With a long career as a pianist and composer, Oscar Edelstein is in our country - counting international recognition enjoyed as much as in Latin America as in Europe - almost a "cult" musician. An author difficult to define, in his works come together a surprising amalgam elements of contemporary classical music, jazz and the avant-garde progressive rock. This double album, recorded with his regular group, the Ensamble Nacional del Sur, plus the presence of several guests, is the finished sample of the aforesaid thing. With a basic formation that includes dual keyboards, guitar, bass and drums, plus the presence in various tracks the saxophonist Martin Proscia and the formidable Welsh singer Deborah Claire Procter (her voice acting as an instrument), the group offers a fascinating program... The first disc begins with a special duo of drums and piano between Edelstein and Pablo Torterolo, a remarkable percussionist. In a couple of themes appear as invited guests two other great musicians, pianist Ernesto Jodos, and clarinets Marcelo Moguilevsky in clarinet (one of the many wind instruments that he interprets), and in “Fuga del Cristo Negro” (Fugue of the Black Christ), the ensemble accompanies an incredible intervention of Procter, a singer that is a sort of cross between Cathy Berberian and the free jazz vocalist Lauren Newton. But the most ambitious and complex of this “x-ray” is “La Grilla Acústica En Doce Planos” (The Acoustic Grid in 12 planes), where several instrumentalists are added in an authentic musical tour de force. The second disc, with the more established formation of the ensemble, plus Proscia and the singer, in some tracks is nearest, if it’s possible, to the academic music; and it is worth mentioning the initial solo of Edelstein; the three “Cristales Sónicos”, with great work of the keyboardist Axel Lastra and Mauro Zannoli, and the drummer (Pablo Torterolo); the notable interaction of the guitar of Leonardo Salzano with the vocalist in a track dedicated to the painter Jackson Pollock; the furious crescendo of a fugue; and the requiem of the epilogue (“Requiem Al Hombre Desde Una Mariposa / Requiem To A Man From A Butterfly ”), a poignant duo between the piano of Edelstein and Procter, dedicated to the memory of the pianist and philosopher Harold Rubens. A remarkable double disc that will be enjoyed essentially by those listeners willing to experience sounds that escape the more or less common conventions, and as a welcome bonus, comes with a book in which Edelstein explains his compositional method.
It is possible that the overwhelming intensity of this music, which begins lyrically in piano solo and then proliferates in multiple timbral and rhythmic fields can be only reveal itself in the situation of a live concert. Yet, this album should be heard as the lasting finger print of that intensity.
[Edelstein] writes in the form of an ideogram on the bodies of the interpreters who through their instruments and the grounding of extensive rehearsals, translate a protocol of signs designed by Edelstein. This language is essentially theatrical. The director uses the hands and the body as if it was connected to the musicians by sensors...the piano of Cecil Taylor now resounds in the ENS ...Past and present are constructed in a place of the future.
A journey of sound: Oscar Edelstein, or it’s better to say his music, is a rare rare bird in the world of so-called contemporary music. He shares with it the use of certain techniques and the concern of sound as material. But he often ventures into areas of a visceral quality that many of his colleagues avoid with discretion. Already the instrumentation is closer to rock, with the unmistakable presence of a power trio, and abundant textural references, situates the Ensamble Nacional del Sur in a new place. Continuing rock by other means, in any case or, perhaps, by contemporary music, the CD that has just been published, “Studies for the Acoustic Grid - Book II ” works like an unpredictable journey around a kind of sonorous poetry that neither pushes aside violence nor the maximum subtlety. From the most tenuous and crystalline, up to the real explosion, it is a fundamental disc, for its importance and originality but, especially, for its power of communication.
Music at the frontiers of contemporaneity: sounds with an impact on the future, that displace the limits between classical, contemporary and popular music. [...] Putting into dialogue the culture in it’s place in the cosmos. [...] The work, clear cut avant-garde, fuses contemporary music, with the classical and the popular. It’s not for nothing that it’s said that the ENS break the traditional barriers between the academic and the popular with a music that is cult, absolutely original, ultra-potent and new.
It is musical in physical sense, authentic dithyrambic music, realized simultaneously with millimetrical precision by the Ensemble that Edelstein directs like someone possessed.
A distinctive sound... contained in the sense of the concentration of the material and a distinctive sound... and this strange dialect that the beautiful voice of Deborah Claire Procter articulates, that seems to border on an articulated language, with the effect of the almost figurative swarming of these tiny words, more than with Pollock, the music of the ENS seems to connect with certain landscapes of the artist Eduardo Stupía.
Never have you heard or will you hear again something similar in the city... like the Aleph (Borges) it contains, in its interior, all the known music & a glimpse of that to come. Classical? Popular? Jazz? Tango? It’s impossible to pigeonhole & classify that which knocks down genres but at the same time contains all within something new. The solos of guitar, saxophone, piano & drums allow you to recognise the solid technique & formation of each one of the musicians who stand out brilliantly. To the singer Deborah Claire Procter it is only necessary to be grateful to her for the opportunity that toasted the audience to be able to re-discover the incomparable & inimitable singularity of the beauty of the human voice. Her intervention (perhaps for coming closer to something that might unite scat or the onomatopoeic phonetics of certain African traditions) was simply dazzling for the technical solvency in the range & her versatility in having intervened in a work that demands superlative competences in order to translate the complex interior world that it expresses.
The sextet directed by Edelstein, demonstrated their artistic maturity on site, combining chamber-like precision with the potency of rock. With the ENS, Edelstein has found an "instrument" capable of making electro acoustic music, but with traction to blood. The complex polyrhythmic textures and tímbres are the launch platform for the exploration of the space in three dimensions, an obsession that, now, Edelstein can record in a top format (5:1)...
Between the inspiration and the technolgy: Edelstein makes focus of the development of techniques to create not only spatial movements of the sonorous materials, but also new environments by means of digital technology.
…an hour of music without interruptions, a great statement with deeply connected and differentiated sections, where the interest does not weaken for an instant.
A revolutionary group in more than one sense… One of the most important musical events of the Argentine production of last times.
On the stage were located the Ensamble Nacional del Sur, a group of composer -instrumentalists, who can travel from contemporary music to jazz and rock... a truly experimental work that opens new horizons for musical theatre in Argentina and that takes the work of the ENS to a higher point, having internalized the complex sonorous textures that Edelstein proposes...
One of the most original experiences and hardest to classify in the current musical scene.
Edelstein, one of the most outstanding composers of avant-garde music in Argentina...
The instruments are pulsing and percussive, closer to free jazz and rock than the academic orchestra or the electro-acoustic tradition...[...] The rhythmic organization ranges between a geometric form (a chromatic progression that erases the best) and additive pulsating forms. Both forces are invoked mutually, rescuing a type of expression a little forgotten in the contemporary music. Perhaps the music of the ENS has it’s spiritual precedent not in the electro-acoustic laboratory but a little before, in the percussive Ionisation of Edgar Varèse.
The timbres are obstinately pure and clean...there is an evident presence of the electrical guitar, the look of a band of rock, developments that approach without shyness free jazz, and above all a work without guilt about rhythm. If the rhythmic revolutions of Stravinsky and Bartok had the paradoxical effect of taking perceptible rhythmic measures to extinction, what happens here is another thing.
The composer Oscar Edelstein makes history with the first recording in SACD in Latin America. [...] The clarity and acoustic quality is surprising with which you hear the sonorous plots of the highest complexity distributed around the listener.
ENS or the metaphysical dimension of music: Located in this turning point diffuse between the popular and the academic, between the passionate and the rational, the ENS puts distance with the modernists tendencies and plants itself as a “laboratory of live action”...an unmissable opportunity...[...] Considered by specialist critics as one of the most important musical events in Argentinean production of the recent times...
To develop this new musical battle between creation and technology [Edelstein] can count on an invincible instrumental battalion, the ENS... The choice of instruments can easily be associated to the world of rock, but it is only a sound- colour because the group is impelled by Edelstein to explore zones that go much further, for example than the advanced experience of Robert Fripp, the leader of King Crimson.
The ENS or the metaphysical dimension of music: Located in this diffuse inflexion point between the popular and the academic, between the passionate and the rational, the ENS puts distance with the modernists tendencies and plants itself as a “laboratory of live action”...an unmissable opportunity...[...] Considered by specialist critics as one of the most important musical events in Argentinean production of the recent times...
The theatrical idea is profound and the musical realization is fascinating. With a format more that of the rock than of the academic music, [and] with his radical denial to remain stylistically classified...
...an extraordinary technical level and a unique musical conception in the recent creations of the electro-acoustic scene.
Music without concessions -Edelstein, one of the most interesting composers of the intermediate generation. [...] His obsession for complex sonorous textures and a careful control of the form are present...[...] In an hour of