Paulo Chagas: Lark (graphic score), wind instruments, mixing advice
Wilhelm Matthies: Lark, too, for two (graphic score), mosesa 2, mixing
Spectropol Records, 2012
Album notes from Wilhelm Matthies:
It was a great pleasure working on Lark [markings] with Paulo!
Paulo created a graphic score for my birthday, March 8, 2012. I took a look at the score and I was thrilled! Just looking at the score I could see that it had crescendos, decrescendos, extended parts and isolated parts all distributed in a very beautiful, balanced way.
I enjoyed the score, Lark, so much that I immediately pulled out my new instrument, the mosesa 2, and began exploring. Being a graphic score, I felt challenged to create different versions of the same score. Each interpretation was meant to be a unique interpretation of the graphic score. It allowed me to greatly expand on my bowing techniques, and, at the same time to do extensive experiments with various resonators for the mosesa 2.
When I had recorded many versions, I sent a few samples to Paulo Chagas. Paulo’s response was to make recordings with them, and the duet was on its way.
We agreed to intersperse Lark interpretations with free improvisations, I continuing to experiment with resonators, bowing, and interpreting the graphic score; Paulo exploring with various wind instruments. The free improvs are meant, in part, to show that listening to a recording is like reading and interpreting a score. We look at the waveforms on our DAW screens, we hear it in our headphones, we make decisions on how to respond.
For the second half of the album, we decided to switch roles. I created the graphic score “Lark, too, for two” for Paulo, and he kicked off the duet by interpreting the score first, also interspersed with free improvisations.
I am very thankful to Paulo Chagas for the opportunity to learn so much about my instrument the mosesa 2 and about interpreting and writing a graphic score!
I am also very thankful to Jurgen Heckel for giving me permission to use his photos for this and the other Lark album (Lark [markings] Matthies-Solo mosesa 2, released on Bandcamp).
It just so happened that the photo for the album cover was made on my birthday! The photo, to me, matched what the album was about: marking out new fields...
Please visit Jurgen Heckel’s site and leave comments for his fantastic photography: www.facebook.com/HerrHeckel
Finally, thank you Bruce Hamilton for noticing Paulo Chagas’ and my activity and asking us to release an album on Spectropol.
Thanks to all who listen to our work!
[more info & photos included in the PDF download]
"...For Lark [markings], Wilhelm Matthies’ unique instrument is placed in the company of Paulo Chagas’ expressive and temperamental woodwind playing, which flits erratically between the smoothest of virtuoso trills to some rather vulgar, murderous screams. Together they tackle two graphic scores – one drawn by Matthies, the other by Chagas – plucking all sorts of signifiers of mood, duration and dynamic out of the squiggles and shapes, with two drastically different interpretations on two vastly contrasting instruments pitted together in both a conversational and argumentative simultaneity. Much of the music moves in deep exhalations, arriving in swoops and surges that recede into silence to re-capture breath and eventually emerge. This is no doubt derived from the generous gaps of white space that isolates each shape, creating a beautiful dynamic that sees both players evaluate and approach each squiggle in turn..."