Tinoco's 'Archipelago' receives fantastic reviews

Luís Tinoco’s new CD on Odradek has received two great reviews, in Memetaria in the USA by Thomas May and in Pizzicato by Remy Franck.  Archipelago is reviewed as a recommended new release by May.  He starts by saying: 'Have you heard the wonderful music of Luís Tinoco? I invite you to try out the latest album of his work, Archipelago, recently released on the Odradek label. I first encountered this excellent Portuguese composer and acclaimed radio host — who grew up in the post-revolution generation — in the early Morlot days with Seattle Symphony, when they played FrisLand, a kind of orchestral ode to Bill Frisell. (FrisLand is available, along with such works as Tinoco’s Cello Concerto, on his previous Odradek album, The Blue Voice of the Water).'

He continues, pointing out that Archipelago ‘surveys Tinoco’s musical language over the past two decades’ and that the 'obvious camaraderie Tinoco enjoys with the Porto-based Drumming Grupo de Percussão (Drumming GP) …… suggests an intriguing blend of working with a classical chamber ensemble and a tight-knit jazz band.’  Tinoco has collaborated with Drumming GP over the years, first writing for them in 2003.

May comments on the fantastic quality of the recording, recorded in the monastery São Bento da Vitória in Porto: ‘The album is also available in 5.1 surround, so you can immerse yourself entirely in the expert production by sound engineers Hugo Romano Guimarães and Santi Barguñó.’

May expresses admiration for each piece - he comments on each individual work in this CD which ‘….. surveys Tinoco’s musical language over the past two decades’:

‘The opening track, Short Cuts, revisits his 2004 saxophone quartet, refashioned here for percussion. Already in this early stage of his career, Tinoco was developing a language centered on deftly channeled currents of energy, here intensified through the alluring timbral combinations he has devised anew for the percussion ensemble.

‘Another early piece, the circular Ends Meet, is for marimba and string quartet and was originally written for the percussionist Pedro Carneiro. Tinoco derives fascinating dramatic impulses from the combination of these sound worlds over the course of this four-movement piece as it continually revisits material from different perspectives.’

May reminds us that Mind the Gap, for solo marimba, charts Tinoco’s some of journeys around London when he was a student there in 2000, whereas Genetically Modified Fados (2018) 'oscillates back and forth in time', as it 'juxtaposes music for percussion quartet with archive recordings of Portuguese Fado'.  May comments: ‘These faded, embedded artefacts strip away any sentimentality from the nostalgia. The radiant ghostliness of the triptych’s third panel, Camellias, is especially spellbinding.’  Zoom in – Zoom out ‘turns to the popular music of Brazil subliminally by alluding to its rhythmic patterns and melodic structures’ and ‘Archipelago is a stunningly beautiful poem made of subtly timed resonances, exquisitely micro-tonal differentiations in the tuning of the tubes, and a carefully calibrated dramaturgy of varying mallets and bowings (and even hands). Archipelago submerges the listener in a hauntingly liquescent environment. Add it to your list of evocative water musics.’  Both Zoom in - Zoom out and Archipelago are dedicated to Miquel Bernat.

Steel Factory (2006), like many of the pieces, was commissioned by Drumming GP, who are celebrating their 20th anniversary and is the ‘grand finale and longest track’.  May writes: ‘In this piece for an ensemble of steel drums, Tinoco again foregrounds his music of energy, starting with deep, ominous pulsations that set the stage for its highly theatrical gestures. The sound world here also incorporates bongos and steel bars (sixens) and elicits an astonishing variety, later building to a thrillingly clangorous climax.’

Remy Franck says, in his short review in Pizzicato: ‘The Drumming Group de Percussao and the Quartetto de Cordas de Matosinhos prove sensitive and elegant performers of this music which is rather thoughtful and quiet, except for the final Steel Factory, which, with instruments of the same name, conveys a vibrant, inspired, and humorous mood. While the orchestral works immediately evoke a southern flair, this is only partially true for the percussion works.

We congratulate Luis Tinoco, Drumming GP and Odradek on these wonderful reviews, the complete versions of which may be read here: MEMETERIA BY THOMAS MAY  ;  pizzicato.  'Archipelago', on Odradek  ODRCD398, may be purchased from  Radio Times CDs, from Presto Music, from Amazon from Radio Times CDs and various other outlets.



(15 Jan 2020)

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