Click here to [close]

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Camila Nebbia - una ofrenda a la ausencia (Relative Pitch, 2023)

By Jury Kobayashi

Camila Nebbia is one of my favourite artists. An amazing saxophonist, composer, visual artist, Nebbia is making some of the most interesting music and art out there. She is a well sought after musician working in a variety of contexts. Her YouTube channel(which does not get nearly enough views), is an incredible portfolio of her work.

Although I have listened to Nebbia playing with many different groups, I have always been particularly drawn to her unaccompanied sax playing. Her sound is incredible, and she has developed a distinctive and sophisticated language of saxophone playing. una ofrenda a la ausencia is one of Nebbia’s most recent albums featuring her on solo tenor saxophone (with spoken word, and effects) and is a perfect display of her solo sax work.

una ofrenda a la ausencia, meaning an offering to absence, is explained in the album description as an exploration of the “depth, the rawness, harshness and roughness of sound embracing the intense and unfiltered expressions that emerges from absence.” Nebbia truly does embrace harsh sounds and through that embrace builds a beautiful and complex piece of music that feels like a sonic meditation on space and the possibilities of performance without others. Nebbia crafts beautiful lines with her sax that swoops and arcs like drawing shapes of sound in the air. At other times, she growls omitting blistering multiphonics.

The depth and diversity of articulations is astounding - I love the way Nebbia builds long melodies and then contrasts them with what seem to be meditations on a cellular-like riff. I would compare it to unit structures but that isn’t quite right in this case. Instead, it feels like a deconstruction of a discreet sonic area made possible through articulation or a meditation on sounding and breathing notes into a tenor saxophone. The multiphonic passages are particularly captivating with worlds of sounds emerging from the plumage of harmonics singing from the saxophone.

una ofrenda a la ausencia is a spectacular album by one of today’s most important artists. It is a gorgeous, visceral, and moving work that needs to be listened to.