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PEDRO MELO ALVES

«Zero of Form»
SELF PRODUCED

Young Portuguese drummer-composer Pedro Melo Alves was told by fellow Portuguese guitarist Afonso Pais that timbre defines the ultimate truth of a musician. This advice and others by comrades in the experimental and contemporary music encouraged Alves to rethink his approach to the drum-set. He observed that he «only truly known the feeling of, for an instant, not being myself and ‘being’ another with whom I’m playing, through sound, through timbre”. So he decided to investigate the “unknown territories, outside the walls of your small truths, and learn something new».

Alves’ aesthetics embrace modern jazz, free-improvised and contemporary music, and soundtracks for theater and dance. He calls his solo project «Zero of Form» «improvisation studies», an ongoing personal process,  that, naturally, introduces and explores an array of his own extended techniques. He concludes that this process is «about hating and loving, constructing, and deconstructing your way somewhere far from you». The sessions for this album were recorded at Ermo do Caos, Porto, in April 2020.

The six pieces explore distinct strategies of exploring and sculpting nuanced sounds, time, and pulse, with great focus to detail and an impressive sense of control. «Zero of Form» begins with the tension between cyclical rhythmic patterns and the delicate comments on these patterns on «On Metamorphic Shapes and Cycles»; The minimalist «On Pendulums and Landscapes» sketches a cinematic narrative, and focuses on weird but suggestive sonic inventions; «On Noise, Data and Feedback» is a subtle game of fragile, common sounds and likewise unworldly ones, in a dynamic that enriches both sonic languages; The brief «On An Unlikely Mechanism» plays with an exotic, gamelan-like pattern; «On Arpeggio Waves» explores a quiet and distant drone while investigating the resonant qualities of the skins of the drums; The last «On Attack, Sustain and Crescendo For Nothing» offers another mysterious and dramatic narrative that employs wisely all parts of the drum set plus bells, but opts, aa on previous parts,  for a reserved approach that triggers the listener’s imagination.

Magical, mysterious study.

Eyal Hareuveni

Pedro Melo Alves (dr, perc, obj)

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