(Etude)

Despite having composed this music to “accompany the slow decay” of his late father, Ferran Fages also states that “it is not a posthumous homage”. Indeed it doesn’t sound like that: no plangent melodies, no gloomy atmospheres. Only an acoustic guitar and its strings, which Ferran touches with surprising conviction and decision, mostly concentrating on the relations between the different harmonics’ resonances and contrasts with a slight experimental aura, at times sparkled by the use of real-time detunings. He shows intelligence, restraint and sensitiveness at one and the same time. Halfway through the barely moving lines of a “new silence” outing and Loren Connors’ post-modern blues, “Cançons” is a long meditation on death – yes – but also a hymn to the necessary simplicity of an expressive means applied to a far-sighted aesthetic, equal to the one characterizing the Catalan’s work with entities such as Cremaster, Will Guthrie and Norbert Möslang. It is not a short record at over 70 minutes, yet there’s not a single instance in which it overstays its welcome. These “songs” are skeletally defined but complete, made even better by well-placed choices which, in a way, dehumanize their structure while letting us peep at a course of action to which Fages himself seems to participate with a degree of detachment. It’s the sonic reproduction of that feeling of just apparent coldness acting as a protective barrier against the grieve of such a fundamental loss, and FF makes perfectly clear that he’s learnt from this experience rather than having been overwhelmed by it. The final result is a definite step forward from his previous solo CD “A cavall entre dos cavalls”, an important artistic statement, an overall satisfactory release.

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