what a magical thing to be able to contemplate the world!
your eyes become one with what you see. your breath merges with the breath of the wind. your skin is not anymore your skin but the skin of what you touch. what you hear is what you are. i breath in what is there and when i breath out i give myself as I am.




The Arts Desk
Similarly Susana Santos Silva’s All the Birds and a Telephone Ringing on Thanatosis says on the back that it was made “with support from the Swedish Arts Council”. This sounds about right as the album by the trumpet-player/composer of that nation submerges her instrument, when it’s there at all, beneath a range of found sounds, watery burbles, and creaky swings, ending up with music that is close in spirit to the original late 1940s Musique Concrète work which Jean-Michel Jarre also pays tribute to on his latest album, reviewed above. 

Citizen Jazz
all the birds and a telephone ringing est le dernier projet personnel de la trompettiste qui travaille depuis plusieurs années maintenant dans le domaine de l’électro-acoustique, que ce soit dans le cadre de recherches universitaires ou de pratique.
Avec cet enregistrement, la musicienne propose une promenade dans un univers sonore, fait en grande partie de field recordings et de quelques interventions plus acoustiques. C’est comme un film qui se déroule dans la tête de l’auditeur, avec des indices et repères connus, d’autres moins, qui permettent d’inventer nos propres images.
Aussi déroutant qu’entêtant, ce disque ne dévoile pourtant qu’un dixième du talent de conteuse de la trompettiste.

Free Jazz Blog
Whether with her work in Fire! Orchestra, Gustafsson’s NU Ensemble, Hearth, her countless collaborations or as bandleader with her quintet and Impermanence, trumpeter and composer Susana Santos Silva seems to somehow always be involved in a lot of my favourite contemporary music lately.
It was with the release of her wonderful album “All The Rivers” that I started to really pay attention to her solo career, captivated by her lyrical, inspired and inspiring improvisations reverberating throughout Portugal’s Panteão Nacional. An album where the environment she performs in plays as big a role as the notes coming out of her instrument, a fascination with her surroundings that I feel foreshadows some of the ideas she completely embraced on this new offering.
This album is a tactile, visceral tapestry of samples and field recordings accompanied (but not always) by all the different sounds she’s able to bring out of her instrument. I despise the word “cinematic” in music reviews, so, since I almost caved to the temptation of using it, I’ll settle with saying that this album feels like flipping through a very personal diary, just managing to glimpse at a few excerpts of what’s written on it as you turn the pages. It tells a story, but it’s fragmented, and though you can’t quite piece it together you can definitely feel its emotional impact. 
It’s amazing just how a few sound cues can instantly transport the listener to different places and times: “The Way Home“, for instance, with just a few samples of creaking wood, squeaking metal and the distant sound of waves crashing put the listener on a ship swaying in the wind, Santos Silva is removed from the scene, her trumpet just a foghorn in the distance.
The people recorded at a train station on “Always Arriving” go about their daily business, their chores, their travels without having any idea that a ghostly trumpet is echoing around the platforms, halls and tunnels of the station; Santos Silva is never the center of the pictures she paints on the album. Often separated, her playing almost always feels overdubbed (at least to me) after the fact. This means that this album is much more than environmental improvisations: overdubbing allows for more possibilities, both storytelling and music-wise, and maintains the “purity” of the field recordings as there’s no risk that they be influenced by her presence. The samples aren’t a gimmick and aren’t window dressing, they’re as important as the playing and it’s they that anchor the listener to the places the music takes them. This is just speculation on my part as I can’t know for sure that the playing is overdubbed, but this is what makes the most sense to me.
The only piece that radically deviates from this ethos is “As One Comes to the World“, consisting of 9 minutes of Santos Silva playing her trumpet with its bell underwater, expanding her sonic palette not with samples but with the direct interaction of the instrument and the environment foreshadowed by her past work, that here reaches its logical conclusion: pure symbiosis.
All the Birds” sounds like childhood: its gorgeous and warm drone hums along something very similar to the sound of a VHS rewinding (that I suspect might actually be Santos Silva on her trumpet), lulling the listener into a stupor for a few minutes until the drone is stripped away, leaving nothing but the distant chirping of birds and Santos Silva’s understated playing, short breaths and squeals trying to imitate the noises coming from above.
And a Telephone Ringing” is the sound of living in a city (or in my personal journey through the album, the sound of adulthood). Noises recorded in what seems to be an apartment block’s stairwell, maybe an atrium or a patio, of people going by as Santos Silva’s frenzied Irish flute plays the part of an ever-ringing telephone that nobody but the listener can hear and that nobody will ever pick up. This is an example of the importance of keeping the music and the field recordings separate that I alluded to earlier: had she been playing the flute in that apartment block at the time of recording the people might have stopped by to listen to the music, interacting with it and interrupting their daily routines, and the piece wouldn’t have been able to tell the same story it tells now.
The album ends with “For Reasons a Human Cannot Divine“, my favourite piece and the most lonesome. Santos Silva’s lyrical playing I loved so much on “All the Rivers” is back, this time not accompanied by the echoes of the Panteão Nacional but rather alone in a field. You can almost feel the grass move in the wind while the birds sing above. The playing is commanding but relaxed, perfectly in sync with the sounds of nature around it. Rain starts to fall, thunder cracks, man-made noises (trains, cars, heavy machinery) begin to approach as the playing becomes more and more urgent, but in the end it all ultimately dies down, leaving nothing but the birds’ singing (and maybe a telephone ringing).
By its nature, this is an album with countless possible interpretations and your experience with it and its “wordless storytelling” will surely differ from mine, but if you allow it to transport you to its meticulously painted vignettes you’ll be able to write your own story that I’m sure will be as emotionally rewarding as it was for me. It’s a special and personal release, yet another high mark and turning point for the career of this rising star of the free improvisation scene. Santos Silva’s music is alive, ever-versatile and with innumerable possibilities ahead. I’ll be listening closely and I suggest you do the same.

Silence And Sound
With All The Birds And A Telephone Ringing, she offers an album of hypnotic strangeness built with shots of field recordings and mixed textures, bewitching breaths and naturalistic atmospheres.
We are literally captivated by the force of proposal of this opus resonating in a familiar way and yet giving off an aura of enveloping mystery, with a raw and deep dreamlike quality.
Field recordings are superimposed to give shape to a magma of matter evolving through landscapes fluctuating between urbanity and organic universe, concentrated life in continuous movements. Fascinating!

Music Map
Among birds, alarms of moving machinery, and not immediately recognizable noises, trumpeter Susana Santos Silva immerses us in a curious work of field recording. Following John Cage’s philosophy, according to which every sound we hear can be music (and he doesn’t distinguish between sound and noise), the Portuguese artist explores electronics, trying to get as many sounds as possible from his instruments. Trumpet, Irish flute, and precisely the environmental recordings.
The album “All the birds and a telephone ringing”, released for Thanatosis Produktion, is a collage of acoustic experiences. In “All the birds” and in “The way home” various types of chirping birds can be recognized. After that, in “Always arriving always departing”, it seems to be at the airport, among the reverberations of distant voices, and sudden alarms, as if a reversing luggage van was approaching. In all of this, Silva improvises with his faithful traveling companion, the trumpet, and seems to weave a monologue, a reflection in sounds rather than a melody. The trumpet will then return to dialogue with the storm, in the closing track “For reasons a human cannot divine”, while the trains pass on the tracks, and a bell rings.
We hear the Irish flute “chirping” in “And a telephone ringing”, among the voices of people as in offices. But the most intriguing experiment are those 9 minutes of “As one comes to the world”. Santos Silva immerses the trumpet in water, and using two hydrophones (underwater microphones), records each liquid bubbling with great definition. By improvising, Susana pays close attention to what she gets, gradually directing the variations, thus making a fascinating abstract narrative. (Gilberto Ongaro)

Salt Peanuts
All The Birds And A Telephone Ringing is the new solo album of Portuguese, Stockholm-based trumpeter Susana Santos Silva, and it marks a new direction in her musical career. Silva, who has worked with pianist Kaja Draksler, Mats Gustafsson’s Fire! Orchestra, bassist Torbjörn Zetterberg, Fred Frith and Anthony Braxton, in addition to leading several bands of her own, currently studying electro-acoustic composition at the Royal College of Music. The new album expands her sonic palette, far beyond the extended breathing techniques for the trumpet, and offers intriguing sound collages that meticulously blend field recordings, electronics and her suggestive trumpet playing that stress her interest in narrative and wordless storytelling.
The title of the album was inspired by a line in John Cage’s seminal book Silence (Cage also composed a piece, Telephones and Birds, 1977, for three performers, telephone announcements, and recordings of bird songs, originally used as music for the choreographed piece by Merce Cunningham, «Travelogue»), and Silva embraces many of Cage’s theories on sound and listening. Silva’s album is about the relationship between nature and humans, how we interact, how we affect the world around us and affected by the climate crisis. «What we hear around us is already music itself», she says.
Silva began investigating this new sonic path when she was approached in 2019 by the Belgian imprint Matière Mémoire to contribute a piece to its MMXX series to compose an electronic piece. She followed with the shape-shifting organ-drenched meditation, From The Ground Birds Are Born (Superpang, 2021). All The Birds And A Telephone Ringing was recorded and mixed by Silva in Stockholm and Porto between August and December 2021, with additional field recordings by Swedish composer-sound artist Rosanna Gunnarson and Zetterberg. Silva is complementing the album with a series of videos for each piece using footage shot with her phone, a kind of visual analog to her field recordings.
The music is intimate and still sounds spontaneous, despite the meticulous recording and mixing process and the new, experimental, explorative approach, and radiates an engaging logic of its own and an intuitive freshness. Silva attempts to find a compassionate and organic common sonic ground that would resonate the field recordings and innocent nature’s sounds with the sounds of human interventions with nature. Her trumpet playing highlights her lyrical imagination, but now becomes even more adventurous when she submerged the bell of her horn beneath the surface of the water on «As One Comes to the World», with a pair of hydrophones capturing her blobby gurgles and unpitched breaths, or converses gently with bird calls in «All The Birds» and sketches a timeless folk song in «For Reasons A human Cannot Divine». The suggestive cover art by Canadian-American visual artist Jeannie Hutchins («who uses photography to explore life’s unanswerable questions») solidifies the touching, vulnerable essence of this beautiful, highly immersive listening experience.

The relationship between man and nature and the in many ways upside-down world that this has resulted in is the theme of the Portuguese but Stockholm-based trumpeter Susana Santos Silva’s new album.
A highly remarkable album in many ways, as it differs quite radically from the music she previously devoted herself to, which in turn can hardly be said to be particularly mainstream as it included games with, among others, Kaja Draksler, Fire! Orchestra, Torbjörn Zetterberg and Here’s To Us.
The fact that she also got a little tired of just playing the trumpet opened up the experiment with sounds taken from the environment that embeds her exploration of all the trumpet’s tonal possibilities both above and – as here in the piece As one comes to the world – below the surface of the water. In addition, in one piece, For reasons a human cannot divine, she plays Irish flute embedded in a conversation in Swedish.
Field recordings taken from Stockholm and Porto by herself and by Rosanna Gunnarsson have a significant function in all six sound collages, and the tension and enchantment Santos Silva manages to create here in the use of creaking ship hulls, hydrophones, thunder, church bells and seagulls is astonishing to say the least.