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Lantana is an experimental, all-female sextet, featuring the new generation of Portuguese free improvisers – violinist Maria do Mar, vocal artist Maria Radich, cellist Joana Guerra, electronics player Carla Santana and trumpeter and vocalist Anna Piosik, who have played in other local experimental ensembles like Ernesto Rodrigues’ Variable Geometry Orchestra and Camerata MIA, augmented by Swedish-born, Philadelphia-based cellist and electronics player Helena Espvall, who frequently collaborates with Portuguese musicians. The sextet recorded its debut album Elemental at Namouche Studios in Lisbon in January 2020.

The title of the band refers to a genus of about 150 species of perennial flowering plants in the verbena family, Verbenaceae, further expressed in the cover photo by local photographer Pedro Jafuno. The album is endorsed by French double bass master Joëlle Léandre, who, obviously complimented Lantana for being «a women’s band», but also the «beautiful meeting of deep listening and simple structures, melodic and fragile sometimes».

Léandre is totally right. Lantana offers a mystic, feminine ritual, chamber, intimate and highly sensual in its spirit, one that creates its own organic and imaginative universe and is always in search of the unknown. The chants and the spiritual invocations of Radich, often with Piosik, are processed by the subtle electronics of Santana, and the string instruments and the trumpet of do Mar, Guerra, Piosik and Espvall embrace and caress these suggestive voices. The dynamics highlight exceptional deep listening that always serves the fragile flow of the music. Points of reference may be the Norwegian all-female, free-improvising Spunk or Evan Parker’s Electro-Acoustic Ensemble but Lantana already established its own sonic identity.

Elemental invites the listener into a one-of-a-kind, beautiful, magical mystery tour, a highly seductive and imaginative, immersive listening experience. Waiting for more magical tours with Lantana.


Maria do Mar (vio), Maria Radich (v), Joana Guerra (c), Carla Santana (elec), Anna Piosik (tp, v), Helena Espvall (c, elec)

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