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In Praise of Disorder - Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

Joana's music has a flow to it that after hearing a few times seems unique but somehow appropriate. The music has a natural quality that is ultra-modernistic nonetheless. What strikes me in her music, especially here, is the mastery of avant techniques harnessed to a sureness of purpose that brings together aspects of the classical avant and the free-improvisatory schools. All clearly and movingly holds together as compositional.

I am especially impressed with how this music after several hearings continually stimulates the hearer's imagination with a master sound-painter's expert touch and larger vision. Nothing sounds random and yet there is continuous sound-invention without much at all in the way of repetition.

In Praise of Disorder has a monumental elocutionary eloquence to it that puts it on rarified turf. Anyone with an interest in the avant garde today should listen closely.

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IN PRAISE OF DISORDER - All About Jazz

One of best new discoveries of this year. A highly original Portuguese composer-pianist who weave abstract musical textures, poetic texts and images into a mesmerizing work. Check also on this label another exceptional album of Sá with guitarist Luís José Martins, Almost a Song, a collection of loose recipes that may be, and most likely may not, songs.

Eyal Hareuveni

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IN PRAISE OF DISORDER - Le son du grisli

A celles et ceux qui furent hypnotisé(e)s par l’entêtante musique du Tabou de Miguel Gomes, on conseillera vivement cet Elogio da desordem. Parce que multi-facettes (musique de films, improvisation, concertos pour piano de Cage…), Joana Sá captive. Après l’écoute de cet enregistrement solo, nous pouvons rajouter : envoûte.

L’univers de la pianiste portugaise est ample, infini. C’est un royaume de mélanges et de fusions. Les voix s’imbriquent. Elles chuchotent, murmurent. Le piano est anxiogène ici, éclaté ailleurs. Il sillonne la rafale, s’interrompt brusquement. Il est violence et ne s’approche que de très loin de la douceur. On pourra refuser cette tentation du brouillage. Ou s’abandonner à sa perte. Comme un cauchemar, les tensions s’amplifient, gomment le jeu de la pianiste. Ici, l’on grésille, l’on grignote et l’on abîme l’évidence. Ici, sonnettes et sirènes aiment à faire sursauter l’auditeur. Ici, le désordre se consomme large et sans prudence. Et l’on aime cela. Passionnément, intensément.

Luc Bouquet

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IN PRAISE OF DISORDER - Downtown Music Gallery, NY

In my opinion Joana Sa is the most remarkable artist of any kind to come out of Portugal in recent years. Meticulous, creative, open, she build her own language as composer and pianist. This is not just a solo piano album, here she's going through her normal process of exploring the limits of the instrument and her imagination either using the instrument as a drum, electronic device or just the melodic part of it. Uncategorized as all of her work, "In Praise of Desorder" is something not to be missed at all.

Bruce Lee Gallanter


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IN PRAISE OF DISORDER - GULBENKIAN FOUNDATION

Author of two of the most important Portuguese contemporary music albums of recent years - Through this Looking Glass (solo piano) and Almost a Song (in a duet with José Luís Martins), Joana Sá will once again, in Elogio da Desordem (Praise of Disorder), be looking at the piano as an instrument beyond its physical limitations.

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IN PRAISE OF DISORDER - Goodfellas, Italy

L'ARTISTA MULTIMEDIALE JOANNA SA E' CONSIDERATA TRA LE PERSONALITA' PIU' ORIGINALI TRA QUELLE RECENTEMENTE APPARSE SULLA SCENA PORTOGHESE. IN PRAISE OF DISORDER, PUBBLICATO DALLA GIOVANE ED ECCENTRICA ETICHETTA SHHH PUMA , PRESENTA UN AFFASCINANTE INSTALLAZIONE SONORA A BASE DI PIANO PREPARATO ,HARMONIUM, CAMPANE, SIRENE, PIANO GIOCATTOLO, TUBI SONORI, MINI AMPLIFICATORI E LA VOCE DI ROSINDA COSTA. UN GRANDE AFFRESCO TIMBRICO, MINUZIOSA E COSTRUITO CHE RIFIUTA LE FACILI CLASSIFICAZIONI E SI POSIZIONA NEL CAMPO APERTO DELLA CREAZIONE SONORA.  

Goodfellas - Italy

IN PRAISE OF DISORDER - ÍPSILON, PÚBLICO, PT

“(...) Joana Sá is never one to chose the past of least resistance in her work, constantly placing herself in the line of fire. But it is in that singular breath, in which disorder can turn into a despairing breathlessness (as is the case in the superb title track), that she tests the limits of her instrument and conceives music that takes chances and is unafraid of plunging into the unknown. Listening to Joana Sá is still the privilege of accessing an autonomous musical language, one that is bold and stubbornly intent on calling itself into question.
An almost continual cause for wonder and amazement, In Praise of Disorder is the second piece in a solo trilogy which, it is plain to see, asserts her as one of the most original ‘voices’ of our time.”

Gonçalo Frota

IN PRAISE OF DISORDER - JAZZ.PT

“This music stirs, grows, disturbs, moves. It summons different emotional states, and does so with unwavering elegance. For this disorder all there shall be nothing but praise.“

Nuno Catarino

ALMOST A SONG - Ípsilon, Público

“… this duo has an overwhelming ability to twist a melody and squeeze it to the last drop, until it looses it shape. It is at that moment they throw it out and throw themselves at the next one. Here, each glimpse of quiet is systematically placed in a countdown to a torrent of disquietude. (…) The fluid and organic way in which all of this parades before us is, trust us, a thing of wonder.
In its second year of existence, Shhpuma bestows Portuguese music with its first wondrous product of editorial activity. Even if it were only for this record, it would have been worth it to come up with a name and a roster.”

Gonçalo Frota

ALMOST A SONG - DN Diário de Notícias

5/5
“… you can sense the close connection between Joana Sá e Luís José Martins in the freedom and the elegance with which they approach the music and their instruments. It will be very hard for any release to overcome a work as daring as Almost a Song this year.”

João Moço

ALMOST A SONG - Sound and vision

“Almost songs, admirable record"

"Admirably elegant, elegantly unclassifiable – surely one of the greatest records among Portuguese production in many years; and not almost… certainly.”

João Lopes

ALMOST A SONG - FLUR

“… Almost a Song is filled with ideas, many ideas, both compatible and benignly incompatible, fruit of the imagination and brilliancy of people who know very well what they are doing. And what this powerduo is doing is writing its name in the history of 2013. Superb.”

Pedro Santos

ALMOST A SONG - BODYSPACE

Joana Sá and Luís José Martins (...) worked together in Almost A Song to give us music which is at times helpless, at times defiant, but never indifferent.
Again, Almost A Song can be deceiving: it brings us almost-songs, but it’s a (stunning) full record.

Paulo Cecílio

through this looking glass - NMZ Neue Musik Zeitung

“This is the first release from Kohl’s blinker - Marke für Rezentes label. The challenge now is to surpass it.”

Martin Hüfner
(November 2011)
link available here

through this looking glass - NMZ Neue Musik Zeitung

“Pianist Joana Sá’s performance is unusually surprising, spectacular and, at the same time, executed without a trace of show-off. Grand.”


Martin Hüffner
(December 2011)
link available here

through this looking glass - Público, Ípsilon

Tonight, Teatro Maria Matos, in Lisbon, hosts the first major live presentation of one of the most fascinating records released this year. In a modern fable in which the dream and fantasy world of Lewis Carrol and its Alice is balanced, with rare skilfulness, with the universes of contemporary music and improvisation, Joana Sá’s new project sets her up as one of the most vibrant and talented artists in the country.

(…) we discover a deeply mature, creative and rigorous language, where the improvised component is projected with an organic close to that of jazz, which is vital in eliminating any trace of artificiality.”

Rodrigo Amado

through this looking glass - Público, Ípsilon

"*****"

“With flawless execution, Joana Sá uses a prepared piano, a small toy piano, electronics and multiple gadgets to build a powerful narrative which evokes connections between poetry and music, between the classical and the ultra contemporary.

There’s a sensibility and energy to this work that are deeply personal, something that calls upon the magic associated with Alice’s world. By naming one of the pieces “Freedom means little. What I desire still has no name”, Joana Sá gives away what might be the defining clue to her future work. It will most certainly be bright."

Rodrigo Amado

through this looking glass - Jazz.pt

****
“The music is beautiful sophisticated, irreverent and inventive. A real pearl born out of that corner of the Portuguese soul that still resists slander, adversity and conformity.”

Rui Eduardo Paes

through this looking glass - DN Diário de Notícias


This first solo work shows us how Joana Sá plays her piano, by inverting conventions, adding other elements to it and altering it so as to be able to get what the most inventive things from her imagination out of it.

João Moço

through this looking glass - Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

"This is late high modernism at its best. "

"It is a work of great charm. It is sound poetry. It is one of the most successful and attractive high modern keyboard works that I've heard in years. Joana Sa must be appreciated if you want to know where modernism has gone. It's here."

Grego Applegate Edwards