Music Reviews

Artist: Carlos Zíngaro (@)
Title: Live at Mosteiro de Santa Clara a Velha
Format: CD
Label: Cipsela (@)
Rated: *****
Well begun is half done, said a well known proverb and the Portuguese newborn label Cipsela - another label from a country, which is giving very good contributions to improvisational and contemporary experimental music, even if it keeps on being less visible than other scenes - decided to open his interesting catalogue by a renowned signature, the one by a key figure of improv European scene, the electronic composer violin player as well as talented illustrator Carlos Alves, better known as Carlos Zingaro. Besides the reverberation of the place, the Monastery of Old St.Clare a 14th century gothic ruined church in the city of Coimbra, where this concert was held on 25th May 2012 during the 10th edition of Jazz ao Centro Festival, adds to the music, the most remarkable aspect is the astonishing set of performative techniques by Carlos, where he seems to emulate a trotting race over ruined pavement on a horse-drawn carriage on the intermittent phrasing of the opening "Crushing Wheels" before soaking the strings of his violin in dramatically catchy screeches on the following "Portions of Life", plays sets of equidistant tones on multiple chords on "Twisted Chords", highlights the "strangulations" of a sort of obsessive sequence of silenced breaks on "Void of Night" before reaching the peak of tragedy and pathos on the beautiful solo of "Scroll of Fate". The premise that the label wrote in the linear notes, bridging Salazar's dictatorship and the contemporary financial crisis that Portugal is experiencing by emphasizing the importance of music in troublesome times ("What links the past to the present moment? A great deal, it turns out. Portugal is now living through another kind of challenge - our financial crisis- Is that crisis real? Or are we just toys in the hands of the FMI and Troika? We don't know. What we know for sure is that at least we can express ourselves creatively and freely, and we will not allow anyone to that take that from us."), seems to be a wise way to frame label's manifesto.

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