Ernesto Rodrigues/Antonio Chaparreiro/José Oliveira

Sudden Music

Creative Sources Records, Portugal label

Ernesto Rodrigues, violin, viola; Antonio Chaparreiro, electric guitar; José Oliveira, percussion, inside piano

I think I can do without the elliptic-unto-ecliptic liner notes by Eduardo Paes (, not only it is permitted that silence (apparent abscence of sound) is part of the music, but also that... it is music.) largely because however erudite he obviously is, the force of his words, might for some, cloud the artistic effort on this very fine, VERY "out" CD of experimental sound sculpture. I have nothing against the academic's musing. I just have to remind everybody (me included) that anything is only good art if it moves one, if to paraphrase Zappa it "engenders flux states in participating chakras"! And Sudden Music does just that. Engender flux states, I mean It sure isn't for everybody.

José Oliveira, percussion, inside piano), given the regular testing herein of most of these instruments' outer ranges (reminiscent of recent Tim Hodgkinson, later John Cage, early Roscoe Mitchell). It's just that the musicians are listening to each other voraciously here, and it shows. Improv it may be, but there is a pattern, there is a balance and counterbalance, and a sense of compositional development can be heard throughout the four lengthy pieces. What's also inviting, to the novice to this kind of thing who is interested in hearing more, is that the range of sound on Sudden Music (as good a definition of "improvisation" as I've heard) is cavernous but the recorded dynamics are not; you will not be knocked out of your seat by a massive lurch in volume as you might have been the first time you heard, say, King Crimson's "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part One." Hopefully the quiet nature of these nonetheless outrageous improvs (and I apologize for an inability to tell who is playing what; not that it matters) will draw one in to hear the marvelous juxtaposition of rattle and skritch, drifting thumb down a guitar or piano string accompanies by shushed brushing, and from these odd elements one will erect each his own set of reactions. One of these reactions may be to put the CD away for good, but bring an open mind to it. I will agree with Senor Paes' closing liner note assertion, and say he's dead on: "everything is sudden, immediate, unexpected, but nothing happens out of its place, nothing is in excess or in need, transmitting to us a curious illusion of PERMANENCE." As well it should.

by Ken Egbert

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