Pedro Rebelo’s “Listen to me” reviewed by Neural

What do nanotechnologies, innovative industrial food safety processes and experimental music have in common? Is the ‘charm’ of certain sound environments alone enough to inspire an entire album of contemporary experimentation? Yes, if the formal result is so rich that it almost conceals the fact that its essence is simple field recordings. A residency in 2017 at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, in Braga (Portugal), was the starting point for this project by Pedro Rebelo. Rebelo recorded sounds that came from the laboratories, machinery and broader environment of the centre. The quantity and quality of the sounds emanating from these workplaces was surprising: from the acoustic signals of the equipment, to the enormous air treatment fans, to the whistle of the liquid nitrogen used, to the millimetric precision of the ultrasounds one use for the treatment of specific substances. Rebelo’s residency resulted in a sound installation at GNRation, developing a further investigation and amalgamation of the collected sound materials. There are two pieces – respectively of about sixteen minutes each – presented in this cassette-release. Rebelo’s background as a pianist and improviser is evident in a complex musicality, rich in variations and refined juxtapositions. Pedro Rebelo has been Professor of Sonic Arts at Queen’s University Belfast since 2012 and the recipient of two major scholarships from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. One of these includes his interdisciplinary project “Sounding Conflict”, which investigates the relationships between sound, music and conflict situations. Rebelo is a specialist in the topic, boasting participatory projects involving communities in Belfast, the favelas of Maré, Rio de Janeiro, itinerant communities in Portugal and a slum city in Mozambique. Listen to me is a compelling work, and both suites feature some very evocative passages, slightly mysterious but always controlled, impeccably managed, with field recordings that almost replace individual real instruments or electronic effects. Aurelio Cianciotta

via Neural

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