New Album (as leader) Ngen Kürüf
The string of wind
A string of wind connects and unleashes the beauty of this record, aerial like Kgen-kürüf, the spirit who in Mapuche cosmology owns the air and is said to manifest in the wind’s song. Such mood guides this journey and ties it together, a journey where the musician takes his beloved homeland to other lands, paying on the lightest and clearest of all strings: the whisper of music.
Throughout eight compositions the Chilean guitarist Álvaro Severino gives a new interpretation of the diverse sound geography of South America, exploring some of its rhythms and the meaning these develop when, faraway from home, they return though the spiral shell of remembrance. Joropo, chacarrera, cueca, vidala, jazz harmony, contemporary music and cross-cultural memory add up to the wonderful personal journey proposed by this delicate work.
If to remember is to re-play the strings of the heart, then Álvaro Severino plays this fabric weaved onto his guitar’s fingerboard, proving his extraordinary talent and poetic vision in his first work. The artist, currently based in the German Ruhr Area, joins a quartet with talented musicians from NYC, Bogotá and Santiago de Chile, to draw a map of integration and introspection, ranging from North to South and leading us to the greatest of treasures: the intimacy of his personal sound.
SURENSEMBLE – Pablo Sáez
Why keep making CDs when so few people these days actually sit down and listen to a record? The answer is very simple: it’s the best format for this style of music.
The songs on this record are part of a series of compositions that I didn’t want to just leave in the pages of our songbook. My bandmates, João, André, Alvaro, Pablo and I have been playing together for years in different groups, working on the development of what we call “South American Jazz”. It’s an extremely underground trend in Europe at the moment, but more musicians are appearing each year.
The experimental process of this particular production involved many different types of (formal) musical notation. A lot of them aren’t exactly related to North American Jazz, but instead to baroque and contemporary classical music. The blending of these different notation styles opens up an entirely new perspective that an experienced musician can deconstruct in many different ways. A single piece, for example, can blend Arnold Schönberg with John Cage, while another can bring together Agustin Barrios and Steve Reich. In this rereading of notes that exist only in the fleeting moments when they are played, fantastic things can happen. The unique phrasing of each musician is what makes such moments unreproducible.
The fact that we have matured, musically speaking, in Germany has undoubtedly influenced the way we make music, but it doesn’t mean that we want to make European music. Our search for new improvisational structures is thanks to the way the contemporary Jazz movement has, in 2017, taken on very diverse and extreme new directions. Latin American music is not exempt from this cultural shift. Indeed, it continues to mutate and morph into new figures and styles that we have attempted to capture on this record.