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Agust: Camallera

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Camallera was born naturally from the complex growth process of pianist Agusti Fernández. This experimental Spanish musician is beginning to be known in his native country, and it is only a question of time before he earns recognition outside Spanish borders.

To understand Fernández's ability—and importance for other musicians—both as a pianist and an improviser, one must consider his most recent recordings. He has appeared on several discs with Evan Parker's Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, the last of which was Memory/Vision (ECM, 2003); he has appeared in duos with William Parker (2nd Set (Radical Records, 2001)), Derek Bailey (Barcelona (Hopscotch Records, 2002)), and Marilyn Crispell (Dark Night, and Luminous (Edicions Nova Era, 1998)). With 1 is not 1 (Edicions Nova Era, 1998), a solo piano recording, Fernandez attained critical acknowledgement, consolidating his reputation as a piano improviser without the support of another player. In 2004 the Agusti Fernández Quartet recorded Lonely Woman: The Music Of Ornette Coleman (Taller de Músics, 2005), an essential collection of Ornette Coleman compositions. Accompanied by Spanish musicians, Fernández successfully translated Coleman's music to the piano's keys.

Relative to all these projects, Camallera is the most ambitious, conceptually speaking. The 67 minutes that made it onto the recording are only a small summary of the fifteen consecutive hours that Fernandez spent in front of his piano. His instrument sounded from 7 am till 10 pm, accompanied only by the projection of Una Ventana Abierta al Mundo, a film by Alberto Tognazzi based on the sun's trajectory during the day. The images on the screen were the inspiration that Fernández used to melt down piano and time.

"Solar," the first song on the CD, reflects the relative unimportance of ten minutes in comparison with fifteen hours. The slow evolution of the piece contrasts with "Topos." Using an impossible rhythm, Fernández obtains an industrial atmosphere, extracting incredible sounds from the piano. "Aurora" is related to classical music, while "Zentral" finds its inspiration in the minimalism of oriental sounds.

The excellent post-production behind Camallera achieves amazing results: it's practically impossible to compress into an hour the things that happened during a whole day. The CD doesn't pretend to shorten the day, but instead extracts six fragments to expose the magnitude of the project. Camallera is not an easily categorized recording. It permits listeners to witness an exercise in improvisation that elevates Agusti Fernández above most of Spain's improvisers, and a big percentage of the international kind as well.

Visit Agusti Fernández on the web.


Track Listing: Solar; Topos; Aurora; Zentral; Al-Sirul; Mem

Personnel: Agusti Fern

Title: Camallera | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: G33G Records

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