Conceived and designed over the last few years, with the first rough outlines being made in mid-2018, the group Chão Maior gradually turned into Yaw Tembe’s greatest musical project, finally releasing their debut album in early 2021. During this long journey, the trumpeter kept creating intimate dialogues between the different members of the group, which ended up turning into a sextet producing plural, but confluent music. This unpredictable union of forces began to explore different languages, influences and styles, enabling Chão Maior to absorb a whole mosaic of contexts that gradually led to the creation of something new and challenging. Chão Maior is therefore a united whole, the sum of its different parts, a place where rock, jazz, folk or kraut all come together in a stream, in which improvisation and experimentation dictate the strongest impulses. And yet this sum of parts never completely cancels out all of its different elements, with each musician leaving their mark and their authority in compositions that are openly assumed as bringing them close to the social systems found in the music of Sun Ra, in Ghetto Music by Eddie Gale, or in Ornette Coleman’s harmolodics. They also propose an affective crossover with Richard Long’s land art, providing an audible embodiment of the name that identifies them (Chão Maior = Greater Ground) in this sound-based quest. And since their creation is as large as the group’s collective ambition, in this concert at Culturgest, the ensemble will enjoy the special participation of Angelica Salvi on harp and Igor Dimitri working on the images, to make the ground of their performance even greater, but above all guaranteeing its fertility.
Salomé Pais Matos