Ernesto Diaz-Infante & Chris Forsyth
Left & Right
These two albums are from Californian composer/improviser Ernesto Diaz-Infante. This pair shows different sides of this talented musician.
Ucross Journal is a series of short piano pieces that were composed during Diaz-Infante’s residency at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming. As mentioned in the liner notes, these compositions were influenced by the spaciousness of the Wyoming landscape. The playing is very open and sparse; “Feldmanesque” is a good way to describe this. Diaz-Infante often plays a chord, and then just let’s it fade away, allowing the resonance of the piano itself to show through the long decays. The melodies are soft but not delicate, his playing is of an earthy manner. Track 8, “East Alum” is comprised of short melodic clusters that fall softly about. The last 5 tracks are a series of improvisations the fall in a similar territory as the prior 25 compositions, but is somewhat busier. They move through a variety of ideas in a short amount of time. This is excellent work, reminiscent of my favorite composer, Morton Feldman.
Left & Right is a completely different matter. Where Ucross Journal was quiet and spacious, Left & Right is chaotic and noisy. This CD-R is a collaboration between Diaz-Infante and Chris Forsyth. Diaz-Infante gave Forsyth two tapes of music improvised on a prepared acoustic guitar. Forsyth added his own electric guitar improvisations to this CD. All of the tracks are fairly short (about 3 minutes on average), which allows for a variety of ideas. Some of the improvisations are loud and frenetic; some of the tracks are more subdued, enough to the point that you can hear some of the communication. Very good stuff, and worth checking out for fans of improvised music across the spectrum.