reprezentant charakterystycznej dla nurtu EAI laminarnej improwizacji, jednak nie jest to plyta przecietna. Zapewne dlatego, ze muzykom udalo sie z leniwie plynacych warstw akustycznych i elektronicznych dzwieków zestawic nieustannie intrygujaca i brzmieniowo urozmaicona forme, której fragmenty zachwycaja trudno uchwytnym nieoczywistym pieknem.


Massimo Ricci - september 2009

This quintet was captured on tape at 2008 at Lisbon's "Música Portuguesa Hoje" festival. The instrumentation comprises harp, soprano sax, viola, cello and electronics, the character of the performance definitely oriented towards "disquietingly acoustic" regions, all sounds tactfully positioned in barely ruptured reticence.

The set begins with a subdued measured escalation of electroacoustic humus in which we already notice a series of minimal movements drawing our absorption closer. After five minutes or so, strings become the object of a deeper attention in a superb superimposition of opaque droning and minutely introspective percussion, solitary notes and meagre plucks slightly altering an otherwise semi-frozen inspection of the propagations of these sounds in a restricted space. The electronics remain perceivable amidst skilled spurts: they keep coming in and out, either shuddering or just audible, the unclothed beauty generated by the arc of a noiseless whisper, a mere unbroken hiss enhanced by the air flowing through the saxophone's conduits.

The upper partials, principally in the higher ranges of the instruments, constitute the cutting blade that filters humdrum off reflection, an ever-difficult task in an improvising group, yet in this case a nonexistent problem given the inner-ear depth shown by the participants. The alternating of piercingly scraping layers of raucously squealing pitches with sections whose quintessence can be individuated in a fusion of quasi-silence and wretchedly foggy reverberation is the very basis of a masterful despoliation of the harmonic tissue, often punctuated by impressive convergence of timbres that almost sound pre-planned but surely aren't. Those are the instances in which the music flourishes entirely and, at large, the validating paradigm of the superiority of responsive give-and-take as opposed to the routine-drenched execution of a well known practice — something that, for example, onkyo has come dangerously close to nowadays. In a word, we detect the wholesomeness that free improvisation should hypothetically warrant, a lost quality in the bulk of modern "art" where counterfeit commitment soon morphs into trendy posture.

In the last third of the program the musicians appear intent in finding a definite place for each instrument, not exactly infringing rules, rather continuing to look for the ideal balance between uneasiness and unprocessed resonance. The stridency characterizing the instinctive counterpoint around the 28th minute is an example of this, and the restlessness of never-resolving "chords" finally gives room to a sort of conclusion in which the breathing, although still restrained, becomes somewhat more regular, if always with an eye open, nerves not allowed to relax completely.

A significant piece of work, especially when considering that it was recorded live (luckily, audience and metropolitan noises — often seriously distracting factors — remained outside this time), Twrf Neus Ciglau easily ranks among the best in the recent cluster of releases by the horizon-expanding Creative Sources label.


François Couture

A single 34-minute improvisation with harp, soprano sax, viola, cello, and electronics, none of these instruments being used conventionally or producing instantaly-recorgnizable sounds. Restrained improv, where it is played and left unplayed are equally important, where sounds rarely clash, without actually falling down to complacency. Esthetical rapture.


Richard Pinnell

I usually shift colds really quickly. I get them bad but they don’t last long. This one is still here and it is still really getting me down. I feel like one big snotty tissue right now, and am getting fed up that they only make one flavour of Lemsip. Ah well. If you’ve got swine flu what are the first symptoms? Are these trotters I’ve grown normal? So anyway, music. Despite having very blocked up ears and a headache for most of the day that gets worse when I stare at a computer screen your valiant blogger has still managed to listen to one CD a couple of times today and here I am writing about it. I returned to the pile of Creative Sources discs today, feeling a little guilty that I hadn’t played anything from it in a while. I picked out a disc I really wanted to hear from the recent batch anyway, the quintet of Ernesto Rodrigues, (viola) Guilherme Rodrigues, (cello) Carlos Santos, (electronics) Rhodri Davies, (harp and electtronics) and Stéphane Rives (soprano sax). The album title is Twrf Neus Ciglau. (no prizes for guessing which of the group came up with that little gem!) When run through an online translation programme the title translates from Welsh to read Noise Conquer Ciglau, which helps a little, but not much. Rhodri if you read this let me know? Anyway the music…. The disc contains a single thirty-four minute live recording made a year ago this Sunday at a festival in Lisbon. The music actually follows a similar pattern to one or two other releases involving Rhodri Davies of late, not quite drone-based but certainly music involving layers of shifting sounds that slip and slide over each other, transparent in places, opaque in others and all very beautiful. A little like the recent Midhopestones release on Another Timbre there is a nice blend of acoustic and electronic instrumentation here that is combined into one delicate mass of sound that travels along at a slow pace with little change in dynamic but plenty of diversity in colour The beauty comes then from the constantly changing textures and tones that are placed over one another, kind of the aural equivalent to a kaleidoscopic being turned very slowly. This shouldn’t suggest that the music is all pastel shades however. It isn’t always easy to tell which sound is coming from where, but certainly Rives’ sax can be heard sending out shrill blasts that set your teeth on edge, and the two Rodrigues scratch and scrape a gritty belly to the music throughout. Things never really break into any real to-and-fro interplay though, with the quintet happy to work their individual sounds over and through those of their colleagues rather than respond directly. So as a nice, detailed example of laminal improvised music Twrf Neus Ciglau works really well for me, containing some really beautiful moments. (the part thirteen minutes in when all sounds coalesce into a high pitched stream for a few moments is gorgeous) Certainly there is nothing groundbreaking here and, given the quality of the musicians on show no real surprises, but despite a throbbing headache I found it easy to lose myself in the Twrf Neus Ciglau’s drifting layers. Maybe this won’t be one I will come back to as often as I should, but as a document of a nice concert one summer’s day in Portugal I like this CD quite a bit and I’m pleased someone thought to share it with those that weren’t there on the night.


Brian Olewnick

Perhaps close to what one would expect: scratchy, thin drones punctuated by the rubbing of friction-filled surfaces, much air and space. It is all that, but also injects a kind of mystery--maybe it's the deep tolling that occasionally rises from the cello or a bit more emotive summoning from Rives. So, familiar yes, but fine integration of sounds and well paced, with verdant hills and valleys as well as the odd cwm.