Boomkat Product Review:
“Sometimes It's Raining a Lot”, recorded with a Yamaha PSR-36 synthesizer, editing and manipulation, is a 20 minute Radiophonic piece comissioned for Matière Mémoire's second batch of releases.
"There is a noteworthy context for this release by Santos Silva at Matiére Memoire: the Belgian publisher explains that in anticipation of the year 2020 he asked 20 “great artists” to create an original 20-minute piece and their artwork; in this way, Susana Santos Silva is part of an extraordinary batch of creators, including figures such as Phil Niblock, Jim O’Rourke, Stephen O’Malley, Oren Ambarchi or, to name just a few more examples, Charlemagne Palestine and Kevin Drumm. Another sign of a wide international recognition that the Portuguese artist affirms as a unique figure in the global panorama of the most advanced contemporary music.
It could be said that the signs of jazz or improvised music in “Sometimes It’s Raining a Lot” are faint. On the one hand, this seems to be a piece in which many of the basic characteristics of jazz are dispensed with, since it does not deal with issues of rhythmic time (or time implosion), and although certainly a generous dose of improvisation may have been at the origin of some of the sound mass treated here, namely in the trumpet drone or in the ethereal piano tricks, the truth is that, placed side by side with the field recordings, and after being highly processed, these elements end up, and borrowing the name of the label that gives this work to the print as early as next August, to be a matter of inseparable memory from that which results from field recordings: the voice captured in a station's PA, truncated conversations, the noise of the train's metallic wheels on the rails… Incidentally, it is impossible not to link this piece to the historic Etudes aux Chemin de Fer, one of the foundational works of concrete music, created by Pierre Schaeffer dated 1948. The founder of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales believed that music was an organization of concrete sound material and that is precisely the idea that presides over this creation by Susana Santos Silva that here combines sounds captured from real instruments - trumpet, piano, synthesizer - with signal processing, recordings field and editing and editing (keyword in this context) which in the end results in a highly abstract work, but still vivid and capable of printing sensations and even images in our thinking.
Written, according to the available technical notes, at the end of 2019 between Porto and Stockholm, “Sometimes It's Raining a Lot” allows, in fact, to imagine a physical movement through any urban space, but always with a diffuse connection to reality, not understanding whether the piece illustrates a specific trip or just a memory of a trip, distant, mutilated by time, of which only scattered fragments remain. Or none of that, as is even more likely.
The physical edition of Life is a Mystery will be limited to 500 copies, on transparent vinyl with the original track on one side, and laser engraved artwork on the other. Everything is packed in a transparent cover that also includes a print of the artwork created by the artist." Rimas e Batidas