CHRISTINE WODRASCKA / RAMON LOPEZ – Momentos

Leo

This duo between pianist Wodrascka and percussionist Lopez follows their first recording Aux Portes Du Matin (also on Leo) of seven years. Theirs is a particularly stimulating combination, a form of musicality informed by a mix of slight aggressiveness and refinement. In many occasions the pairing of piano and percussion gives life to idioms tending to generate unconquerable, often unjustified complications for those who listen. On the contrary, there’s a definite will of letting people see what’s happening in Momentos, a natural exuberance rendering the knottier segments much lighter and, at the same time, an ever-present integrity – in fact underlining the entire work – characterizing the sections in which obstreperousness is left aside in favour of an intense investigation of the timbral gamut that constitutes the keystone of the artists’ acuity.

Wodrascka is indeed a clever analyst of the possibilities of her instrument. She delivers clearly decipherable outbreaks and tolerable incongruities, silver-tongued figurations that could be defined as a Cecil Taylor/Irene Schweizer hybrid, still maintaining a critical uniqueness. Once the insides of the piano are deemed useful for certain peculiar illustrations, the task is performed by leaving abundant space around the nutritive aural substance leaking from an attentive arrangement of scraped, plucked and hammered elucidations . Lopez listens carefully and responds accordingly, a never-invasive liberality explicated by the use of an extremely rich palette (including bizarre melodic sources such as xylophone and steel drums) that – at least in the 70% of the cases – is perfectly responding to his partner’s requests. The deriving music is an expression of reciprocal regulation, achieved through unambiguous gestures revealing recurrent cross-questioning in not-too-contradictory heteromorphy. The whole is summed up by the sense of curiosity lingering on after the program’s over, the playback restarting right away.

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