Jocy De Oliveira - Estorias Para Voz, Instrumentos Acusticos e Eletronicos

Though she cut her teeth as a concert pianist in traditional forms, Jocy De Oliveira would become a pioneer in experimental and avant-garde music in her native Brazil. In the early 60s, she collaborated with Xenakis, Cage and Luciano Berio studying composition and she would go on to perform the first electronic music concert in Brazil alongside Berio in 1961. Her focus and main study that she developed from all of this, was to organize sound and have it inhibit various sources while obscuring the lines between performance and composition. Years later, in 1981, this would be perfected with her LP of Estorias For Voice, Acoustic and Electric Instruments
Along with a small group of performers, De Oliveira worked with voice, prepared piano, synthesizer, celesta, violin, percussion and even bass guitar. Voice plays a key role throughout the 4 pieces as it transforms from a vehicle for words and ideas, to an instrument itself with De Oliveira humming, buzzing and sometimes hollering. Instrumentally, she’s able to recall musical ideas from her native Brazil while the effect of her compositions unroll like an Indian raga. While these pieces are certainly avant-garde and without comparison, De Oliveira is able to structure sound in an inviting way. The effect of “Estoria IV” is sheer wonderment as vibrating bass guitar, abstract singing and electric violin somehow come together strangely and mysteriously. And she’s able to conjure beauty too with “Wave Song;” a divine and cosmic piece of prepared piano and tape manipulation that is serene and mind-expanding.
Estorias is an incredible piece of work. As someone who can be turned off by some of the avant-garde composers, I think Jocy De Oliveira’s work here garners a wider appeal by casting a wider net. She’s not only exploring sound and the instruments that make it, but also reorganizing the sonics to engage with the listener in a recognizable, but absolutely challenging way. Make no mistake, this is electroacoustic sound-art through and through but it’s enthralling all the same. First time reissue, limited press in a wall-to-wall red package with obi-like insert. (Dom)
Check out a track here.