When I look back to the past twelve years, I see how clearly RED trio was important for me as a framework to grow up not only as a musician but also as a person.
I remember perfectly the day I met Hernâni. We were playing together at a concert at Hot Clube de Portugal in Lisboa and during the dinner we exchanged some ideas about how interesting it would be to have a long term project around free improvisation. Some weeks later, Hernâni sent me an email inviting me to form a trio with a young drummer I didn't know at that time, Gabriel. Soon after that we started having regular rehearsals at the Trem Azul store. We played a lot and we always recorded those sessions which we listened to and discussed together. More than that, we exchanged a lot of ideas, concepts about music and recordings we loved.
I remember that we always had very positive and transparent discussions about the music we were making and where we wanted to go. There was always this desire to materialize the music each one of us had idealized for the trio. Sometimes this led to some tension on the path to follow, but we always managed to get a common way for all of us.
Because we never thought about RED trio as a piano trio, where the piano has the leading role, we were always open to play with other musicians. This was something we always did as a way to get into the trio disturbances, to bring new ideas and new ways of thinking about improvisation and music. We always thought about these collaborations also as a perfect way to learn and to grow as musicians and improvisers. All the musicians we invited to play with us brought new and fresh ideas to the table, but I think that although our music was slowly being transformed and evolving, the core idea that the trio aimed to follow since the beginning was always there: a democratic sense of responsibility towards the music and the group.
After all these years, a lot has changed. Our music in the trio is very different from what was supposed to be at the beginning: more tense, more quiet and more detailed. We also changed a lot as individuals, because the three of us kept always working on different projects individually and bringing all these new influences to the trio. The initial idea of building a group from the ground up was somehow accomplished and for us it is interesting to realize that in the past years the group gathered only for the concerts and played as freely as possible without any preconditions or arrangements beforehand.
So, after all these years, having a big event on our 10th anniversary was something that we really desired to do. We wanted to make a celebration and invite musicians that we love and admire and with whom we had played before as a trio or in other contexts. Pedro Santos from Maria Matos theater in Lisboa was very enthusiastic about the project and helped us to make it happen.
Our idea for the concert was for each one of us to compose a piece independently, choosing a small ensemble from the musicians we planned to invite for the concert. We didn't talk between us about what each one was preparing or composing. It was more an individual process than a collective one. All the musicians that were playing, including the three of us, only met these pieces on the rehearsals two days before the concert and it was very interesting to see how different they were. Each piece represents a lot of the personal vision each one of us has about music and improvisation. On all pieces, there was care on organizing such a large ensemble of musicians and structuring the parts in a logical and musical way. Nevertheless, on all the compositions there was a lot of space left blank for all the musicians playing, all of them contributing with ideas and music towards the end result.
At the end, this was a moment I will never forget. This concert represents a lot of the path the three of us took when we formed the trio twelve years ago. A path of curiosity, learning and sharing.
Lisbon, 19th August 2020