Discography Details

KREIS

Ernesto Rodrigues:
violin, viola
Michael Thieke:
clarinet, alto clarinet
Guilherme Rodrigues:
cello, pocket trumpet
Carlos Santos:
electronics

Recorded on 29 March 2004, at Tcha Tcha Tcha Studios, Lisbon
Cover by Alfredo Costa Monteiro
Creative sources/lisbon (P) 2005
www.creativesourcesrec.com
01 0ş
02 32ş45'
03 56ş17'
04 112ş23'
05 168ş
06 245ş34'
07 360ş

Press

On the ever so active label Creative Sources two more releases. Like all releases so far they deal with improvised music. Labelboss Ernesto Rodrigues plays violin and viola. Other plays on 'Kreis' are Michael Thieke (clarinet, alto clarinet), Guilherme Rodrigues (cello, pocket trumpet) and Carlos Santos (computer). 'Kreis' is german for circle and the seven pieces on this CD are indicated with degrees of a circle. I'm not sure how that works out in the music, for instance if instruments take leads during specific parts. Despite the use of a computer, I thought this was a very acoustic sounding disc, save for the last track which has an extended use of electronica and amplification. Without any sort of electronic treatment, the sounds are pretty upfront and the players play their instruments as objects rather than producing the sounds that these instruments were made for. This is the modern form of improvisation: an investigation of all the sounds that an instrument as an object can produce. The music on this CD fits the tradition of recent developments in improvisation very well.
Frans de Waard, VITAL WEEKLY (NL)

Kreis. Okrag. Zbiór wszystkich punktów plaszczyzny oddalonych od danego punktu o dana liczbe dodatnia. Zbiór spójny i domkniety, wiec poruszanie sie w nim powinno byc stosunkowo latwe, jednak po przebyciu calej drogi nastapi powrót do punktu wyjscia. Czy znajomosc tego faktu, to dobry prognostyk przed podróza, w która zabiora sluchaczy Ernesto Rodrigues (skrzypce i altówka), Michael Thieke (klarnety), Guilherme Rodrigues (wiolonczela i kieszonkowa trabka) oraz Carlos Santos (komputer) ? Trudno odpowiedziec na to pytanie. Przekonajmy sie.... Zero stopni. Wyruszamy. Poczatkowo czas plynie wolno, dopiero w trzecim utworze kat srodkowy staje sie katem rozwartym. Jednak uplyw czasu nie ma znaczenia, bo juz od pierwszego momentu muzyka zaczyna dominowac. A muzyka to nienajlatwiejsza. Fascynujaca, lecz wymagajaca sporego natezenia uwagi; niektóre dzwieki ulatuja natychmiast, inne trwaja dluzej, jednak ich mnogosc i niepowtarzalnosc sprawiaja, ze mozna przeoczyc, w którym miejscu zostaly umieszczone. Faktura utworów jest dosc gesta, brzmienia nasycone i intensywne, nawet pomimo tego, ze wiele dzieje sie tu na granicy ciszy. Oddechy muzyków wzmocnione i ukierunkowane przez klarnet i trabke, szum komputera, stukot klapek klarnetu, delikatne pociagniecia po strunach oraz ich mocniejsze pocieranie, trzaski i skrzypienie drewnianych czesci skrzypiec, altówki i wiolonczeli skladaja sie na niezwykle mocna pajeczyne dzwieku, zadziwiajaca przemyslana forma i wywazeniem szczególów. Nagranie czwarte, przenoszace nas w rejony blizsze katowi pelnemu - którego jednak nadal wedrowcom nie udaje sie osiagnac - zaczyna sie niewinnie. Delikatne stukoty, ciche podmuchy zaczynaja przechodzic w, grozace nabawieniem sie klaustrofobii, trzaski oraz skrzypienia, napiecie wzrasta i znajduje krótkotrwala ulge we, wspomaganym piskiem komputera, przenikliwym pizzicato skrzypiec, kontrapunktowanym zadziwiajacym delikatnoscia wolaniem klarnetu. Jednak wyczekiwane ukojenie nie przychodzi, znów wracaja nieokreslone brzmienia, a z nimi niepokój i enigma. I w takim stanie dochodzimy do nagrania piatego; stosunkowo krótkiego, ale to wlasnie podczas jego trwania pokonujemy blisko osiemdziesiat stopni, nadzwyczaj pewnie balansujac pomiedzy cisza a pelnym napiecia crescendem. W utworze szóstym przesiadamy sie do pociagu, powoli wyruszajacego w swoja ostatnia podróz, odglosy buchajacej pary sasiaduja ze skrzypieniem starej konstrukcji, chwila obawy, czy sie uda ... Jednak udalo sie i stlumiony stukot kól, niepewny odglos uciskanych wysluzonych torów, nostalgiczny zew lokomotywy towarzysza ostatnim chwilom naszej podrózy. Utwór siódmy noszacy tytul: " " sugeruje, ze wrócilismy; ze podróz dobiegla konca.
Ale czy na pewno wrócilismy ? Wszystko wydaje sie byc nie takie, jak zapamietalismy... Jakos tu dziwnie, moze nie tyle straszno, co obco; dominuje komputer, jego chlodna barwa tworzy glebokie, intensywne tlo dla pozostalych instrumentów, klarnet i instrumenty smyczkowe dzielenie mu sekunduja w przelamywaniu ciszy, ale niekonwencjonalne dzwieki sa w stanie sprawic, by przenikliwe zimno otoczenia ustapilo. Nie bylo nas tylko trzydziesci kilka minut (cala plyta trwa ich czterdziesci), ale swiat, z którego wyruszylismy zdazyl odejsc.Rodriguesowi, Thiekemu, Rodriguesowi i Santosowi udalo sie nagrac bardzo udana plyte; intrygujaca sonorystyczna improwizacja wydaje sie byc dzielem zespolowym - w wiekszosci momentów trudno jest okreslic, który instrument jest za co odpowiedzialny - rozegranym niezwykle precyzyjnie, w sposób bardzo uwazny i konsekwentny; zmiany nastepuja dosc szybko, motywy nagle wybrzmiewaja ustepujac miejsca kolejnym; sporo dzieje sie tu na granicy ciszy, ale nie jest to plyta z gatunku tych, na których prawie niczego nie slychac, poniewaz sa na "Kreis" fragmenty porazajace swoja intensywnoscia. Latwo jest zauwazyc, ze muzycy czuja sie pewnie i w jednych, i w drugich, jednak dla sluchacza najwazniejsze jest to, ze w obu przypadkach nieustannie potrafia przykuc jego uwage. "Kreis" to kolejna pozycja wydana przez Creative Sources Recordings, po która zdecydowanie warto siegnac.
Tadeusz Kosiek, DIAPAZON (PL)

Someone is trying to enter your room. Only, it is not your room - it's a nightmare of labyrinths in your conscience. Interrogating the laptop divinities, Carlos Santos only receives an out-of-syntony blanket of spuriousness as a reply: "Mind your own path". Around this scenario, droplets of unknown fancies crash on the monitor systems of concrete failures, courtesy of Ernesto and Guilherme Rodrigues' plucky fingers and arco disintegrations: the two are able to reproduce any splinter of daily life, from nuclear tests to your coffee machine's whistle at 6:30 AM, without even caring if they made the appropriate choice at that very moment - and of course they did. Michael Thieke's winds from peripheral urban areas are so delightfully glacial, one would appreciate his sound alimenting an experimental tunnel where people are forced to focalize on fading lights until total blindness. Santos is still there, his will undefeated, trying to put some order in the chaos of these strained theories... For me, it's a marvellous quartet.
Massimo Ricci, TOUCHING EXTREMES (I)

Laptopper Carlos Santos is perhaps best known for his work with Paulo Raposo on the Sirr label, as part of the group Vitriol and on Insula Dulcamara. Kreis marks his debut on another Portuguese imprint with which he's become closely associated, Creative Sources. He's joined by CS boss man Ernesto Rodrigues on violin and viola, his son Guilherme Rodrigues on cello and pocket trumpet and Michael Thieke on clarinets on seven tracks of dense (but never muddy) improv. The most striking quality of the album is the uncompromisingly claustrophobic mix, courtesy Santos and Ernesto Rodrigues – Thieke's clarinet isn't so much in yer face as in yer earhole, and the rigorous hardcore extended techniques of Rodrigues pčre et fils mesh with Santos's electronics to create a seething web of information overload strangely reminiscent of Brian Ferneyhough's Time and Motion Study II (panning the cello to the left and the violin to the right makes a welcome change). Like their fellow improv travellers from the Iberian peninsula, Alfredo Costa Monteiro and Ferran Fages, aka Cremaster, with whom of course they've performed frequently (the world of improvised music is a very small one), the four musicians here have escaped from reductionism's eternal pianissimo cul-de-sac by climbing over the wall into an area of deserted wasteland once described by Eric Cordier as "soft noise". And there's lots to explore there.
Dan Warburton, PARISTRANSATLANTIC

O clarinetista Michael Thieke poderia ser o “special guest” de «Kreis» se a música que o contém năo fosse iminentemente colectiva, o que significa que năo há solos, ŕ maneira do jazz e da improvisaçăo mais convencional, e que todos os instrumentistas cumprem a mesma funçăo, ou melhor, todas as funçőes chamadas a intervir numa situaçăo musical como a documentada neste disco em boa hora chegado, sem condicionamentos apriorísticos que năo sejam os do credo da Creative Sources: cuidar da economia dos materiais e introduzir o silęncio como um som de per si. Năo há secçăo rítmica, nem acompanhantes, nem “front line”, a grande premissa, será oportuno referir, do conceito harmolódico de Ornette Coleman, o tal que nunca ninguém chegou a perceber muito bem do que se trata, a năo ser, precisamente, essa sua vertente năo-hierárquica. Com a diferença de que, no caso presente, năo há melodias nem harmonias que se fundam num eventual paradigma: Ernesto Rodrigues, o mentor desta formaçăo, continua a colocar na prática o princípio de que música é, simplesmente, o nome a dar a qualquer forma de organizaçăo dos sons, mesmo que esta nos pareça a-musical. Com o seu filho Guilherme Rodrigues e com Carlos Santos constituiu o trio base que aqui surge, com o acrescento do já referido Thieke, e esse talvez seja o motivo porque tudo nos parece tăo sedimentado. É certo que, nos concertos de tal trio, Guilherme troca o violoncelo pelo trompete de bolso e o transístor de ondas curtas, mas há um outro fôlego e um projecto que transcende o mero encontro improvisacional. Com o seu computador “laptop”, Santos consegue neutralizar completamente o carácter invasivo que a electrónica digital pode ter e agir como se também tocasse um instrumento acústico. Năo deve ter sido fácil gerir tăo imenso comedimento com um poderoso G4. Adiante, para dizer que o que o mesmo «Kreis» mostra implacável despojamento.
Rui Eduardo Paes (P)

Very sparse. Very minimal. These musicians make sounds with their instruments that may not have been intended by the original inventors. They do this in a way that at first seems to be a very random. After a longer listen, the inspirations soak through. These “noiselets and sounduals” (my words entirely) may be improvised, but they are very potent in their expressive capability. The listener can “pull” meaning from the limited abstractions much like they would a piece of modern art. I think what I really like about what I am hearing is that the “music” is really in interaction between the musicians, the sounds, and the listener, and each is as essential as the other for the success of the piece. This recording talks to me. That very concept intrigues me, because the goal, of most musicians seems to be more “to sing to you,” than “to talk to you.” Something about that is even more personal, even though the sounds are way out there.
NEO ZINE

Na tentativa de antever o espírito e postura subjacentes ŕ génese de Kreis, dois aspectos poderăo suscitar a incerteza num curioso que desta obra se abeire. Por um lado, o título escolhido – Kreis (termo que designa “círculo” em alemăo) – poderá ser indiciador de uma ordem sistematizada, geométrica e regrada associada ŕ música que aqui se apresenta. Por outro, a circum-navegaçăo trigonométrica sugerida pelos títulos das composiçőes do disco (0ş, 32ş 45’, 56ş 17, 112ş 23’, 168ş, 245ş34’ e 360ş) convidam a especular se a sua denominaçăo é reflexo de cálculo rigoroso e matematicamente complexo ou se de puro impulso aleatório.É evidente que o conhecimento prévio dos princípios estéticos e conceptuais que tęm norteado as carreiras dos quatro protagonistas desta obra pouca margem de erro ofereceriam relativamente ŕs suas intençőes para a etapa aqui retratada. Adeptos insuspeitos das tendęncias mais radicais da cena improvisada actual, passe a abrangęncia da expressăo, Kreis tem a particularidade de assinalar a estreia de Carlos Santos na Creative Sources, um baptismo que é devidamente apadrinhado pelos regressados Ernesto e Guilherme Rodrigues, e pelo clarinetista Michael Thieke. A presença de Carlos Santos introduz uma novidade na discografia recente de Ernesto Rodrigues – a coexistęncia entre instrumentaçăo acústica e electrónica processada em tempo real. A prestaçăo de Santos poder-se-á apelidar de camaleónica, uma vez que oscilando entre a discriçăo e a disrupçăo, mas tem o condăo de exponenciar a entropia do grupo, estimulando um reposicionamento permanente das coordenadas e aniquilando qualquer iniciativa individual de controlo da evoluçăo sonora. Mas há quem procure soltar-se da complexa teia que vai laboriosamente sendo urdida. Em 32ş 45’, por exemplo, Michael Thieke năo se contém, deixando escapar um sopro longo, ciclónico e imponente, embora as suas preocupaçőes assentem quase que exclusivamente na exploraçăo da tubagem dos seus clarinetes. Guilherme Rodrigues, quando troca o violoncelo pelo trompete de bolso, acompanha Thieke no mesmo tipo de abordagem subliminar do instrumento, ao passo que Ernesto, por seu lado, se concentra numa espécie de micro-gotejar constante e bulicioso, fértil em angulosidades e figuraçőes atomicistas.Capacidade de escuta e intuiçăo – dois atributos imprescindíveis ŕ criaçăo do tipo de música que encontramos em Kreis... e Ernesto, Guilherme, Thieke e Santos sabem fazę-lo ao mais elevado nível!
Joăo Aleluia, JAZZ.PT (P)

...Kreis (CS 020 cd) illustre le travail des responsables de Creative Sources avec le clarinettiste Michaël Thieke, membre de la mouvance ex-réductionniste berlinoise. Thieke, Ernesto Rodrigues au violon et ŕ l'alto, Guiherme Rodrigues, violoncelle et trompette de poche et Carlos Santos ŕ l'ordinateur y captent les signaux des sons comme le suggčrent les antennes fixées en contre plongé sur les différents tirages de la photo de pochette. Sept plages titrées avec des mesures de température ascendantes de 0° ŕ 360° et non minutées. Les instruments sont enregistrés ici avec beaucoup plus de présence, ŕ la limite de la saturation. Comme il s'agit toujours de bruits doux, cela donne ŕ la musique une plus grande percussivité et une dynamique plus agressive sans que cela soit gęnant. Pas le moins intéressant, il y a fort ŕ parier que Kreis, parmi tous ces groupes, recueillera les suffrages des amateurs de musique improvisée (avec METZ). D'abord, il y a plus de niveau ŕ la prise de son. Moins "idéologiques" (si si!) dans leur démarche, les quatre musiciens de Kreis laisse aller leurs instincts dans une plus grande variété sonore. Celle-ci est renforcée par le nombre des plages et leur minutage plus court. On joue ici sans arričre-pensée, alors qu'une éthique quasi - philosophique est scrupuleusement suivie par certains des autres groupes (Kenon, Amber, Vasistas, Ailack). On y retrouve d'une maničre condensée des caractéristiques des enregistrements précédents sans que cela soit un défaut. Écouter tous ces disques ŕ la file avec attention est aussi ardu que de se concentrer de cette maničre sur son instrument. Si j'arrive encore ŕ écouter aprčs quatre heures non-stop, c'est plutôt bon signe! Ces trois portugais sont aussi peu dogmatiques que leur label. Il y a bien une tendance qui se dégage de Creative Sources, mais ils sont pas casse bonbon...
Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg, IMPROJAZZ (F)

Ernesto Rodrigues 1999-ben alapított Creative Sources nev? privát hanglemez-kiadója már a kezdetektöl fogva kísérleti zenék és elektro-akusztikus improvizációk dokumentálására és publikálására szakosodott. A portugál mini-label jelenleg túl van a huszadik kiadványán, és bár az utóbbi idöben ipari méretekben, szinte futószalagon jelentetik meg a kiadónál a rögtönzött zenei elgondolások egy-egy igazán radikális példáját, a Creative Sources kiadványai mégis mindig egyenletes és kiváló minöséget képviselnek. A Kreis a kilencedik közvetlenül Rodrigues-hez köthetö lemez a Creative Sources égisze alatt, kuriózuma pedig talán az, hogy ez alkalommal is - többek között - fiával zenél együtt. Volt már szerencsém több Rodrigues vezette spontánzenélés felvételéhez, amiktöl ezen lemez s?r? és fülledt akusztikus hangfolyama a legkevésbé sem tér el, söt... Becsapás lenne azt állítani, hogy a négy hangszerest bármiféle forradalmi hangulat kerítette volna hatalmába, hiszen az eszközök és a hangok már ismerösek: különféle tárgyakkal preparált akusztikus hangszerek és Carlos Santos laptopjának hangjai keverednek, minden bizonnyal teljes ad hoc szeröséggel. Az idösebb Rodrigues heged?jéböl és mélyheged?jéböl, Guilherme fia pedig csellójából és egy zsebtrombitából csalja elö a legextrémebb hangokat. A tavaly március végén rögzített albumot a bemikrofonozott húros hangszereken való kaparászások, nyeszetelések felerösített hangjai uralják, Michael Thieke klarinétjai csak néhány alkalommal jutnak dominánsabb szerephez. A formáció negyedik tagjának, Carlos Santos laptopjának diszkrét morajlását is csak elvétve lehet hallani a lemez során - én például az elsö hallgatás alkalmával mindössze az utolsó tétel közben figyeltem fel rá, hogy monoton digitális búgások és halk sercegések, pattogások is bujkálnak az akusztikus zajok, zörejek között. Tehát a lisszaboni Tcha Tcha Tcha Studio-ban felvett Kreis lemez inkább akusztikus hangzású, és kiváló példája annak a modern improvizációs taktikának, amely azt preferálja, hogy egy adott instrumentumot mindössze egy hangszernek látszó tárgyként kezeljünk, így tehát ne rendeltetés szeröen használjuk, és ne úgy csaljunk ki belŚle hangokat, mint ahogyan az magától értetŚdŚ lenne, de mégis préseljük ki belöle a hangok leszélesebb, legváltozatosabb skáláját. Van koncepció is, bár igazából nem túl eredeti: a lemez címe Kreis, ami németül "kör"-t jelent, a hét felvétel pedig a kör egy-egy fokáról van elnevezve. Hajtott a kíváncsiság, és kiszámoltam, hogy az adott címek - azaz a meghatározott szögek és szögpercek - aránylanak-e a korong 41 perces teljes idŚtartamához. A számok többé-kevésbé aránylanak egymáshoz, mindössze annyi pontatlanságot fedeztem fel, hogy az utolsó - hét perces - tétel címét nem jelölheti a 360°, hiszen annak pont az album utolsó pillanatának kellene lennie. Bár a zenészek nem lépnek túl az egy adott hangszer összes létezö hangját feltérképezö, megszokott radikális improvizációkon, a Kreis egy kellemes, de igaz lelkesedéssel mindössze csak néhányszor végighallgatható alkotás. És abban sajnos már most majdnem biztos vagyok, hogy a jövöben sem példaértékö m?ként, sem pedig hasonlítási pontként nem nagyon fogom emlegetni.
Dusted Hoffman IMPROV.HU (HU)

On Kreis, Ernesto Rodrigues (violin, viola), Michael Thieke (clarinet, alto clarinet), Guilherme Rodrigues (cello, pocket trumpet), and Carlos Santos (electronics) beautifully explored the esoteric concepts of electroacoustic improvisation. Avoiding obvious musical narratives without disregarding the collaborative elements necessary for group improvisation, the quartet played with everything from dynamics to expectations. Most apparent, however, was their experimentation with the very materiality of their instruments. While the Western musical tradition has attempted to idealize sound (by using pop stoppers or editing out fret noise), these musicians approached their instruments, not only as sound-producers, but as objects capable of making sounds unintended by their inventors. The emphasis was on texture, not pitch. Consequently, the sound of keypads, string noise, tapped wood, etc were primary elements in the music. As a listener, you couldn't help but feel pulled by the music, as if the musicians were telling you a non-linear story in a linear fashion, in present tense. And yet it felt completely disjointed and off-kilter, with subtexts, posttexts, and pretexts. Whether intentional or not, it was the sense of time and space that was truly being addressed on Kreis, which is also the reason why the album shouldn't be ignored.
mr p (Eureka!)

Portugal’s Creative Sources has quickly become a must listen label. Focusing on music that sits in the cracks between European free improvisation and “lowercase sound” or “eai” music, label head and ace improviser Ernesto Rodrigues has kept up an active release schedule and built up an impressive catalogue of provocative improvisations.Kreis is a remarkable concerto for hissing steam and buckling metal. Featuring Creative Sources figurehead Ernesto Rodrigues on violin and viola, Guilherme Rodrigues on cello and pocket trumpet, Michael Thieke on clarinets, and Carlos Santos on computer, this one conjures up wind and storm for me. I’m not sure exactly what to make of the circular theme of this recording – “Kreis” in German for circle, and each of the seven improvisations is titled with indices of degrees on a circle – but I like to think that it is ritualistic in its meaning. Using the widest possible array of breath and arco techniques, the quartet almost casts a spell on the listener, inviting us into a space where our own breathing and perceptions are transformed in the inhalations and exhalations of sound. It’s Santos inclusion that distinguishes this disc a bit, unsettling the expectations and moods just enough to keep things on edge. Tight, focused, and with careful attention to dynamics – they know when to let loose with a blast of noise or jarring clack or unison whine – this disc compels from the start.
Jason Bivins, SIGNAL TO NOISE (USA)

Em 2004, Ernesto Rodrigues (viola, violino), Michael Thieke (clarinetes), Guilherme Rodrigues (violoncelo, pocket trumpet) e Carlos Santos (electrónica) gravaram KREIS (Creative Sources 020), trabalho aturado sobre as propriedades físicas do som, com atençăo totalmente voltada para a textura em detrimento da tonalidade. Há aqui imensa actividade, só que muito ŕ flor da pele, sem levantar ondas nem tumultos. Tudo se passa para além do tempo e do silęncio, quando o espaço passa também a assumir um papel de maior relevo. KREIS, título da obra, remete para representaçăo espacial sob a forma de círculo, e a denominaçăo dos temas toma diferentes graduaçőes desse círculo), permitindo a escuta atenta referenciar a exigente gestăo espácio-temporal que o quarteto realiza e que imprime ŕ música uma respiraçăo própria, suave e descompassada. E é ouvir sons de baixa amplitude e intensidade (salvo um caso ou outro, quando irrompe um silvo de clarinete de Thieke, acompanhado pelas cordas, no tema 4 – 112ş23’) a harmonizarem-se num prolongado e multiforme restolhar, graças sobretudo ao cuidado posto no acto de ouvir – palavra-chave destas e doutras estéticas afins. Postura que os músicos privilegiam sobre a actividade de produçăo sonora, interagindo entre si e com o estúdio de gravaçăo (microfones e mistura săo fundamentais) num lowercase de primeira qualidade e efeito volátil. KREIS bebe na fonte de Berlim, mas também é certo que a insect music britânica, numa versăo eventualmente mais esparsa, actualizada e tributária da electroacústica (e da manipulaçăo electrónica), tem qualquer coisa a ver com isto que aqui se passa. Bem merece repetidas e atentas audiçőes, única forma de apreender tudo quanto o círculo encerra em matéria de som, silęncio e das subtilezas que lhes dăo vida.
Eduardo Chagas JAZZ E ARREDORES (P)