Portuguese, the Berlin-based cellist Guilherme Rodrigues founded the Red List Ensemble as an experimental, sonic lab. This international nonet real-time textual approach would focus on timbral search, would blend free and infinitely variable acoustic and electronic possibilities while using an extensive array of techniques in order to create a universe of complex and unusual dynamics and organic mutations. The Ensemble features, among others, Japanese pianist Rieko Okuda, German clarinetist Michael Thieke, Danish sax player Mia Dyberg, and Britsh electronics player Richard Scott. The debut album of the Ensemble, «Scope», was recorded at StudioBoerne45 in Berlin In January 2019.
The three, untitled extended pieces explore the distinct languages and improvisation strategies of the Ensemble musicians, informed by free jazz, free-improv, and contemporary music, but liberated now from these legacies and distilled into a loose and reductionist, non-hierarchical collective interplay. The nuanced focus on micro-sound events and textures involves dynamics in which the silence/noise dichotomy has an important determining role.
There are endless games of contrasting gestures, between the subtle rhythmic patterns, the harmonic exploration, and the continuous timbral search. The dynamics in the first piece tend to the chaotic, urgent pole but shift into a quiet, enigmatic one, slowly gains more timbral dimensions and more intensity and surprisingly ends in a clear harmonic manner. This undercurrent resurfaces again and again in the last, third piece, intensifies by the contributions of sax player Dyberg and trombonist Matthias Müller and the rhythmic conception of the whole Ensemble and often sounds more as a highly reserved version of free jazz meets free-improv session.
Listen carefully with wid, open ears.
Marko Hefele (vio), Rieko Okuda (p), Michael Thieke (cl), Guilherme Rodrigues (c), Matthias Müller (tb), Mia Dyberg (as), Klaus Kürvers (b), Sofia Borges (perc), Richard Scott (elec)