There had to be a reason why, several months ago, Ernesto Rodrigues recommended that I listen with special attention to this duo with Carlos Santos, recorded in 2018 and released in 2020. Indeed, Metamorfose is both a “classic” Creative Sources CD – improvisational purity in a semi-solid state – and a departure from what we generally assume when Rodrigues is engaged in a recording.
Santos, who juggles viola and violin sonics via electronics supposedly run by a computer (…or is it?), is crucial in glorifying the innermost potentials of every single molecule put in vibration by his partner. The latter unleashes the entire range of bowed wisdom for which he is renowned: jittery tremolos, lingering whispers, crossbreeding between wood and strings, percussion combined with extended techniques, upper partials that stroke or bite depending on the moment.
The processing of the components produces a chain of transients, alignments and total deconstructions of the acoustic realm, at the same time challenging the listener’s psychoacoustic skills. We discern the concurrence of sound and noise without one of the two elements overpowering the other. We sense a vividly resonant “environment” that, in some moments, almost made us turn around to check if something was moving behind. One gradually becomes attuned to the music, including the most discordant harmonic period. That, in any case, represents the preliminary to a developmental stage.
It may be improvisation, but the ultimate taste is that of a serious electronic composition. As the waters calm down and the silence regains possession of our room, the realization of what has happened is etched in the mind. No necessity to lucubrate further.