The Squid's Ear Magazine


Merce, Sergio: En Lugar De Pensar (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

One circular and one continuous composition from Argentinian composer Sergio Merce, using rich tones like clouds of sound generated by a microtonal saxophone, synthesizer and wind synth, the title referring to his sense of music a channel to see, to reveal, a channel that opens through intuition, observation and attention but not through thinking; beautiful.
 

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Sergio Merce-microtonal sax, synthesizer, ewi


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UPC: 4011778039372

Label: Edition Wandelweiser Records
Catalog ID: EWR 2011
Squidco Product Code: 30315

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: Austria
Packaging: Merce, SergioCardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at Sergio's house, in April-May, 2020.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"The name of the album is about this feeling that I have. I believe that playing music is a non-cerebral thought form; thought in the sense of being a channel to see, to reveal, a channel that opens through intuition, observation and attention but not through thinking."-Sergio Merce



"In circles, cycles, and sines, microtonal saxophonist Sergio Merce examines the intuitive unconscious in musicmaking on en lugar de pensar. The waveforms of his uniquely-valved saxophone are bolstered by the waveforms of the synthesizer, as on Merce's Pendulum Movement from this year or Be Nothing, and an EWI (electronic wind instrument), with which he records for the first time. This is a home recording, tracked just a couple months before Pendulum Movement, but this is not an uncommon practice for Merce, whose Three DImensions of the Spirit (recorded in 2017, well before quarantine) was also recorded mostly at home. The title can be translated as "instead of thinking," referring to the musician's belief that revelations through musicmaking are discovered through intuition and observation rather than thinking. Perhaps the same could be said for listening because, though this could be considered a technical music, Merce makes intuitive structures for attentive listeners, filled out with satisfying textures and living rhythms.

The half-hour "forma circular" is indeed a loop. It repeats twice. Its components demarcated with silences. It begins with a swell into a sustained pitch, undulating, with overtones from which other waves emerge and that are joined by synthesizer sines and purrs. Pulses quicken and slow as they phase. The sound is similar to that of Pendulum Movement. Silence. And then an organesque melody, warm but sputtering and hissing and glitched, disintegrating into a high-volume, low-pitch rumble that sounds like something big is moving too fast for its mass. The bass feels corporeal, recalling low-end suzerains like Sunn O))) and Andy Stott. Silence. The organ and rumble repeat but with variation, ending in buzzing. Silence. A low-end groan revs up, turning like a motor. Silence. The organ and rumble repeat again, with variation, buzzing for a longer duration, so much so that pulses emerge and morph from this environment of digital distortion until transforming back to the multiphonic sax and synth pulses from the beginning. This loop repeats once more. I'm sure more observant listeners will recognize small variations between the repeated phrases.

The quarter-hour "forma continua" is indeed more structurally linear, as if one cycle of a loop was laid flat in duration and concept. Or, rather than just a circle, a circle expressed through time. This piece is a polyrhythmic orchestration of waves, arising and blending from acoustic and electric sources seamlessly. Sometimes synthesizing so fast it's dizzying, creating a sort of wobbling tremolo. Played continuously with no obviously recurring phrases.

Beyond clever structures, Merce's textures are sculptural and a listener could spend hours contemplating the morphing rhythms of the many harmonic pulses. en lugar de pensar is a compact but robust statement from one of the most distinctive saxophonists making music now."-Keith Prosk


Get additional information at The Free Jazz Collective

Artist Biographies

"Sergio Merce plays tenor saxophone and four tracks portastudio without tapes, he was born in 1973. He works in projects that involve the interaction between free improvisation and contemporary music. He studied classic saxophone for 9 years in the official conservatory of Moron "Alberto Ginastera", improvisation inside jazz style with Sergio Petravich and with Carlos Lastra, paying especial attention to John Coltrane's techniques and spirit. He works as a music teacher in kindergardens since 1998. He has realized concerts and improvisation work shops for children in Argentina and many countries in Europe. In rcent years he developed his work around extended techniques on the saxophone, and in the same way developed his electronic music. In May 2002 he made an European tour with Lucio Capece, playing as a duo as well as with European musicians in Brussels (Les Bains Connective), Amsterdam (Overtom 301, ciclo "Kraakgeluiden"), London (Red Rose), Berlin (The Kule "Labor Sonor"), Sczecin (Poland, "Musica Genera" Festival). In September 2003 he made a tour around Belgium, France and Holland, playing five concerts based on the famous Cornelius Cardews piece "Treatise", next to the prestigious English guitar player Keith Rowe and his electro-acoustic ensemble. He had played next to some of the more important musicians of the international vanguard scene: Axel Dörner (Germany), Andrea Neumann (Germany), Burkhard Beins (Germany), Julia Eckhardt (Germany / Belgium), Alex Waterman (USA), Robyn Schulkowsky (USA), Bob Rainey (USA), Wade Matthews (USA), Boris Baltschun (Germany), Serge Baghdassarians (Germany), Kyle Bruckmann (USA), Robin Hayward (England)."

-http://www.echoraum.at/merce.htm (Echoraum)
4/10/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Forma Circular 31:36

2. Forma Continua 14:13

Related Categories of Interest:


Compositional Forms
Electro-Acoustic
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Piano & Keyboards
South & Central American + Caribbean Improvisation
Solo Artist Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Experimental & Electronic Music

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