23 exposures

creative sources | cs003

Ernesto Rodrigues / violin, viola. Marco Franco / soprano saxophone. José Oliveira / percussion, acoustic guitar.

Recorded on 6 November 2001 at Exit Studios, Lisbon. Front cover photographs by Luís Lisboa. Total Time 61:23 © 2002. Cover design Carlos Santos

This is the third album released by violinist Ernesto Rodrigues on his own label Creative Sources Recordings and his third trio session involving percussionist José Oliveira. Getting back to the format of «Multiples», «23 Exposures» presents just that many freely improvised snapshots.

Although not as resolutely “silent” as «Sudden Music» (which was recorded with a pro-silence parti-pris), this CD still emphasizes texture and grain over musicality, listening over impetus, detail over power, like the most demanding Free Improv from London. The biggest surprise this session yields is José Oliveira’s playing. He spends a lot of time away from percussion instruments, squeezing the strangest sounds out of an acoustic guitar. Sliding objects on the strings, rubbing drums, bowing cymbals: almost his whole sound palette on this album consists of slithers.

That could be applied to Ernesto Rodrigues too. Pushing the use of bow pressure to both extremes, he produces alien sounds through which soprano saxophonist Marco Franco weaves his interventions, subtle to the point of becoming unassuming. This session doesn’t match the intensity of Multiples, it is marred by a few sparkless moments, but it still makes a spirited, challenging listen for free improv fans. The musicians use a lot of creativity to keep the music on the edge. François Couture