The piano / electronics format is not a novelty, coming from John Cage associations with David Tudor and having as a notorious example the recent Alva Noto / Ryuichi Sakamoto duos. What is really surprising in this “Quest” is the combination of a classical pianist, Joana Gama, with a live processing laborer and synthesist active in the experimental fringes of pop music, Luís Fernandes. Exactly: the soul behind the ambient act The Astroboy and a founder member of the song-oriented band peixe:avião, one of the most applauded projects in a new wave of the Portuguese “indie” creativity.
The result is neither a “contemporary” nor a “chill out” recording, and it isn’t also a post-modern hybrid of both approaches, but something else. It’s not the piano, nor the electronic manipulations, which are in focus, but the multiple ways in which the piano sounds are transformed, dissected, looped and put upside down. Like if a third instrument is phantomized by the two others in presence. This description may give the idea that the pieces assembled in this CD are a series of cold, dry and abstract deconstructions, but that’s not the case: everything flows like Zen soundscapes in the inner world inside our heads, and the music has a poetic, lyrical dimension that makes us reconnect with the idea of Beauty of the Ancient Greeks.
01 twisted movements
02 sparks and crackles
03 from mist to nothing
06 night drive
08 let bygones be bygones
09 this frozen sea
recorded at Theatro Circo by Luís Fernandes / mixed by Luís Fernandes
mastered by Nélson Carvalho / fotos by Eduardo Brito / design by Travassos
all tracks by Joana Gama and Luís Fernandes except for Dream by John Cage.