With Seeking the intimacy of silence we see the return of Haarvöl with their 5th album for Moving Furniture Records. On this album they work together with Martijn Comes, and Xoán-Xil López.
Seeking the intimacy of silence is released as CD mastered by Jos Smolders in beautiful artwork by José Carneiro
About Seeking the intimacy of silence
One of the things the pandemic brought us was an eerie silence: imposed, artificial.
Together with the silence, it brought a concomitant isolation. It left its mark on all of us, in different ways, but a distinct mark which still remains today.
This new release which we bring you now, holds, at its core, this recent experience.
That is why we wanted to address what we decided to call a kind of intimacy with silence. Above all, it is a question of highlighting the difference between the previous artificiality and imposition by another relationship: now free, now real. To be intimate with silence is to recognise its existence and importance (as Cage taught us many decades ago) and thus to attempt an approximation to try to bring reality into the sounds we have built. A part of that reality, at least, the one that is detached from anaesthesia; the one whose silence is active.
The pandemic and the forced isolation brought us another need: to be with others again, to share life and reality (without screens or other devices to disguise the distance).
That’s also why this record was built in a different logic from all our previous ones: in face-to-face sessions, in which the tracks were being built in a live environment that we had never tried before. What is heard has been played and experienced in a continuous sound dialogue, and yet without a safety net. Perhaps the pandemic has brought us closer together and more eager to enjoy the present.
It was, therefore, the sounds that approached and brought us closer to this longed-for conviviality with the idea of silence.
Togetherness extended to the collaborations we love so much. To collaborate is to enhance sharing. On this record, we can hear Martijn Comes’s guitar or Xoán-Xil López’s cello in a crossing of intentionalities and sounds that feed our desired approach.
A few words, too, for the importance of words.
On this album, we built the track titles as if they were a poem. It was a deliberate choice to preserve its unity, its whole. This is an album that refuses the fragmentary, but rather is made of fragments. Fragments of a whole. And that whole is the result of this kind of poetic metaphor that is embodied in its title.
May the approach to silence thus be an allegory of a time and reality that are ours and with which we want to interact intensely, even if we interfere in its most intimate moments, or in other words, its silences…
Indeed, Cage again, or memory as a device to nullify distance.
Vital Weekly, Frans de Waard
I announced the previous release by the Portuguese group Haarvöl as a highlight of the week (Vital Weekly 1347). They now return with a new record and work with other musicians, but if I understand well, not from face-to-face sessions, but via long-distance collaboration. Martijn Comes plays the guitar, and Xoán-Xil López sends in his cello playing (although I assumed he is a full-time member by now, also being part of earlier records).
The core of Haarvöl is the duo of Fernando José Pereira and João Faria, and they operate the electronics, analogue and digital, I think.
We’re informed that the music on this album is created like a poem, refuses the fragmentary, but rather is made of fragments, and it’s one whole album. Atmospherics play an all-important role in the music of this group, and for me, it works best if there are these beautiful, hermetically closed drones. The final two pieces here, ‘A wishful gesture… utopian’ and ‘difference and the other self’, are fine examples of that style.
The clear addition of guitar and cello took some time for me to adjust. ‘a sombre description of the now’ is a piece in which both Comes and López shine, and the music has an open character, and it has a more orchestral character. That’s a new thing for Haarvöl, and after some listening rounds, I got used to it. It makes the music now two slightly different things, meaning an extension of what they do. Perhaps this will be something that they will continue.
As much as I love their pure drone approach, I can imagine that one day it will be time to move on because, let’s be honest, how many drone records can you do? Going in this direction would undoubtedly work, I think. I’m already looking forward to hearing whatever they come up with next.
CD limited to 200 copies or digital available in our webshop
Haarvöl is an electronic/experimental project based in Portugal and working since the end of 2012. In its core there are Fernando José Pereira and João Faria, but since the beginning it is open for collaborations with others. As already happened with Paulo Rodrigues and Xóan-Xil López (a Spanish expert on field recordings) and, lately, with the joining of Rui Manuel Vieira (a visual artist) who is now the responsible for the all the visuals of the band.
Haarvöl’s music is conceptually developed as the exploration of the properties of sound in order to achieve cinematic and imaging environments. The sounds are not restricted to their medial origins: both digital and analogue sources are used and mixed in intricate compositions with special attention to detail.
The emphasis on non-illustrative interaction of sound with images is evident in the videos purposely prepared for certain compositions.
They have collaborated with Xóan-Xil López, Joana Gama, Martijn Comes, among others.
Haarvöl has releases music on Moving Furniture Records, Crónica, PAD/Easy Pieces, and Edições Amateur.