“Hyper.object” was formed in 2019 by three veterans from the Lisboa free improvised scene (Rodrigo Pinheiro on the piano, Hernâni Faustino on the double bass and Carlos Santos on the electronics) and by two young musicians (João Almeida on trumpet and João Valinho on drums).

Since its beginnings, the group had frequently joined for rehearsals but as soon as the pandemic hit, the gatherings were restricted to only when there was an opening on the frequent lockdowns. During one of these openings "inter.independence" was recorded.

On "inter.independence" the premise defined for the recording session was, beside all musicians having complete freedom to improvise and to choose what to play, there should be an active focus for each one to develop their ideas individually and to not immediately react or engage in direct dialog with the other musicians on the group. What was being experimented was the creation of several individual and independent layers that would interact organically, so that the tension would arise by the textures and by the expected and unexpected interactions created between these different layers that each musician was taking care of.

Lisboa, 31st of March, 2022, Rodrigo Pinheiro


Rodrigo Pinheiro (piano)
João Almeida (trompete)
Carlos Santos (electrónica)
Hernâni Faustino (contrabaixo)
João Valinho (bateria)


All music by Rodrigo Pinheiro, João Almeida, Hernâni Faustino, Carlos Santos and João Valinho
Recorded by Carlos Santos at Timbuktu Studio on the 27th September 2020
Mixed and mastered by Rodrigo Pinheiro
Cover Illustration and graphic design by Madalena Matoso
Inside photo by Nuno Martins
Produced by Rodrigo Pinheiro
Executive Production by Phonogram Unit

Release date
April 1, 2022
Phonogram Unit - PU8CD
Disc format


For the first release of the year 2022, the label is releasing the album of a brand new hyper.object group made up of "old" Rodrigo Pinheiro, Carlos Santos (electronics), Hernâni Faustino and two newcomers, trumpeter João Almeida and drummer João Valinho . The album is called inter.independence and is in the vein of free improvisation. The overall sound, however, differs from the canons of the genre, thanks in particular to the electronic trills of Carlos Santos which bring relief and asperities to the music, taking these improvisations out of sometimes too hackneyed paths. João Almeida confirms that he is indeed one of the trumpeters of the moment.

One recent masterwork is the brilliantly counterintuitive Inter.Independence by the Pinheiro-led quintet Hyper.Object with Faustino, Valinho, trumpeter João Almeida and electronic musician Carlos Santos. The pianist proposed that, “besides having complete freedom to improvise and to choose musical ideas, there should be an active focus for each one to develop their ideas individually and to not immediately react or engage in direct dialogue with the other musicians from the group.” The result? A collective improvisation distinguished by extraordinary levels of design and formal coherence

With, or without this experimental premise, the outcome suggests that hyper.object already established its own sonic identity as a working band. These gifted musicians know that the music always comes first, whether they play urgent and percolating improvisation like the opening «glitch» or experiment on the following pieces «low», «loss», «glow» and «last» with more fragmented, free-form, slow-cooking yet introspective textures. These improvisations often employ silence as a fundamental building element and offer poetic dynamics that stress a rare kind of deep listening.

If Pinheiro and Almeida are often the central voices, each has a certain interest in the development of the micro-phrase, a few notes, a rhythmic-melodic pattern, repeated and varied incrementally. The myriad ways in which these might align become an orchestral micro-structure, like two interlocking serial patterns, so that a work like “Glue” achieves the structural clarity and precision of…well, Webern. [...] There are mysteries here, infinitely variable diagrams of five minds in a studio together that will connect with one another’s, and a listener’s, paths, but whether the patterns are intimately conjoined or arbitrary is utterly beside the point of the collective act and the experience of hearing. Their ultimate architecture may belong to the likely proximity of pitched instruments versus the compound, unpitched sounds, but all of that is speculative, beyond the strange intimacy of this music, its proximities and distances. The wonder is in its accessibility to assemblage, its avoidance of so much improvised music that rests on the anticipation and amplification of other musicians’ individual gestures, turning improvisation into the worst sort of therapy-group or composition. [...] Inter.independence joins it among the year’s most engaging and illuminating recordings.

This is without a doubt one of the best albums I've heard this year. The quality of the playing is excellent, the sense of surprise and joy makes the attentive listener anticipate the unpredictable evolution of their 'in.coherent' narratives. The instrumental wizzardry is combined with smart musical ideas and deep emotional expressivity. Whether it's the quality of the musicians or the value of their concept, their music has a wonderful freshness from beginning to end.

Don't miss it.

Although the quintet sounds as if they have been collaborating for decades, this is their first recording as a unit. It bears a stoic sound, patient in its approach with a command of space and silence as its strategy.

As the title suggests, this Portuguese quintet's intention was to concentrate on their individual improvisations without immediately reacting to or engaging with each other, layering five discrete performances in real time to spark unexpected moments of synchronicity. They all clearly have very good intuitive ears because the results are surprisingly coherent and convincing. The opening track "Glitch" is a brief burst of dense free jazz but it works best when there's more wriggle room; "Low" starts with ponderous arco bass and a quiet undertow of percussion over which Joao Almeida toots bumblebee trumpet, Rodrigo Pinheiro radiates warm piano ripples and Carlos Santos's burbling electronics bubble up like a puddle of hot volcanic mud.

[...] combines electronic phrases with open jazz, dynamic and very acoustic improvisations. [...] Quite abstract improvisation, again a bit distant from the jazz idiom of the beginning. A collective story, barely touched by synthetic ornaments.

“inter.independence” is a truly challenging album, which demands to wander in order to fully enjoy it.

And that yields a highly abstract, deep, non-idiomatic music, aurally close to some contemporary and truly experimental chamber music. Here everything is done with subtlety, as if it was born from the silence itself and aspired to it. [...]It is music that asks for attention and gives us the reward of permanent surprise.