VGO – Quasar

Ernesto Rodrigues :: conduction & harp
Maria da Rocha :: violin
Emanuela Lioy :: violin
Maria do Mar :: viola
Guilherme Rodrigues :: cello
Miguel Mira :: cello
Alvaro Rosso :: double bass
Adam Pultz Melbye :: double bass
Hernâni Faustino :: double bass
Adriano Orrú :: double bass
João Madeira :: double bass
Miguel Ivo Cruz :: viola da gamba
Emídio Buchinho :: acoustic guitar
Flak :: acoustic guitar
Abdul Moimême :: electric guitar
Paulo Duarte :: electric guitar
António Chaparreiro :: electric guitar
Stephan Sieben :: electric guitar
Guilherme Carmelo :: baritone guitar
Maria Radich :: voice
Paulo Curado :: flute
Paulo Chagas :: oboe
Bruno Parrinha :: clarinet & alto clarinet
Ricardo Ribeiro :: bass clarinet
Paulo Galão :: bass clarinet
Luiz Rocha :: bass clarinet
Albert Cirera :: soprano & tenor saxophone
Nuno Torres :: alto saxophone
Sei Miguel :: pocket trumpet
Yaw Tembe :: trumpet
Luís Vicente :: trumpet
Fala Mariam ::alto trombone
Eduardo Chagas :: trombone
Fernando Simões :: trombone
Carlos Santos :: electronics
João Silva :: electronics
Nuno Moita :: turntable
Armando Pereira :: toy piano
Manuel Guimarães :: church organ
Silvia Corda :: melodica
Nuno Morão :: drums
Monsieur Trinité :: percussion
Carlos Godinho :: percussion
Håkon Berre :: percussion
André Hencleeday :: percussion
Pedro Castello Lopes :: percussion

Lisbon, 2016
Recorded Live at St. George’s Church, Lisbon
Mixed and mastered by Nuno Morão
Cover design by Carlos Santos
Produced by Ernesto Rodrigues
Creative Sources 2016


The Variable Geometry Orchestra is a large electroacoustic ensemble with a fluid, international membership spanning three generations. For this release, recorded in November 2015 at St. George’s Church in Lisbon, Portugal, the group was made up of forty-six members. The thirty-one minute performance was conducted by VGO leader Ernesto Rodrigues.
Maneuvering a heterogeneous ensemble of this size in a way that maintains cohesion, a sense of movement and textural variety without undue clutter is a significant challenge. Rodrigues succeeds on these counts—helped in no small part by the accomplished improvisers he conducts—and the result is an integrated performance that nevertheless is constantly in flux.
The theory behind the ensemble’s process seems to be to improvise an overall architecture by arranging complexes of sounds moving in relation to each other. In practice this means modulating the dynamics and density of the background to allow different instruments or instrumental combinations to shift to the foreground. One may, for example, hear reeds skittering over the top of quiet chords underscored by a rich foundation of low strings; pizzicato double basses and guitars outlining the upper and lower boundaries of the ensemble’s aggregate compass; or brass exclamations over a simmering and thickening bed of soft-edged timbres. The collective sound is always engaging, as this version of the VGO benefits from a very rich palette of sound colors and a wide range running from double bass—no less than five of them—to flute. Daniel Barbiero (Avant Music News)