@c + Drumming GP‘s “For Percussion” reviewed by Vital Weekly

The Portuguese duo of Miguel Carvalhais and Pedro Tudela have already been working together for over twenty years. They can be seen as both pioneers and prophets of all things laptops. Much of their music finds its roots in interacting together, with software, hardware and sounds. Here, they do something unusual for them: working with Drumming GP, a percussion ensemble by Miguel Bernat. Improvisation goes out of the door, and composition is welcomed. of course, things are never that black and white, as the composition can also be seen as a set of instructions. Over the years, @C played with the ensemble, or parts thereof, and excerpts (I think) can be found on this CD. The idea is, again, interaction, but now on a more significant level, with computers to the left and drummers to the right. @C uses various techniques to capture and process sounds. One fascinating example is ’88, For Stones, Objects, Microphones, Electronics’, which is captured in space, with microphones, and many resonances are going on. You can almost feel the venue, and the sound is crystal clear. There is also a more traditional approach of working with synthetic percussion and samples (’88R’ and ’66, For Sampled Standing Bells, Computer’) which is more akin to a remix. Sometimes the percussion players have the upper hand, such as in ’63, For Percussion, Synthetic Percussion, Electronics’, and @C’s role is modestly colouring drones as a hotbed. It makes for a powerful opening piece, as it’s not yet as abstract as some of the other pieces. The following piece, ’58, For Two Marimbas & Two Computers’, is one of those abstract approaches meeting the ‘real’ marimbas. There is an equilibrium here, but everybody has to be careful not to be the dominant player. There is quite some variation here, which makes this an excellent showcase for both @C and Drumming GP. The latter also worked with others, but this is my first encounter, and it’s a great one. (fdW)

via Vital Weekly