Accordionist Esteban Algora, flutist Alessandra Rombolà and percussionist Ingar Zach’s direction is clear, even if it may take hours to arrive at destination. In this case, they went back to the starting point: Urueña, where their first album (…de las piedras, on Another Timbre) had been recorded ten years prior.
I was instantly drawn in by the cover photo: the local road obstructed by sheep, the herdsman and his dogs leading the slow walk. Those acquainted with the pros and cons of living in a rural area know that this is a definite pro when driving unhurriedly. Waiting and smiling surrounded by bell sounds and diversely pitched “baaahs”represents a rare moment of reflection amidst temporal constraints and unspeakable thoughts. Accepting that no crucial plan or anxious haste is going to speed up that wool-bearing group’s trip across the tarmac is a must. Not to mention the marvelous petite lambs following their mothers. The primitive specimens who enjoy eating the flesh of creatures of such purity usually die in terrible distress.
Just kidding. Maybe.
Now, to the record’s actual content. Seven improvisations based on the kind of interaction where the respect of spacing and the awareness of a silence’s pregnancy is essential. Except for a track named “Lobizniega” – curiously recalling the union of an unlawful robust heartbeat and the noises made by workers inside an apartment twisted by a deforming lens – Trashumancia offers balanced juxtapositions of effective tones, delicate (or less) upper partials and changeable mechanics, each player supporting the collective texture as well as paying attention to the inner evolution of an animate polyphony.
If you excuse the low-budget pun, describing this material as “reductionist” would be reductive. There’s a wealth of beaming substance emanated by the instruments; Algora, Rombolà and Zach exploit acoustic intimacy retaining the penetrating qualities of the individual voices, including the most physical aspects of the playing (“Tras Un Sol Violento”).
Quite often the music communicates an impression of imminence deprived of menace as we picture ourselves alone at night, in that same country place, listening to sparse whispers of uncertain origin, trusting the impending appearance of auroral shades behind the hills. The segment titled “Naturaleza Inerte” tells what one needs to learn, without a word.
It takes so little to achieve composure. Relish the infrequent significant fragments you’re left with beyond the depressing stupidity of any anthropocentric theory. O3 will help determining a useful path through the daily nonsense.