Another set of masterpieces:
***** The Liquid Trio plays Bernoulli – Fundacja Sluchaj! FSR 08|2017 – Agustí Fernández (p); Albert Cirera (ts, s); Ramon Prats (dr). January 2017.
***** Spontaneous Landscapes – Not Two MW967-2 – Agustí Fernández (p); Artur Majewski (t, echo); Rafal Mazur (acous bg). August 2016.
These are recordings of Agustí with the two fantastic trios that were combined into the Agustí Fernández Liquid Quintet at the Festival de Jazz in Vic in May 2017, and then at Ad Libitum festival in Warsaw in the fall of the same year. The two trios are similar, but yet completely diferent, not only because of the diferent instrumentarium. In a sense they represent complementary approach
to the free improvised music, which will reach the glory and nirvana in the Liquid Quintet.
In the liner notes for the Liquid Trio Agustí cites Wikipedia: “In fluid dynamics, Bernoulli’s principle
states that an increase in the speed of a fluid occurs simultaneously with a decrease in pressure or a decrease of potential energy.” Daniel Bernoulli, who formulated this law in 1738, did not probably expected that it would become an inspiration for a free improvising trio. Translated to music, Bernoulli’s principle implies that slow parts are played lyrically, with “high emotional, but low expressive pressure”, while the fast parts gain in expression, retaining, however, most of the emotion. The album contains three tracks, recorded live at the Conservatorio Profesional de Música de Salamanca. Nearly half an hour long “Taleia” starts slowly, like a free improvised ballad, and starts to attain more speed and energy after 5 minutes, with Agustí remaining still outside the piano and playing “normally”. Around the 10th minute the piano sounds start to combine normal and “prepared” character.
These sounds will dominate the second half of the tune. Albert and Ramón also use their instruments in a non-standard way. Around 22 minute Agustí comes back for a moment to “normal” piano, and leads a wonderful, sad “theme” that transfers into an expressive repetitive nal, when, contradicting Bernoulli, both speed and pressure grow. “Taleia” is a masterpiece, but the two other tracks are also seminal: the short, but super expressive and energetic “Ruán” and, especially, the 18 minutes long “Los pasitos”, another excursion into the quietness of the inside piano and prepared saxes/drums.
“Spontaneous Landscapes” are very diferent from the “Plays Bernoulli”. Rafal compares the music to the ancient Chinese painting.”In the ninth century, Fu Zi described how Master Zhang came to a dinner party organized by Lu Li and asked for some raw silk for painting on… Apparently, in China, within a circle of scholars, philosophers developed a method of spontaneous creativity yi hua (the one stroke painting), where the painting is created ad hoc and the creative process is instantaneous.”
There are 5 “Soundscapes” on the album, and each is very dierent. Again, the combine Agustí’s exploration of inside and outside of the piano, but Artur and Rafal use most of the time more “traditional” sounds of their instruments, provided, of course, that we consider the fretless acoustic bass guitar sound “traditional”. “Soundscape 1″ is actually marked by a short, but extremely beautiful cornet/bass duo, joined by Agustí on standard piano.
My favorite is actually the short and abstract “Soundscape 2″, mostly for the particularly absorbing bass lines, Artur exploring extreme sides of the cornet, and Agustí providing “discrete” inside piano accompaniment. I love also “Soundscape 3″, a 17 minutes long suite and study of unbearable lightness of sound landscapes. But, i fact the whole record keep the magisterial level for more than 50 minutes, from the beginning to the end.
Both albums show incredible synergy and mutual collective entanglement between the members of the two trios. I am waiting with a truly great impatience for the album of the Liquid Quintet with the material recorded during the 2017 Ad Libitum festival, to be released (hopefully) by Fundacja Sluchaj!.