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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Susana Santos Silva, Zetterberg & Lindwall - Hi! Who Are You? (Matière Mémoire, 2019) ****½

By Stef

In 2015, Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva teamed up with Swedish musicians Torbjörn Zetterberg on bass and Hampus Lindwall on organ. The combination is relatively unique, as is their sound. Santos Silva is one of the leading voices in contemporary improvised music, often performing together with Zetterberg. Their collaboration with Lindwall is more selective. In 2015 they released "If Nothing Else", and we are happy that the next iteration of their music is now available, albeit in only 300 vinyl copies, so you'd better hurry.

The sound of Lindwall's church organ is critical to the overall feel of the music. Under the influence of his organ teacher, Rolande Falcinelli, he moved to Paris in 2002 and studied at the Conservatoire de Saint-Maur-des-Fossés and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Lyon. He is the Titular Organist in Saint-Esprit, Paris.

In an interview with us about their debut album, Susana Santos Silva explained their approach as follows: "It's improvised music but with a great sense of structure and development within each song. And that's what can be so beautiful in an improvised piece of music, that all the notions of composed music, like the development of an idea, theme and variations, counterpoint, leitmotifs, dynamics, question-and-answer phrasing, different layers, textures, and so on, can just happen spontaneously, in the moment".

Most of the music is acoustic, but frequently altered by live electronics. The result is a strange sonic world, that is at once brutal, haunting, reverent and riveting. The performance was recorded in the Engelbrektskyrkan, a church in Stockholm, selected amongst others for its recently restored organ, that has 91 stops, 5 manuals and pedals. 

The resonance of organ, trumpet and bass in the church makes this an even more special performance. In a way, you have to be in the space itself to fully enjoy it, even if the sound quality of the album is also astonishingly good. 

Highly recommended!


I had the luck to see the trio perform in 2017 in the Saint Jacob's Church in Ghent, Belgium, where I recorded the following video vignettes with my smartphone. Not the ideal quality, but it gives an impression of what this music means in a real church. The trio is of course high up on the balcony next to the organ. 


Anonymous said...

Also available as a download on Bandcamp