Dialogues and Shadows – Gonçalo Almeida & Pierre Bastien

Among its many qualities, music relies on a special force: transcendence. When we listen, we are placed in a different reality, where sound is a vehicle for a much higher meaning. Naturally, not all music is capable of such a thing. But a few musicians clearly stand above as special – as soon as we hear them, we know that their music flows, floats and transcends.

Dialogues and shadows, the second recording by the duo of Gonçalo Almeida and Pierre Bastien emanates a distinct and intriguing sound from the beginning, inducing our listening toward a world that goes way beyond a succession of notes and timbres. We hear it and it's there, this mysterious matter that touches us. We hear a dialogue, a connection, and a shadow of luminescent presence.

Both musicians are based in Rotterdam, and they share an ethical common ground, with an endless list of collaborations, recordings and the same passion for a music that should always point in new directions. Throughout this recording, we are taken into a conversation where the listener plays a significant and active part. With constant changes in the mechanical instruments and a rich harmonic content of polyrhythmic counterpoint, the duo sets a base for subtle melodic phrases, that appear surprisingly from different sources – Bastien’s pocket trumpet, Almeida’s double bass, or their custom-made instruments and devices. As we listen, we move towards a personal fictional narrative, accompanied by these abstract sonic entities that guide us through the record. Their presence is highly visual too, as our imagination is immediately filled by Bastien’s instruments coming to life along with a multitude of strings played by erratic movements of the bows, almost like a tribal dance from a culture that never existed.

In this strange and beautiful world, we are constantly surprised by the next element that will face us and transcend its physical projection, in an elegant invitation to the unknown. The unknown we seek constantly throughout all our lives. So, let the sound be the light that guides us in our shadows.