Another Timbre

From his adventures with Cremaster to the recent collaborations with the likes of John Duncan, Alfredo Costa Monteiro has been analyzing the fundamental nature of harmonic resonance through methods that could appear as not really innovative on a negligent listen. What we need here is exactly the opposite, as the 32 minutes of Centre Of Mass clearly show that the core of a vibration is perceivable – make that “visible” – only to those who are impermeable to words but have the channels of responsiveness wide open.

The record is built upon separated episodes of different length, all generated by the simplest means: a cymbal and “resonant objects”. Beginning with straightforward quivering essences that we can barely define as “tones”, various gradations of harmonics are explored by extracting the grime and the acid to convert what superficially appears as a grim diversification of frictional harshness into something that must be investigated starting from the rear side of the skull which, at serious volume, is the first part of the body that gets aroused by these stimulating, if admirably controlled phenomena.

Those apparently jarring superimpositions gradually evolve until they become an aggregation of protective reminiscences, as we’re thrown back in a critical setting which is probably nearer to the preliminary phase of biologic life than to the painful qualities of dissonance. Although impressively resounding the frequencies never threaten to overwhelm, looking at the listener with a sort of severe benevolence. They eclipse fear and stupor at once, tracing a mental path to be followed without hesitation in order for the very nerves to undergo a beneficial effect, a sharing of the overall wavering in the energetic flux of existence.

When the music abruptly ends one is left pondering about buried meanings and trying to give an answer to a massive amount of doubts, yet the lingering sensation is that what’s just passed might have been a rare glimpse of afterlife under the outer shell of sonic waves that – while harmonious for the well-trained – are not going to absolve the ignorant.

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