The Squid's Ear Magazine


Lisbon String Trio / Sei Miguel: From Faust (Creative Sources)

Trumpeter Sei Miguel joins the Portuguese Lisbon String Trio, his second collaboration with the free improvising core group of Miguel Mira on cello, Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, and Alvaro Rosso on double bass, adding a distinctive voice to their subtle interplay as they present this three part work based on the legendary German character who traded his soul to the devil.
 

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Personnel:



Ernesto Rodrigues-viola

Miguel Mira-cello

Alvaro Rosso-double bass

Sei Miguel-pocket trumpet


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UPC: 5609063405217

Label: Creative Sources
Catalog ID: cs521
Squidco Product Code: 25801

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded live at Lisboa Incomum, in Lisbon, Portugal, on March 3rd, 2018, by Carlos Santos

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"[...] When it comes to the guests on brass, not only does Lisbon String Trio have the precedent of Intonarumori, with Carlo Mascolo joining on trombone, but coincidentally in this space, there is also the recently discussed Polyorchard: Sextet, Quintet, with its classically-inflected yet improvised exploration of string and brass combinations. With a single brass instrument and three strings, the Lisbon String Trio releases present less opportunity for simultaneity from the brass, but also tend to involve more focus through smaller forces.

Regarding Intonarumori (discussed in August 2017), I had suggested considering a different string balance, so as to frame the trombone differently, and whereas Polyorchard manages to include so many combos that various balance points appear, on (the seventh Lisbon String Trio release) Tactile, trombonist Eduardo Chagas tends to maintain an ambivalent orientation low in the texture. I've already mentioned the latter recently, in entries around Meandros e Vertentes and For Cecil Taylor, and indeed Chagas has worked extensively with Ernesto Rodrigues (including on recent duo album Holes and Cracks) and other Creative Sources regulars.

Consequently, perhaps, Tactile is by far the most diffuse and experimentally-oriented album yet in the Lisbon String Trio series: I particularly enjoy the first several minutes of its single track (recorded in Lisbon in February), in which the trombone does establish an intriguing and relatively assertive textural relationship, but much of the album involves quiet subtlety and extended sounds from all involved, such that e.g. breathy horn animating high position string harmonics becomes a highlight. A sense of landscape might thus be said to emerge, and that's even more true (in a more assertive guise) of From Faust, featuring Sei Miguel (b.1961) on pocket trumpet, and recorded in March in Lisbon (the day after Theia).

I had not mentioned Miguel here previously, but he has an impressive discography on Clean Feed, etc. And with the pocket trumpet, the often quiet and murky balance of Tactile is basically turned on its head, as the piercing trumpet tends to dominate attention whenever active, and moreover to call out starkly over a "landscape" established by the strings. The latter can be quite rich, buoyed by a wide variety of techniques, as well as a sense of excitement in playing with such a noted and uncompromising horn player in Miguel, but since the trumpet generally must remain quiet in order for the strings to interact, one is often left wishing for a more balanced interaction overall. One certainly doesn't lack for immediacy, though, at least when the trumpet is active, as the latter balances insightful interjection and commentary against a concertante style, such that a rhetorical quality emerges across the three tracks (each longer than the previous) of From Faust.

The album begins almost with an overture, maintaining a sense of mystery and anticipation, then elaborates the string textures in richer detail (while retaining that mysterious sense) and into near silence, before making a more assertive and polished extended statement. So each of the resulting quartet albums featuring a guest on brass with Lisbon String Trio raises balance issues - or balance opportunities, I suppose.... And indeed, the string and brass combinations continue to appeal, offering tantalizing possibilities, if not actualities.... F

inally, regarding the "band" remarks recently articulated around Coluro and Empty Castles (which shares a similar, calling spirit with From Faust), Lisbon String Trio appears to be becoming a band - although, at this point, their activity is documented for less than a year, as noted, so who knows whether they'll continue. Moreover, their series adopts a distinctive (physical, graphical) look around collages by Dilar Pereira: I don't generally spend much time discussing graphics here (and of course you can observe my own site in that regard), but after noting the DIY style on Creative Sources releases such as Coluro, I wanted to note the Pereira collages as well, particularly as collage was one of the defining early forms of postmodernism (and continues to be used extensively in adventurous or genre-bending music). (These two distinct styles of graphic design, by Carlos Santos for Creative Sources, might also be contrasted with e.g. more "classic" or stark covers such as those of For Cecil Taylor and most recently, Jardin Carré... the latter's music to be discussed in a subsequent entry.)

The collage covers thus mark the Lisbon String Trio series - and accurately so, as with the possible exception of Tactile, the music readily concurs - as relatively conservative within the Creative Sources catalog. In other words, they are original and creative within their idiom, including via instrumentation, but the idiom itself is not especially radical. Nonetheless, I continue to find the series to be quite appealing as an exploration of texture around classical and extended string techniques, incorporating and combining traditional rhythms and harmonies (often at quite a density). There is not so much juxtaposition of material, as one might find in a straightforward collage - and Pereira already incorporated blending techniques - but much material is indeed encountered, in a traveling mode, i.e. via (musical) movement through time. So whereas Rodrigues et al. might evoke or inhabit a visual mode at times, they are not (particularly) constrained by ocularcentrism, at least not in its static (or exclusively distant) form."-Todd McComb, Jazz Thoughts


Get additional information at Todd McComb's Jazz Thoughts

Artist Biographies

"He has been playing the violin for 30 years and in that time has played all genres of music ranging from contemporary music to free jazz and improvised music, live and in the studio.

His main interest shifted towards contemporary improvised and composed music.

The relationship with his instruments is focused in sonic and textural elements.

Electronic music was an early influence on his approach to violin playing, which challenges traditional romantic concepts of the violin/viola through use of preparations and micro tuning.

Active in different settings on the Portuguese scene for free improvised music, both as a collaborator and in leading his own groups.

Music for Dance, Cinema, Video and Performance.

Has created the record label Creative Sources Recordings in 1999, which mainly concentrates on releasing experimental and electro-acoustic music."

-Creative Sources (http://creativesourcesrec.com/creative_artists.html)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Born in 1958, studying guitar at the Academy of Music Amateurs, in the 70s, with Prof. Nagy. In the late 70 studying bass at the Hot Club, in the early '80s, with Prof. Zé Eduardo.

"Intrigue and permanent and persistent unease with stringed instruments, jazz and improvisation itself. During the last forty years, in concert, in private or in the studio, I had the honor of having played and learned (chronologically) Nuno Grande, Armindo Neves, Emilio Robalo, Celso Carvalho, António Ferro, Arthur Costa, Ze Bitch John Vinegar, John Lucas, Francisco Medina, Abdul moimeme, Rashiim Ausar Sahu, Patrick Brennan, Rodrigo Amado, Scott Fields, Francisco Trindade, Ernesto Rodrigues, Harvey Sorgen and Joe Giardullo.

Today, honor me play (and perpetuate my restlessness) with Rodrigo Amado, Abdul moimeme, John Lucas, Joseph Bruno Parrinha, John Parrinha, João Pedro Viegas, Alipio Carvalho Neto, Gabriel Ferrandini, Ernesto Rodrigues, Armando Gonçalves Pereira, Hernani Faustino, Rodrigo Pinheiro, Zé Lencastre, Louis Desirat, Peter Castello Lopes, Luís Lopes, Luís Vicente, Philip Sousa, Pedro Roxo, Johannes Krieger, George Lamprey, Marcello Maggi, Paulo Curado, Diogo Leal, D' Incise, Virginia and Eduardo Chagas. With some of my friends. I share my musical day in broader bands or ensembles, with other I highlight specific musical encounters and they are my entire curriculum." "

-JACC Records (http://www.jacc-records.com/en/musicians/miguel-mira)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Alvaro Rosso is a Portuguese double bassist, a member of Variable Geometry Orchestra, ZMVR 4tet, Orgonite, Croniques 3, and String Theory.

-Squidco 7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Plays his trumpet with complete awareness of the whole Jazz history while dealing, as a music director, with the full spectrum of sound sources in a broad range of innovative (and often strange) solutions, including frequent use of electronics. He has created his own music system, allowing him to take his open pieces to a high degree of perfection.

Director, arranger and trumpeter, Sei Miguel considers himself a simple jazzman, which, he says, isn't always easy. Born in 1961, Paris, lived in Brazil and France until settling down in Portugal during the 80's. Since 1986 he has been directing formations of variable geometry. Having performed in Portugal, Germany, Italy and Brazil, among his many regular collaborators are not only guitarists Rafael Toral and Manuel Mota, but also extraordinaire trombone player and painter Fala Mariam and virtuoso percussionist César Burago. Miguel has also written music for theater and ballet."

-Creative Sources (http://creativesourcesrec.com/creative_artists.html)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. I 6:43

2. II 11:25

3. III 18:14

Related Categories of Interest:


Creative Sources
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation and Experimental Forms
Quartet Recordings

Search for other titles on the label:
Creative Sources.


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