Pedra Contida – Xisto

Marcelo dos Reis :: acoutic guitar, voice, singing bowls
Angélica V. Salvi :: harp
Nuno Torres :: alto saxophone
Miguel Carvalhais :: computer
João Pais Filipe :: drums, percussion.

Lousã, 2013
Recorded by José Martins at Cassa das Artes, Cerdeira
Mixed by Marcelo dos Reis
Cover design by Kátia Sá
JACC Records 2013


REVIEWS

O mote de “Xisto” foi a coadunação do quinteto constituído por Marcelo dos Reis (guitarra, taças cantantes, voz), Angélica V. Salvi (harpa), Nuno Torres (saxofone alto), Miguel Carvalhais (electrónica) e João Pais Filipe (bateria, percussão) com a quietude acústica natural encontrada na residência artística que estes músicos fizeram em Cerdeira, uma aldeia da Serra da Lousã. Daí, também, o nome do disco e do próprio grupo.
O que ouvimos é uma música cheia de respirações e transparências, construída à volta de texturas e timbres numa análise demorada dos sons que chega, por vezes, a momentos de inefável beleza. O foco, no entanto, é impreciso, ora entrando pelos domínios da escola reducionista, ora aproximando-se da electroacústica “lower case”, ora adoptando formas de improvisação, e de ligação do improvisado com o composto, mais convencionais, se bem que sempre num registo suave. Ou seja, parece estar à procura de uma identidade própria e o certo é que tal nunca chega a acontecer. Não fora isso e seria uma excelentíssima mostra do que pode a nova geração de músicos exploratórios portugueses (Salvi é espanhola, mas vive no Porto há anos suficientes para pertencer à prata da casa). Assim, fica-se por ser um óptimo disco a que vale a pena dar atenção.Rui Eduardo Paes (Jazz.pt)

Pedra Contida (contained stone in Portuguese) is a Portuguese quintet assembled by guitarist Marcelo dos Reis to work together for a week in the remote mountain village Cerdeira in Serra da Lousã, in the Coimbra district of Portugal. The five musicians— dos Reis also on prepared guitar, voice and singing bowls are Angélica V. Salvi on harp, Nuno Torres on alto sax, Miguel Carvalhais computer, and Joao Pais Filipe who also collaborates with dos Reis in the Fail Better! quintet on drums and percussion—bring different approaches to the act of making music and shaping sounds. The music of this ad-hoc quintet explores the distinct sounds of the musicians in relationship to each other in the studio as well as in live settings within the village. They also explore different formations, and surroundings and the effect of the unique sonic etymology of the village’s natural still acoustics on the musicians sound.
Xisto (schist in Portuguese) is divided into three parts. The first part features four short pieces by dos Reis that stresses the breadth of the quintet’s vocabulary, from spare tone poems to electro-acoustic free improvisations and transparent sonic exploration of extended techniques and the timbres of the quintet’s instruments. The 10- minute “Central Motif” highlights best the balanced and quiet, patient and searching interplay of the quintet, still, with a sensual and emotional impact.
The second part features the musicians in different formats. Carvalhais adapts field recordings from the village’s natural surroundings and processes these sounds into a nuanced, dense texture. Salvi and Filipe create a meditative, arresting piece for harp and percussion that expands the sonic possibilities of the instruments. Torres and dos Reis continue this investigative vein but in a more abstract, tensed framework. The quintet reconvenes on the third part for an extended group improvisation, “Cracks, shale and Bells.” It is a beautiful, cinematic piece that draws inspiration from the still scenery but transforms the vivid mountainous images into gentle, dramatic narrative, full of inspired sonic details.
Beautiful and inspiring document.Eyal Hareuveni (All About Jazz)

M’arrive du Portugal ce très beau disque issu d’une résidence d’une semaine entre le guitariste Marcelo dos Reis et quatre musiciens triès sur le volet: la harpiste Angélica V. Salvi, le saxo Nuno Torres, le batteur João Pais Filipe et, à l’ordinateur, Miguel Carvalhais du duo @c. Le disque se découpe en trois parties. D’abord, quatre compositions méticuleuses qui me rappellent l’univers de Polwechsel. Ensuite, trois solos et duos qui permettent de décomposer le travail de chacun. Enfin, une splendide improvisation collective de 15 minutes qui laisse place à des presque-silences judicieux. Bravo.
This gorgeous record from Portugal is the result of a week-long residency between guitarist Marcel dos Reis and a hand-picked cast of players: harpist Angélica V. Salvi, sax player Nuno Torres, percussionist Jpão Pais Filipe, and computer whiz Michel Carvalhais of the duo @c. The record is split in three parts. First, we have four meticulous compositions that remind me of the sound world of Polwechsel. Then, three solos and duos to isolate the work of each musician. Finally, a gorgeous 15-minute collective improvisation that leaves room for judicious near-silences. Bravo.François Couture (monsieur deliré)

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