Portuguese, Berlin-based prolific cellist Guilherme Rodrigues describes his solo album Acoustic Reverb as the most important one he did in 25 years of his career. The album is a sound investigation process of the cello, in different spaces with particular reverberation. It was recorded between May and October 2022 in eleven different churches in Berlin (Passionskirche, Magdalenenkirche, Christuskirche, Herz-Jesu-Kirche, Evangelische Stephanus-Kirchegemeinde, St Christophorus Kirche, Zwinglikirche, Sophienkirche, Zionskirche and Marthakircheand) and one historical boat (MS Heimatland gallery). Each location had its distinct sonic qualities that tempted Rodrigues to explore its unique qualities.
Acoustic Reverb is the second solo cello album of Rodrigues, following Cascata (Creative Sources, 2020), and it offers 58 concise compositions for acoustic cello, the longest one lasts 3:15 minutes, but many pieces last a few dozen seconds. Obviously, each space affects all parameters of playing – the manner of bowing, the extended bowing techniques or touching and rubbing the strings, the elasticity of the acoustic sounds, and the way the vibrating sounds resonate within the rich reverberating architectures and spaces until they completely decay.
These spaces allow Rodrigues to reflect and investigate his own art and his instrument as well as the music written for the cello throughout the centuries. His open and encompassing approach embraces all elements – chamber, reverent and melodic, minimalist and experimental, or freely improvised and sound-oriented, often in the same piece. Rodrigues succeeds to make this ambitious journey a cohesive, immersive and beautiful one. A real tour de force.
Guilherme Rodrigues (c)