Ernesto Rodrigues / Mathieu Werchowski / Guilherme Rodrigues – DRAIN

Creative Sources

Despite the standard string trio line-up (Mathieu Werchowski on violin, Ernesto Rodrigues on viola and his son Guilherme on cello) this is a sweetly uncommon outing. On “Graduation” conventional string playing is shredded into a swarm of disemboweled, frictional harmonics, with continuous ghostly bowed whistling counterpointed by wooden encounters of the nth kind, extracurricular spring boinging and all manner of percussive clatter. It’s a sort of tiny superdense instant revolution destined to fail within minutes, a DIY deconstruction of polyphony disguised as small-scale industrial clangour. After the stop-start charges, scrambled Morse code and queasy glissando traffic jams of “Light”, “Metaphor” begins with icy scraping – sort of Hans Reichel meets Radu Malfatti – then walks on a bounce-and-resonate tightrope, saturating the acoustic space with throbbing hums, hyperactive chattering and spicy dissonant pizzicati. A truly orchestral hysteria sets in, the players totally possessed by a Webernesque St.Vitus’ Dance before they return to picking, plucking and bumping. I’m wondering if I should have this played at my funeral, especially that fabulous concluding descending cascade. “Solitude” mixes Hitchcock and Jon Rose, shining like bleached bones in the desert, forcing the attention on substances that are barely perceivable on first listening, but in fact form the very skeleton of these awkward miniatures. Everything is just perfect.

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