The Squid's Ear Magazine

Garcia, Miguel A. / Oier Iruretagoiena / Abdul Moimeme / Lorea Oar-Arteta / Ernesto Rodrigues / Carl (Creative Sources)

Joing Portuguese and Spanish improvisers for four recordings in Bilbao, Spain, this sextet presents sound works using unusual orchestration--piano harp, viola, guitar, metals, electric organ, paper, contact mics, and electronics--balancing spacious exploration with assertive moments of percussive and caustic sound, evolving bold sonic and timbral combinations.

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Ernesto Rodrigues-piano harp, viola

Abdul Moimeme-guitar, metals

Oier Iruretagoiena-electric organ

Lorea Oar-Arteta-paper, contact mics

Miguel A. Garcia-electronics

Carlos Santos-electronics

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UPC: 5609063405644

Label: Creative Sources
Catalog ID: cs564
Squidco Product Code: 26711

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Larraskito, in Bilbao, Spain on March 25th, 2018, by Carlos Santos and Miguel A. Garcia.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Continuing the recent theme here of improvising ensembles featuring electronics alongside traditional instruments, Sitsa actually seems to be something of a followup to last year's Coluro - with Ernesto Rodrigues joining a regional Iberian collective to form a sextet with two members on electronics, and a general tendency toward transformative timbral exploration. Sitsa was recorded in March 2018 in Bilbao (only two months after Coluro was recorded on two dates in Madrid), and features Miguel A. García (b.1980) paired with Creative Sources regular Carlos Santos on electronics: García has already appeared on Creative Sources, as well as elsewhere, including in a solo setting, but also e.g. on Golden towers and electric frictions (recorded in March 2016), featuring the two Rodrigueses in a quintet with Abdul Moimême, who also appears on Sitsa (on which he's credited with both guitar & metals): The former can seem almost like a study for the latter, involving a sparser setting with more of a central focus of activity, rather than a general tapestry spanning auditory space more polyphonically....

(This notion of "focus" will recur.) In contrast, Coluro might be heard as investigating somewhat different concerns, with a sort of lightness emerging from balancing both timbral colors & pitch ranges across the ensemble spectrum, an investigation of a sort of coordinate spanning space as previously noted....

The sextet on Sitsa is filled out by (previously unknown to me) Oier Iruretagoiena (electric organ) & Lorea Oar-Arteta (paper & contact mics), however, giving it more continuity & center, but with pitches (often simultaneously) across the gamut: After an initial signal clank or clunk, it thus moves into a deep roar, hiding, scuttling, broadly shifting & escaping resonances (both high & low) sometimes turning to searing intensity around a generalized atmosphere of vibration. (Sitsa definitely benefits from better speakers in a real stereo setup.) Its layers of activity might also be compared to Stratus (recorded a few months later), which is a "more acoustic" ensemble (meaning that the electronics, also from Santos, tend to remain more in the background focusing on audibility), and projects a sort of sparse open air delicacy (of color, etc.), in contrast to the "indoor" industriousness of Sitsa. Returning to the beginning of the recent trilogy (of discussions here) with Monopiece + Jaap Blonk, then, one might indeed observe a more "static" (or ready-made) pop vibe there in the way that timbres jump out from a largely nonexistent background, whereas Sitsa transforms sounds into other sounds as grounded in a deep rumble: It's thus rather more assertive than many albums from Rodrigues (& indeed García, etc.), emphasizing continuity within its own (more mysterious, even elemental) DIY vibe: It might thus be compared to Skiagraphía (discussed here April 2017), with its own dual electronics setup producing a sort of broad wave or crescendo across various twittering timbral details, or even to the more recent guitar trio album Magma (also with Moimême, in a followup to Basalto, in what had been a starker recording of the same trio released in 2016...), the latter involving a sort of rock-based assertiveness transformed into another forceful timbral wave....

As noted, though, Sitsa is generally more polyphonic, including articulating counterpoint across a variety of extremes - & involving more presence than many Rodrigues albums - via various clanks & rumbles, boings, creaks, quasi-sirens, etc. This variety is then rendered basically continuous - except for prominent track breaks - via the interiorized quasi-industrial relation of a dull roar. (One might thus suggest that Sitsa interrogates continuity: Such exploration extends into concepts such as individual notes, which tend to appear only as moments of transformation. One is instead presented with a more generalized sense of evolving sensation.) Transgressing discrete impositions of individual notes marks Sitsa as having a very contemporary orientation, and indeed not only does one find a post-serial or post-concrète exploration, but the original core of "lowercase" (now rendered in this space as a kind of generalized mixing emphasizing sonic details) appearing explicitly in the paper & microphone combo. And in keeping with an exploration of continuity, one would be hard-pressed to pick out the specific sound of that paper....

In all of this, technical descriptions of Sitsa tend to miss its transformative & especially affective quality, though: It achieves a powerful, if paradoxical, effect of concentration & calming - with the industrial affect of contradictory physical space somehow rendering disorientation into flowing presence. (The album title, if one believes online translation, is apparently in the African Bantu Chichewa language, meaning to reduce or unload, and unloading tension does seem to be the affective focus of the album. Track titles are then in other languages, some - including Chichewa? - seemingly unconnected to the musicians....) There is consequently both a sense of austerity & a lot happening at any particular moment. (One might then compare to the sophisticated, symphonic summation of Music for Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinets & Electronics [Aural Terrains], particularly for its rather different approach to "making audible" via electronics, a tapestry contrasting & highlighting detailed timbres, projecting its own sort of "organ" feel....) And so I've found Sitsa to be consistently potent & transformative, particularly in its ongoing & extensive combinations of highs & lows."-Todd McComb's Jazz Thoughts

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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 (

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"Abdul Moimême was born in Lisbon, in 1959, moving at an early age to New Mexico and later to Dublin, Ireland. He began studying the guitar at the age of 11, studying under various private teachers, in Madrid, Spain.

In 1979 he moved to Boston to study architecture, finally completing his degree at the University of Lisbon.

In the 90's he began studying the tenor saxophone with Patrick Brennan. In this period he became actively involved with Lisbon's improvised and alternative rock scenes, performing frequently with the Variable Geometry Orchestra since it's creation in 2003, as well as with various other local projects.

His main musical partners are from Lisbon and Porto, but he has also performed in public concerts with such artists as Gale Brand, George Haslam, Jon Raskin, Ken Filiano, Patrick Brennan, Steve Adams, and Wade Matthews.

In 1999 he started writing about jazz in various Portuguese publications and is currently a permanent collaborator of magazine, and Publico newspaper, as a critic.

In 2006 he created Freemusic (, a space exclusively dedicated to the promotion of Portuguese improvised music."

-Creative Sources (

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"Oier Iruretagoiena was born in Errenteria in 1988 (Spain), and is based in Bilbao (Spain). He obtained a degree in Fine Art from the University of the Basque Country in 2011. Main solo shows include Gazta-hezurra / El hueso del queso, Carreras Múgica, Bilbao (2015) and Incised, Halfhouse, Barcelona (2014). His works have also been featured in group shows such as Cale, cale, cale! Caale!!!, Tabakalera, Donostia-San Sebastián (2017) and Otzan, Elba Benítez, Madrid (2016)."

-Oier Iruretagoiena Website (

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"Lorea Oar-Arteta was born in Donostia, grew up in Bermeo and then moved and grew up some more in Bilbao. In 1977 she travelled to London where she learned the importance of a good "three-minute boiled egg" and a "Burger King", working as a waitress at the Country Stile in Kingston. Back in Bilbao she worked as a secretary and studied, earning a degree in Basque Philology in 1983 and another in Fine Arts in 1998. A year later she would take up residence at BilbaoArte and from then on would work at her own studio in Bilbao. Her interest in images in motion was piqued by several experimental video courses she took. This in turn led to an interest in experimental sound, where she discovered an unexplored world of soundscapes that at the current time, along with Prussian blue and ivory black, form part of her creative work and universe.

She has taken part in collective and individual exhibitions at BilbaoArte, at the Sala Catálogo General, Bilbao; P. Barroeta in Bermeo and Zuloa in Gazteiz. She has also participated in ¡Vacas-Behiak!; Don Quijote eta Artea, organised by Bilbao 700; Metrópolis IX, Sestao; Hika Ateneo, Bilbao; Sala N. B., Bermeo; Biscay Bar Association; BilbaoArte, installation; Inaki Loidi, her hairdresser's salon; Larraldea, Senpere; Lamiak. The most spectacular thing that's ever happened to her so far in her artistic life was appearing along with Nagel in the Ars Mediterranea magazine - Euskadi dossier in March 1998, amazing, zu.

In the musical realm she is a member of the group AAAh along with María Seco and Aintzane Aranguena, focusing on sound improvisation, sheet music research or annotations of John Cage, Douglas Barrett, Taylan Susa and others. She has performed in Bilbao and surroundings at Le Larraskito Club, Bilbao Arte with Miguel Angel García, Jornadas Ivaginarias, MEM Internatioanl Experimental Art Festival, Zarata Fest along with Al Karpenter, Mattin and Terri, La Morada. She has also worked with Al Margolis on the PONZI project.

At the Le Larraskito Club she appeared in "Qualksums I" by Miguel Angel García with Bluiump Ensemble: Txemi Artigas, Aintzane con G de Gloria, Ibon, Javier Rodríguez Perez-Curiel, Marta Sainz, Enrique Zaccagnini and she has performed at Coperacha Mexikorentzat! with Kakofunk and Oier Iruretagoiena. She composed and performed Paper piece-1 at Bilbao Arte and Paper piece-2 at Le Larraskito Kluba."

-Azkuna Zentroa (

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"Miguel A. García (aka Xedh) from the Basque country, is one of the most dynamic sound artists in the Spanish scene. His work focuses mainly on the composition and electro-acoustic improvisation. He uses sounds taken from electronic devices residues, often interrelated with field recordings or acoustic instruments, in the search of an intimate, intense and immersive experience. A music of adventurous forms, full of contrasts and having nevertheless a sense of humor. His background comprises fine arts and audiovisual technology, having created projects such as Válvula Antirretorno, Baba Llaga or Mubles, questioning the borders between electro-acoustic academic music, industrial music and the so called outsider music.

With his solo project, he has participated in experimental music festivals all over Spain, as Ertz (Navarra), Experimentaclub (Madrid), Lem (Barcelona), Mem (Bilbao) or Sonikas (Vallecas), and he has played in diverse scenarios such as Auditorio Nacional de Música (Madrid), or museums such as Artium (Vitoria), Guggenheim (Bilbao), Macuf (A Coruña) or Vostell Malpartida (Cáceres). Outside Spain, he has played in festivals in Germany, Belgium, USA, France, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Portugal. His work has been released worldwide by labels as Copy for your records (USA), Homophoni (USA), Pilgrim Talk (USA), Slaughter Recs (Italy), Trait Central (USA), Triple Bath (Greece), Zeromoon (USA), or White Line (UK).

Still a young member of the international free improvisation scene, he works regularly with Ilia Belorukov, Alfredo Costa Monteiro, Oier Iruretagoiena, Xabier Lopez, Alvaro Matilla, Seijiro Murayama or Hector Rey. He has collaborated with arists such Lali Barriere, Heddy Boubaker, Alexander Bruck, Raul Dominguez, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Richard Kamerman, Kurt Liedwart, Nick Hoffman, Wade Matthews, Jorge Nuñez, Carlos Suarez or Valentina Vuksic, and bands like Cooloola Monster, Gora Japon, maDam or Hamburguesa Vegetal. As a promoter, amongst other projects, is the founder of the Club Le Larraskito and director of the Zarata Fest, both platforms dedicated to the broadcast of challenging art and music."

-Miguel A. Garcia Website ( (

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"Studied painting with António Sena (Ar.Co, 1988 -1992), worked in advertising for a period of time, but nowadays works as graphic designer in corporate identity, packaging, web and audio-video production.

Started sound/music activities in 1989 when formed the VITRIOL project with Paulo Raposo, a laboratory for experimental sound actions, in a first stage with studio work followed in 1994 by live output, mainly live electronics, concrete music with a improvised or graphic score oriented approach. Uses the laptop with software written in MaxMsp, small resonant objects, microphones and piezo elements to produce a music that deals with space and its sound characteristics. Interests in "soundscape" and field recordings are a huge part of his work, for piece preparation or just for archival purposes, Always recording, events, spaces or music. Multi-channel acusmatic music and radio pieces.

Presents himself solo in site-specific audio-video works, or in duos with João Silva (video, sound, photography), "Inhabitaded Spaces" with Ricardo Guerreiro (computer, mics), "Venús Pistolletto" with Emídio Buchinho (elec. guitar, mics, objects) and trios with Ernesto Rodrigues (violin) and Guilherme Rodrigues (cello) or ZNGR electroacustic trio with Carlos "Zíngaro and Emídio Buchinho. Member of several formations, "(Des)Integração" laptop ensemble (2001-2003) or in more electroacoustic sets, uses live-electronics and sampling which is the case of "Suspensão" septep, VGO, variable geometry orchestra and specially a trio close related to the "near silence" aesthetics, with Ernesto Rodrigues (violin, harp) and Guilherme Rodrigues (cello) with already several CD releases, always with at least one international improviser guest. Presented his work in Portugal, Spain, France, UK and Germany. Worked with artists from several media: dance, performance and video. Music and sound design for video and animation. Video and sound editing for comercial projects. Played live or in recording projects throughout the years with a lot of musician and sound artists. His sound work is documented in several CD releases. Belongs to the Granular board of directors, a portuguese association for experimental art and does the image of Creative Sources label. Broadcasts "Boca Doce" show at Rádio Zero (web) and other special shows. Workshops and seminars in digital audio manipulation, Maxmsp programming and sound art practise."

-Creative Sources (

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Track Listing:

1. Bending Spoons 7:54

2. Ho Tachik 8:00

3. Zomorrozulo 10:00

4. Eis Se N,,O Quando 17:37

Related Categories of Interest:

Creative Sources
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic Improv
lowercase, reductionist, micro-improv, sound improv, onkyo sound
Sextet Recordings
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Objects and Home-made Instruments

Search for other titles on the label:
Creative Sources.

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