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På skive



The Portuguese hyper.object quintet was formed in 2019 by three veterans from the Lisbon’s vibrant, free improvised scene – pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro and double bass player Hernâni Faustino (both from the sorely missed RED Trio, and both play in José Lencastre NAU Quartet, in the Clocks & Clouds quartet and in Lisbon Freedom Unit) and Carlos Santos on the electronics, with two young musicians – trumpeter João Almeida and drummer João Valinho. Pinheiro, who initiated this quintet, was influenced by the book of American environmental philosopher Timothy Morton, «Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World» (University of Minnesota Press, 2013), which claims that hyperobjects phenomena or events in space and time, like global warming, become visible during an age of ecological crisis, but alert humans to the ecological dilemmas defining the age in which they live. Morton’s ideas also inspired Björk’s song «Hyperballad».

The debut album of this quintet, «inter.independence», was recorded in one of the openings of the covid-19 frequent lockdowns at Timbuktu Studio in Lisbon in September 2020. The premise defined for the recording session is captured by the album title and opted for free, individual, and, obviously, free improvised articulations over a collective and aesthetics. The desired focus of this session demanded from each musician develop his own ideas individually and not immediately react or engage in direct dialog with the other musicians of the quintet. hyper.object wanted to offer a complex, layered dynamics that would interact organically, «so the tension would arise by the textures and the expected and unexpected interactions created between these different layers».

With, or without this experimental premise, the outcome suggests that hyper.object already established its own sonic identity as a working band. These gifted musicians know that the music always comes first, whether they play urgent and percolating improvisation like the opening «glitch» or experiment on the following pieces «low», «loss», «glow» and «last» with more fragmented, free-form, slow-cooking yet introspective textures. These improvisations often employ silence as a fundamental building element and offer poetic dynamics that stress a rare kind of deep listening.

Eyal Hareuveni  

Rodrigo Pinheiro (p), João Almeida (tp), Carlos Santos (elec), Hernâni Faustino (b), João Valinho (dr)

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