We have no idea whether Portuguese trumpeter Luis Vicente is Catholic. Nor if he knew before performing at the Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Nova that he would be in harmony with the building's monastic religious order, the Poor Clares. His music performed at the Anozero-Bienal de Arte Contemporânea de Coimbra, however, is as stark and austere as the Franciscan, Clare of Assisi's vocation.
This three-part solo trumpet performance from 2017 utilizes the architecture of the monastery as a sounding board. Its echoing reverberations find a simple eloquence in the space, which becomes his partner here. Vicente's trumpet has been featured with UK improvisers Olie Brice and Mark Sanders and throughout the burgeoning Portuguese improvising scene. His Clean Feed Record discography includes the A Brighter Side Of Darkness (2019) with Vasco Trilla For Sale (2015), Chamber 4 City Of Light (2017), and the Twenty One 4tet Live At Zaal 100 (2016) with John Dikeman, Onno Govaert, and Wilbert de Joode.
Think of Vicente as the Portuguese Nate Wooley or maybe better still Wadada Leo Smith from his Kabel Records. With Maré (in English, "tide"), he floats waves of notes that echo within the monastery's walls. The sounds can be interpreted as cetacean sounds, maybe from the songs of humpback or blue whales. While nature may be the inspiration, Vicente speaks trumpet. His voice and tone control are the epitome of humaneness and Maré is overflowing with gentleness and mercy.
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