Almost a Song
with Joana Sá

Joana Sá · Piano, Toy Piano, Celesta, Percussions and Electronics
Luís José Martins · Classical Guitar Percussions and Electronics


Nearly. Nearly a song, somewhat familiar. Nearly comfortable, almost  fulfilling. The melody stays ever-open, indefinite, and then the song departs, breaks, never arrives. It's not surrender, it’s a game, open to the listener. The avant-garde replaced musical statements with this new desire to offer something to the ear: the sustained notes of the "Sarabanda" never lodging in the periphery of memory, the dissolving of pitch into percussion, the repetition of musical cells, the loops, the ever different superimposed patterns, the changing textures and the suspension of climax… but for how long? Almost a Song is still a duo. And not only between guitar and piano. This in spite of the electroacoustic ramifications and of the instruments being - without losing the acoustic strength of their gestures- sometimes nearly swallowed by their own sound. Joana Sá and Luís José Martins formed a duo in 2000 dedicated to the interpretation of contemporary music. They have developed numerous projects together amongst which the collective POWERTRIO with harpist Eduardo Raon. Luís José Martins is a member of the group Deolinda and Joana Sá has developed mostly solo work, namely Through this Looking Glass. Artistic pathways converging at this game of pleasure and freedom, which is Almost a Song.

Guilherme Proença


Almost a Song, 2013 Shhpuma



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate, classical modern music reviews

“this is music operating at a high level of abstraction and interest. (…) Each piece has its own sound world, from dreamy-surreal to extroverted-impactful. (…) It’s marvelously mysterioso at times, bracingly invigoration at other times. (…) It has originality and imagination, a haunting sensitivity toward mood creation and world-encompassing sound-painting. Outstanding!”


KFJC 89,7 FM

“A not quite love poem, an open-ended daydream, a spontaneous idea that flutters away and falls apart at its moment of realization. (…) frantically scurrying to grasp a fleeting notion, they dizzy themselves trying to find common ground and collapse in fits of desperation. (…) The musical lucidity here may be abstract in form, but it couldn’t be more concrete in emotion. Beauty in melancholy, bliss blossoms torment.”


Kurt Gottschalk
Squid’s ear

“What's more important to their vivid sound world, though, is a rich, shared imagination. The five pieces on Almost a Song seem sometimes magnified, sometimes grandiose, and are generally full almost to the point of splitting open — not just with sonic density but with a surfeit of emotion as well. They music can be almost maudlin, and very nearly exhausting, melodiously abstract and consistently enticing.”


Freejazz Collective

"the emphasis shifts constantly, moving the sounds to the distance, then with some punctuated chords reaffirming their presence like the flux of a river, to become even completely quiet (..,.)creating an eery atmosphere, ominous and dark, even if the playing itself remains light of touch but then the sound becomes multilayered in symphonic mayhem, making the duo sound like an orchestra (…) sometimes more agitated, yet always intense.(…) Don't miss it."