The violinist Ernesto Rodrigues is a major improviser from Portugal on his own, but combined with his son Guilherme Rodrigues on cello, he is part of one of a deeply expressive example of family bonding through creative music. Anyone would agree who has seen a live or filmed performance of the two on-stage, the father crouching over his son somewhat awkwardly in the throes of spontaneous composition but looking a bit like he is trying to smell the kid's breath for alcohol -- not that a Portuguese father would do such a thing. The senior Rodrigues has been active in avant-garde music for several decades, aligning himself with many revolutionary forms of expression including micro-tonal tunings and the art of "preparing" stringed instruments by actually altering their physical structure.
The violinist has performed with many groups on the Lisbon avant garde scene, most notably the ensembles Assemblage and Ficta. In the latter trio, the Rodrigues father and son work together with percussionist José Oliviera. The senior Rodrigues started in the direction of free improvisation groups such as this when he came in contact with the type of avant-garde classical scores that are often described as "indeterminate," meaning quite a few of the details of the actual performance are left up to interpretation and/or serendipity. Rodrigues was also influenced by electronic music, like many improvisers on traditional instruments relishing the challenge of utilizing their axes to match, sound for sound, the noise coming out of plugged-in equipment. The violinist has performed for films, dance, performance art projects, and video as well as in concerts and on recordings. In 1999 he started up his own label, Creative Sources. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi