Alfredo Costa Monteiro



The concluding segment of Costa Monteiro’s trilogy for electric organ, this LP presents two works. Both are steady-state, drone-like pieces, both deeply layered. The dominant sound is in the higher registers, warbling slightly and even a bit shrill, but there are so many things going on below and around it. Swells appear, attain some prominence, submerge again. Almost like focussing your depth of vision, you can almost choose to hear certain strands  at the «expense» of others–it sometimes seems like you can will things into existence. I’m not sure if this is possible to perform live but, if so, it’s tantalizing to imagine these sounds swirling around and through one’s membranes.
Yet another strong work in the extraordinary catalog of Costa Monteiro.

Brian Olewnick, Just outside


The persistence of time is our measure of infinitude. This is the core meaning of Alfredo Costa Monteiro’s third organ album after 2011’s Umbralia and 2014’s Insula. The essential concept should be clear; but just take a look around, and you’ll see that it’s not so.
We’re still here to talk about inherent pulse. It exists in our own body, and the planet we inhabit offers literally billions of examples in that regard. Unfortunately, the average human being is inevitably repelled (or, on the contrary, plain subjugated) by the external appearance of practically everything, including purely verbal representations of “depth” hiding a thorough nada. Indeed the preaching specimens claiming to know the secrets of the universe have problems in grasping physical realities that jeopardize self-enforced certainties.
Microtones? Gosh, where is my brain-dead “intervallic comfort”?
Odd metres? No way, I can barely understand twos and threes (but keep rambling on Fibonacci and fractal geometry in the meantime).
Complex harmonic content in an abrasive sound? Argh! Stop that noise!
Multiple perceptions on parallel sensory levels to achieve a small fraction of intuitive knowledge? What’s that, dad?
I could go on forever. With gradually growing sadness, perhaps masked by a little sarcasm. It is difficult to accept that supposedly “evolved” creatures are so dramatically restricted by their very mind.
Endlessness is an enriching trip through psyche-boosting frequencies deriving from a succession of organ clusters played in all the regions of the keyboard. In turn, it sounds piercing, massive, impenetrable, galvanizing, hypnotizing. It surely puts a considerable degree of pressure on the ears, possibly also modifying the atmosphere in the room where the “play loud” advice is followed.
But, most important, it’s a loop: the symbol of that transformation of the resonant substance lying at the basis of our previous and future modifications.
Luckily, only once as fully embodied, and totally deluded men. Other than that, let the fairy tales continue.

Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes