André Almeida Santos on Demora
For the first solo record under his own name, Luís Fernandes chose an on-point title that echoes in one word a constant feeling throughout Demora. Demora means ‘delay’ in Portuguese. Depending on the way you use it on a sentence, it can also mean that something is taking too long or it’s making someone wait for someone or something. Demora doesn’t take too long to show you its intentions, but it leaves you waiting. It tricks you to think to wait for the take-off until you realise you’re already in mid-journey.
It’s all part of the process that Luís embarked to create Demora. For this piece he decided to work in a different way from what he’s used to. The desire to create a piece with a constant flow with little variations was the starting point for his new album. Armed with a modular synthesizer, he recorded everything in one take to give the core structure of the album a unified sound that would create a permanent relationship with the listener.
Doing it in one take shaped the fundamentals for Demora. The flow of the improvisation gave room for Luís to play around with the structure and refine the sounds that now populate the main narrative of this 35-minute piece, separated in five different chapters.
The middle sections of Demora, ‘Demora Pt. 1’ and ‘Demora Pt.2’, sound like a reward. Not that you needed one. If you arrived there and felt tricked about the take-off, the slow and glimmering harmonies will provide the comfort you needed all along. It’s here that Demora shows how beautifully crafted it is, how the details aren’t just details. They’re the tiny screws that make the machine operate into a subtle kosmische lullaby. The details aren’t there to distract you from the main thing, they are there for you to embrace the core and follow the same flow, the same path, that Luís did when Demora took off in his synthesizer.
It took time for Luís to publish something solo under his own name. After years under various aliases and three beautiful releases with Joana Gama, including the Room40 release “At The Still Point Of The Turning World” (2018), Luís Fernandes has flourished with this mesmerising sonic experience.