“Portico Quartet stake claim to territory occupied by Radiohead, Cinematic Orchestra and Efterklang”. ***** The Guardian
Wide-screen minimalists Portico Quartet have created their own singular, cinematic sound over the course of six studio albums. From their 2007 breakthrough ‘Knee-Deep in the North Sea’ through to ‘Memory Streams’ in 2019, they continue to resist categorisation. Tonight’s performance with an extended ensemble featuring strings and a very special guest performance from a wonderful pianist (and friend of the band) sees the band presenting the UK premiere or their latest album Terrain (Gondwana Records May 2021).
Terrain is a genre-bending masterpiece that unfolds slowly over three movements. Drawing on ambient music and American minimalism, it is both a meditation on the troubled times we find ourselves in, as well as a paean to hope, and counts as the one of the most artistically free and beautiful albums they have ever recorded.
The three parts, Terrain I, II & III are all subtly different, but a short, repeating rhythmic motif is the starting point in all three movements. There is a sense of a shared journey to all these pieces; they move through different worlds, with a sense of horizontal movement that lends the music real momentum. The resulting album presents a profound dialogue, both between the composers and between tranquility and a subtly unsettling melancholy, which makes Terrain a powerful new statement and tonight’s performance is a unique opportunity to experience the album in the spectacular setting of one of London’s most revered and special venues.