Recorded by John Klima on January 13th 2016 at Scratch Built, Lisbon
Mix, master & graphic design by Carlos santos.
Production by Ernesto Rodrigues.
Out ono Creative Sources Rec.
Ernesto Rodrigues, violon alto et Guilherme Rodrigues, violoncelle se retrouvent avec leur camarade (et graphiste maison Chez CS) , Carlos Santos, qui ici propose ses field recordings enregistrés à Lisbonne, S. Miguel Island, Açores et Bergen en Norvège. Le titre, à lui seul est tout un programme : Cyclic Symmetry. Une note des artistes : we advise the listener to ear the piece in a continuous loop. En français : nous conseillons à l’auditeur d’écouter la pièce dans une boucle continuelle. Un seul morceau de plus de 73 minutes joué sans interruption, si ce n’est des silences parsemant son exécution. Les deux cordistes jouent de longues notes soutenues sans solution de fin (drones) jusqu’à un silence blanc et émergent à nouveau en changeant la texture et en modifiant insensiblement l’attaque et la hauteur et créant un sentiment de glissando infinitésimal en agrégeant parfois un son plus aigu. La séquence silencieuse de quelques dizaines de secondes ressurgit après un léger fade out. La pochette est illustrée d’un paysage coloré et minimaliste avec une ligne d’horizon plane et droite, un ciel bleu, un soleil brun et une lune blafarde que traverse en parallèle un tracé rectiligne de deux tirets au milieu exact du dessin. Autour de cet axe horizontal central, s’articulent des ellipses inachevées et de mesures variées. On sait que la mesure entre les deux foyers et tous les points du tracé d’une ellipse est équidistante. C’est ce feeling d’infini qui transparaît dans tout l’album avec de menus changements de dynamique et de timbre. De subtils gargouillis aquatiques quasi irréels des enregistrements de terrain interviennent par petites touches çà et là. Les Rodrigues ont investi l’improvisation radicale / expérimentale en essayant des idées et des concepts en constante évolution avec une réelle consistance et un supplément d’âme. Au lieu de chercher à caractériser leur démarche multiforme, je préfère écouter leurs différents enregistrements (souvent différents les uns des autres) avec attention en admirant les détails de leur exécution/ improvisation. Jean-Michel van Schouwburg (Orynx)
Finally, the newest of these releases is Cyclic Symmetry, a single long (more than 70 minutes) track recorded in Lisbon this past January. Cyclic Symmetry likewise features Rodrigues & Rodrigues (here noted as using curved "Bach.bogen" bows), this time with frequent collaborator Carlos Santos. (He does all the graphic design & much of the mixing for Creative Sources, for instance, including appearing on various earlier albums.) Santos is credited only with field recordings, but the album seems to have been his conception, and may have involved a fair amount of post-production. (Cyclic Symmetry is also an album with no "outside guest," a relative rarity of late on Creative Sources.) The string duo sounds, which would fit neatly enough on a Scelsi album, come in waves, perhaps literally epicycles, as depicted by the graphics. There seems to be quite a bit of precision to how the sounds enter & exit across the long temporal canvas, although to what degree it's actually mathematical is unclear. Similar concerns to those of Chant seem reflected once more, but here with pre-recorded examples of crickets & running water, etc. There are also extended periods of silence (although when the strings play, they are generally audible). In other words, abstraction is set against environmental sounds according to a complicated temporal involution. The ultra-brief notes suggest simply leaving Cyclic Symmetry on loop, meaning (I guess) that it's conceived to be background music. Personally, although it's so similar in conception to the results of some of my actual listening (which includes sounds "from the environment" whether I want them or not), I didn't find having the environment packaged in this way to be particularly compelling: It's an interesting idea, but didn't really work for me in practice. (This discussion also reminds me to revisit Ohio as background listening, as I had intended.) As I remarked to my partner, we have our own crickets. Still, Cyclic Symmetry does mark an overlapping exploration of everyday listening. 26 October 2016. Todd McComb's Jazz Thoughts
Cyclic Symmetry begins at its most active. All three musicians take part, Ernesto Rodrigues scraping the strings on his viola, Guilherme deriving deep drones from his cello, and Carlos Santos providing pulsing tones. After three minutes of development, the music fades to a several-second silence which is broken by the sound of a buzzing field, followed by muffled strings. The cello gradually increases in volume but, after another few minutes, fades in tandem with the viola. The chirping persists, and Rodrigues and Rodrigues re-enter, splashing their monotones against cricketed backdrop. All three musicians fade to a silence that is abruptly broken once again by the strings. The album repeats in this manner: several minute intervals of sound — sometimes musical, other times field recordings, most often both — punctuated with silence. Then the process starts again and repeats, in a series of differentiated loops.
It is difficult to determine a lead on this album. If anything, however, it seems Santos provides the backbone, choosing the ambiance over which Rodrigues and Rodrigues drag their bows and spread their drones. It is not as if the field recordings never occupy the foreground. They do. For the most part, however, they provide a sonic landscape through which the strings waft, wade, and weave, in a seemingly endless series of cycles and somewhat symmetrical potentialities. The effect is subtle. Cycles gradually build on each other for several minutes, then fade. As individual fragments, each one seems underdeveloped and underrealized. As a whole, however, they take the listener on a journey that is at once terrestrial — Santos' contributions offer this grounding — and temporally disorienting. Though the technological restrictions of the CD and digital formats force a de facto start- and endpoint, this album has no musical beginning and no definitive conclusion. Or, rather, it has numerous potential beginnings and conclusions that make for equally coherent experiences. One can begin in a cricket field or an aviary, one of numerous lakes and rivers, or a drizzling rain wherein droplets seem to intermittently fall on and interfere with the microphones. Or, one can begin with the silent backdrops, with or without strings. There is no narrative, though there is both familiarity and mystery. There is no musical progression or directionality, though there is change and subtlety. If you listen to Creative Sources recordings, such a description is likely not a surprise. The precise method and means of achieving such an effect, however, are what makes Cyclic Symmetry so distinctive and absorbing. Nick Ostrum (The Squid’s Ear)
released September 1, 2018
Ernesto Rodrigues - viola (BACH.Bogen)
Guilherme Rodrigues - cello (BACH.Bogen)
Carlos Santos - field recordings
Guilherme Rodrigues is a cellist, improviser and composer from Lisboa, Portugal.
He was born in 1988 in Lisboa and
started to learn cello and trumpet when he was seven at Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa and later in Conservatório Nacional de Música de Lisboa to study classical and music theory until his twenty-three. With an intuitive approach to improvisation and exploration of the timbres......more