Even though Camila Nebbia and Patrick Shiroishi speak Spanish and Japanese, respectively, The Human Being as a Fragile Article is a document of the two saxophonists developing their own common language. Dizzying passages give way to expressive, even poetic reveries as the duo search the world outside for commonalities to scatter into the distance.
As Shiroishi roils, spitting out death throes on “El ser humanx como un articulo fragil – 壊れやすい人間” while Nebbia’s recitations and whispers fill the spectrum. The voices become overwhelmed as dueling saxophones sing in a melodic tongue, rising to meet the settling dust. “Olvido – 忘却” turns the tables, with Shiroishi’s voice finding the spotlight as piercing, metallic sounds disperse in all directions. Shiroishi’s voice is soothing in opposition to the discordant rattles and the dichotomy is strangely hypnotic. Maybe that’s the point, though, to lull listeners into a state of false consciousness, ensuring the deep cuts worm their way in and stick.
The Human Being as a Fragile Article is an apt title for these spacious, delicate pieces. Nebbia and Shiroishi let the open spaces breathe before darting runs tickle the surface, sending a rush of dopamine through the catchy grooves of “El espacio entre el lenguaje / 言語の間.” Within the broader, more challenging scope much of the album exists in, these lighter, buoyant moments exude pure joy. Birdsong cast against twisted sax ruminations on “Al costado de los recuerdos – 思い出の隣” or meditatve vocal incantations on “Mientras el cisne blanco se eleva al cielo no deja rastros aca abajo 白鳥が天に昇る時 地上には何も遺” hold that much more power within this disparate, spirited sonic sea.
Even as The Human Being as a Fragile Article exists as a fully-formed document, the language between Nebbia and Shiroishi feels like it still has a lifetime of evolution ahead. The duo’s connection runs deep and the possibilities for future collaboration are endless (and hopefully in the cards). Worn-down textured walls with paint peeling to the floor surround this music, saturating it with assertive, ancestral energy. It is timeless and without boundary, and if there is no beginning or end, the story must continue in either direction.
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