Wednesday, 28 April 2010

AGUSTÍ FERNÁNDEZ – Un Llamp Que No S’Acaba Mai


Instantly manufactured during a December 2007 concert in Sigüenza, Spain, this album (whose title translates as “a lightning that never ends”) sounds quite distant from a conjectural sonic translation of that phenomenon. The recording introduces us to a volatile temperament that tends to shed some light over the unknown corners of certain registers, or inquire about assorted aspects of dynamic correlation, ultimately rendering the experience akin to walking across a country area before a storm: the moment in which the sky begins to look threateningly grey, the first crackles are heard and whirlwinds of fallen leaves and pieces of broken branches cause that typical whoosh-and-rustle manifestation that pushes ordinary people to hurry the pace to get home early. On the contrary, it’s right there that this particular set becomes more fascinating. And, in due course, the tempest does arrive (though not unending).

Fernández is not scared of exploiting the uncomfortable traits of the piano. He gives a free rein to bewildering outbreaks that, under an apparently uncongenial structure, hide instead a clarity of vision that’s immediately measurable by proficient ears, which in turn complete elaborate geometries often merely hinted, but fully visualized in advance by their engenderer. The reciprocal behaviour amidst the companions is impeccable, a veritable seminar on how a trio recital should be carried on when the intention is that of making serious music - and a sizeable bit of invigorating noise, too. A fabulous Mark Sanders maintains total control on now bubbling, now mottled percussive textures in an olla podrida of neatly deployed fickle figurations, deliverable only by truly sensitive drummers. John Edwards figures as a catalyzing presence, joining the conversational flow with impious rewordings of the commonly known literature associated to the double bass yet, at the same time, using extended notes and droning clusters to dictate the coordinates of the calmer places where the protagonists occasionally land, intelligently releasing the listener from the grip of unwarranted pressure.