The music of (flut)uações invites the listener to savor ever-changing combinations of sonorities of flutes, percussion, cello, and electronics. The title (flut)uações—a fusion of two similar words of different linguistic provenance: “flute” and “flutuções” (“fluctuations” in Portuguese)—signifies a presence of one instrument, the flute, emancipating itself to reverberate through others, in a cyclical and spontaneous conversation.
Immersed in the domain of experimentalism while including traces of minimalism and microtonalism, (flut)uações highlights heterogeneous textures and styles, alternating rhythmically rigorous music that is “vertically” aligned with writing that favors the freely overlapping, or “horizontal”. In fact, while some of the works are clearly metrically oriented, such as the Suite O Doido e a Morte of Alexandre Delgado or Istella of Ivan Moody, in others, unbarred notation serves a different kind of expression, notably in works such as “Pleistocene Landscapes” of Andreia Pinto Correia or “King George I, as Seen in Schiaparelli’s Telescope, Sailing his Barge upon Martian Canals” of Luís Tinoco. Curiously, Carlos Marecos’ “Five for Two” challenges this dichotomy, using a mixed model whereby movements II and V are explicitly vertical, while movements I, III, and IV are looser, with prime importance given to spontaneity and gesture.
Even in the solo works, an emphasis on variety of texture and sonority continues. In Anne Victorino d’Almeida’s work Três Poemas e um Violoncelo, the urgent cantabile of the solo cello disperses over time, fluctuating between various poetical, almost cadenza-like gestures. In Katharine Rawdon’s “Places I Go in my Sleep”, the flute line swings from strictly metered sections to free phrasing and back, using extended timbral possibilities as well to convey the shifting instability of dream-states. Ivan Moody’s “Lyrebird” alternates and overlaps singing with the solo piccolo, layering one over or under the other to create a novel discourse.
The composers whose works are brought together on (flut)uações, despite their unique origins and paths, have in common the pleasure of aesthetic freedom and a diverse palette of sonorities, which are in turn enhanced by the performances of notable musicians such as Katharine Rawdon, Catherine Strynckx, Francisco Cipriano, and Elizabeth Davis. Alert to the delightful turbulence of these crosscurrents, the listener’s adventure promises to be both inspiring and rewarding.
“(Flut)uações will be worth not only for what ” is there “, but for the contribution to contemporary Portuguese musical creation not being an ephemeral breath, but one that inspires and endures in time.”
in Publico, Ricardo da Rocha, 24 February 2023