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Filipe Pires; Canto Ecuménico, Litania, Homo Sapiens

Creel Pone
CP 152 CD
Compact Disc-Recordable
Composed at the GRM - the two B-side pieces, both in 1972 - & at his own “Private” studio in Porto - the A-side, 1979 - this trilogy of Musique Concrète pieces by the Portugese composer Filipe Pires was initially issued in 1980 as part of Imavox’s “Discoteca Básica Nacional” series - #13, alongside Jorge Peixinho’s epic “Elegia a Amílcar Cabral” - #6.

“Canto Ecuméncio” is a beautifully chaotic & extended ride, wherein we’re taken through a brutalist, man-on-the-street voyage through various folk-forms in an overdriven & ultra-present manner, positing itself as the spiritual heir to Logothetis’ “Fantasmata 1960” - with which it shares a strikingly similar energy and/or timbral / thematic bent - worth it for the price of admission alone.

The two GRM pieces are slightly more nuanced, showing Pires as a fine studio technician as well as exhibiting an excellent conceptual sense - "Litania’s” sheet-metal grapplings are the stuff of legend, rivaling only Xenakis’ “Bohor” in its presaging of industrial forms - but i’m personally the most enamored with the pause-pregnant eruption-eerings of “Homo Sapiens” - as fine an example of the possibilities of the tape-studio at the turn of the 70s as any, sharing Dockstader’s affinity for the between-the-stations telemetries of radio transmissions amidst clattering piano & percussion juxtapositions.


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