New release: @c’s “Three-Body Problem”

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Three-Body Problem is @c’s sixteenth full-length album, and their eighth in Crónica. Like the previous Ab OVO, this album started as a soundtrack for the puppet theatre play Agapornis, premièred by the Teatro de Marionetas do Porto in October 2014, and inspired in the life and works of Anaïs Nin. Three-Body Problem was (re)composed after the première of Agapornis, therefore it is not its soundtrack, but it is intimately intertwined with it, resulting from two sequential processes of composition.

The first of these lead to the play’s soundtrack. It was developed with the company during the rehearsals and work sessions in the process of creating Agapornis. Built to a script with two female characters (played with puppets) that were two poles over which the soundtrack should be developed, the composition started with an invitation to Angelica V. Salvi (harp) and Susana Santos Silva (trumpet) to record solo parts. These parts were used as building blocks, as two attractors over which 21 pieces grew, almost by aggregation.

The post-première stage of composition was focused on the album. This did not try to recreate the play, but rather to revise and recompose the music, building a related work that would inevitably draw much more than inspiration from the play.

In Agapornis, a third character with several spoken lines was played by an actor. In this second process, that symbolic role was enacted by the interventions of João Pais Filipe (cymbals and bells) and Ricardo Jacinto (cello and electronics), two musicians with whom @c have collaborated in the past. By doing new studio recordings at later stages of the composition, or by using archival material from previous sessions, these two new collaborations helped to bring Three-Body Problem to its final form with the 9 tracks now published.

Three-Body Problem resulted from a long, slow, and matured process of composition, spanning more than two years. This process resulted from the need to allow pauses in the compositional process, to allow memory to fade, and surprise to come into effect when (re)listening to the works in progress. But also to allow other works developed during that period (as live performances or sound installations) to contaminate, and occasionally infiltrate, the pieces.

This album goes to the core of @c’s working process: a process that emphasizes collaboration; a process that is highly conceptual and very structured but that embraces and searches for emergence; a process that is very plastic, treating sound as matter to be shaped and modelled and from which to grow the pieces; a process that is encompassing and dynamic, developed between studio, stage, rehearsals, performance, audiovisuals, installations, and other activities.

Agapornis was created by Isabel Barros, Edgard Fernandes, and Rui Queiroz de Matos. Puppets were designed by Júlio Vanzeler, built by Sandra Neves, Cláudia Armanda, and João Pedro Trindade, and performed by Micaela Soares, Ricardo Ribeiro, Rui Queiroz de Matos, and Vasco Temudo.

All pieces composed by @c (Pedro Tudela & Miguel Carvalhais) in 2014-2016 from the original soundtrack to Agapornis, by Teatro de Marionetas do Porto, premièred in October 2014.

Featuring: Angelica V. Salvi (harp in 113, 115, 117, 118, 119); Susana Santos Silva (trumpet in 111, 112, 113, 114, 116, 118); João Pais Filipe (gongs & bells in 112); Ricardo Jacinto (cello & electronics in 114, 117); Edgard Fernandes & Rui Queiroz de Matos (voices in 114).

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@c live at SMUP

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Next Saturday, May 28, @c (Pedro Tudela & Miguel Carvalhais) will perform at SMUP Parede. Copies of their new album “Three-Body Problem” will be available!

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Soon in Crónica: “Is the Space Empty Only to be Filled with the Energy of this Voice?”

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“Bittersweet Melodies” reviewed by Blow Up

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Slavin combina musica e video e ha un curriculum niente male. Questi sono pezzi rimasti non pubblicati nell’ultima dozzina d’anni. Pur nella varietà di sonorità e riferimenti si avverte una unità di fondo, une stile, forse meno appariscente di quanto sia in sostanza. Notevole il piglio narrativo, quasi un susseguirsi di scorci cinematografici o polaroid. Più che outtakes sembrano note ai margini. Girolamo Dal Maso

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“Bittersweet Melodies” reviewed by Amusio

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Der Israeli Ran Slavin ist in erster Instanz Multimedia-Künstler. Und weiterhin Musiker. Im weitesten Sinne. Sein Schaffen ist von arglistiger Täuschung sowie didaktischer Raffinesse gekennzeichnet. Die für ihn charakteristische Trennung von realen und irrealen Räumlichkeiten sowie das prozessuale Verfassen von sichtbar unsichtbar gemachten Zuständen schlägt sich auch auf seinem bereits elften Studioalbum nieder. Bittersweet Memories (Crónica) stellt zwar unentwegt Bezüge her, lässt diese jedoch derart resolut kollabieren, dass sich aus der Vielzahl der Optionen eine Lesart aufdrängt: die bittersüßen Erinnerungen sind die Vorboten einer in sich (und zurecht) verbitterten Weltwahrnehmung.

Die Titel sind bezugsreich gewählt: Category: Murdered Entertainers, Fake Sunsets, Dubai Dawn, Sinatra Was Here, Deserted New Buildings. Oder eben, selbstreferentiell: Collapsing Melody. Dennoch vermeidet Ran Slavin konsequent griffige Entsprechungen. Zumal das Album insgesamt eine Wirkung auslöst, die das Gewesene eines jeden Szenarios in die Nivellierung überführt.

Einzig der mit einer stoischen Verabschiedung von verbrämter Nostalgie schwingende Ausklang (Discreet Features) erlaubt einen Hinweis aufs Konkrete. Und selbst dieser wird allgemein (und umso verbindlicher) gehalten: Im Vernehmen der Zeit als Konstante der Vergänglichkeit wähnt sich die inflationär getaktete Imagination gegenüber dem Wert von Realitäten als haushoch überlegen. Auch wenn es sich bei diesem Haus nur um ein weiteres „deserted new building“ handelt.

Die seltsam vor sich hin plätschernde Gebrauchselectronica von Bittersweet Memories, die eine gewisse (und gegebene) Nähe zur Haus-Ästhetik von Mille Plateaux offenbart, entzieht sich der Verantwortung. Ihre Gegenständlichkeit transportiert weder Druck noch Appell. Und doch gelingt es, so denn überhaupt etwas gelingen sollte, einen soliden Schiedsspruch zu sedimentieren: Tempus fugit. Wer heute resigniert, kann morgen schon frei sein. Beunruhigend und verheißungsvoll zugleich, oder? Stephan Wolf

via Amusio

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