«Turquoise Dream» documents a live performance of an ad-hoc quartet of adventurous free-improvisers from different generations and with distinct approaches to improvisation and how a free-improvisation can morph into an instant composition. The quartet features, Polish, Amsterdam-based Marta Warelis; Portuguese, Lisbon-based violinist Carlos «Zíngaro», one of the pioneers of the European free-improvisation scene; Swedish, Philadelphia-based cellist Helena Espvall; and fellow-Portuguese, Coimbra-based guitarist Marcelo dos Reis. «Turquoise Dream» was recorded at Museu National Machado de Castro during Jazz ao Centro Festival in October 2019.
The instrumentation of this quartet leads into a chamber kind of interplay that incorporates ideas from contemporary music, augmented by extended bowing techniques and playing inside-the-piano techniques developed in different schools of free-improvisation. The egalitarian, patient dynamics of the five pieces allows the quartet to discover surprising rhythmic patterns, explore mysterious colors and sound, and to form labyrinthian structures that already gravitate into mature compositions.
All these pieces flow naturally, whether the quartet focuses on a loose, rhythmic texture as on the opening piece «Finer Grades», searches for an abstract, highly nuanced drone that later flirts with romantic Spanish guitar legacy as on «Pale Bluish», or explores tense but evocative, string-based timbres on «Revealing A Line». Dos Reis takes «Specific Gravity» into intense terrains, assisted by the percussive piano playing of Warelis and imaginative solos of «Zíngaro» and Epsvall, who already have developed a telepathic interplay, and often sound as one. The last «Blue In Green» highlights a lyrical, haunting vein in the restless dynamics of the quartet. The beautiful art of the cover by Joana Monteiro fits into the rare, fascinating magic of this performance.
Marta Warelis (p), Carlos «Zíngaro» (vio), Helena Espvall (c, eff), Marcelo dos Reis (g)