Leo Alves Vieira & Pangea: Post-Sleep Paths

23/12/2011

This is an unusual album. It doesn’t fit into any of the emerging forms and idioms that seem to be establishing themselves across various labels and interest groups. You’ll find some fine simple string quartet writing and playing, plenty free improvisation, some synthesiser with various effects as in film sound design, indeterminate hiss, buzz and crackle, and various recitations of poems and texts.

The overall impression is one of increasing formlessness, which is what you might expect from the free improvisation, though the strings and recitations seem to pull the music towards more formalised structures. That tension is what makes the album unusual.

Brazilian Leo Alves Vieira and Spanish based Pangea are obviously accomplished musicians. We can see and hear this both from their respective biographies as artists and from the range of instruments and musical skills on offer. The clarinet and guitar passages are full of interest, only occasionally falling into those ‘what do we do next’ moments. After a few listens I began to pick up on hints of interplay between the instruments. After a few more listens the chaotic formlessness established itself just enough to be convincing as a musical statement, never an easy thing to do.

I’d say that the strength of the album, outside of some excellent playing, lies in the way that the artists have brought together a bundle of disparate, seemingly unrelated resources and have then effectively imposed their collective musical authority on the materials.

Released on Luscinia

 

 

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