my highlights of 2006
4x4 festival (Tromso, Norway) – 2 weeks in the Artic Circle, north of Norway, in August. Wonderful experience! Although my main task was to setup and present Turning Points, (see down in this post for more details about it), I ended up participating in many different small performances: a duo with Anja Kowalsky (her playing guitar and singing 2 songs and myself playing percussion on dishes and cups); a trio performance with Lawrence and Anja, making squeeches and other weird noises on Lawrence’s spinning wheels (ending with playing a Beatles record with the song Norwegian wood); an electric guitar rock solo at Jon Leuven’s Disco room; a collective improvisation each night featuring myself on electric guitar, Anja on voice, Lawrence on live set making, Els van Riel on video, Domenico Justino and Yukiko (dance) and Kristin (text).
Saturday memories with blue rumours (a choreography of Paulo Ribeiro, live music: Nuno Rebelo & Vitor Rua) – although we did most part of the tour in 2005, we still had performances of this piece in 2006: in Frankfurt, Coimbra and Glasgow. It was sad to see the end of the tour arriving, cause we always had a lot of fun playing it and a great time hanging around with the dancers and crew.
Pocketbook of Lightning (Nuno Rebelo / Marco Franco duo) – We’ve been playing together since more than a decade, most of it with Marco on the drums and myself on electric guitar, sometimes with guest musicians. I should also mention that for a short period (some years ago) we did some concerts with Marco on sax, instead of drums. In 2006 we started using other sound sources together with our main instruments: Marco started using some analog electronic devices (theremin, cracklebox and other stuff) and I included amplified objects. This year we did some great gigs in duo and some other with invited musicians: Carlos Zingaro (violin), Gianni Gebbia (sax) and Audrey Chen (cello and voice). Carlos and Gianni are old friends we’ve played with in the past; as to Audrey, what a pleasure to meet her and play with!
Surf Faces (Vitor Rua / Nuno Rebelo duo) – two gigs with this quadraphonic soundscape project. First one in Lux (Lisbon) in the context of Way Festival, second one at Casa dos Dias d’Água (Lisbon), for the closing event of a series of exhibitions and debates organised by the Portuguese Architects Association .
surf faces live at Casa dos dias d'Água, Lisbon, 2006
Turning Points – In 2005 I did Turning Point 1 for electric guitar and amplified objects and later Turning Points 2, 3 & 4 for six mutant Portuguese guitars. In 2006, being invited by the sculptor Miguel Palma to participate in “Tuning”, a collective artistic work on a car, I chose to intervene on the wheels of the car, using them as Tu®ning Points 5, 6, 7 & 8. Check the video and find out what I did. This was so far the only time that a turntable wasn’t used as “player” of the installation.
Later this year I did another presentation of Turning Points, this time in Tromso (Norway) in the frame of 4x4 festival. I had a great room all devoted to my installation, some good lightning and it consisted of three Turning Points. Turning Point 9 (for three amplified objects), Turning Point 10 (for eight pieces of Norwegian wood) and Turning Point 11 (for two guitars). Altogether, they played a very nice ongoing music full of rich sound material, rhythmic and aleatory elements and spatialization. The spinning lights, and the moving shadows they created, added a hypnotic layer to the installation.
Turning Points 1 to 11
So Happy Together – only one gig this year with this Zen project, featuring Vera Mantero on voice, Vitor Rua and myself on mutant Portuguese guitars, plus my own video animations on the 16 Zen poems of Herberto Helder. The gig happened in the context of Mira festival, in Toulouse (France).
Mark Lewis & The Standards – two great gigs this year, one in Salamanca (Spain) in the context of Festival de las Artes de Castilla y Léon, and another one in Vienna, for the anniversary celebrations of Tanzquartier Wien. It was very special in Salamanca, cause all the dancers of Mark’s company were present (Mark was performing his choreography “Animal” a few days later in the same festival). Since the dancers know the songs very well (cause these songs are in “Animal”), they had the chance to see it live for the first time. In April 2007 we’ll play in Paris and hopefully some gigs in Portugal too.
Mark Lewis & The Standards live in Vienna, October 2006
Lost & Found – this duo project with Mark Lewis Tompkins and myself started in 2006. It’s a kind of pocket version of the Standards. We play some of the songs of the Standards with different arrangements and we use videos that I did both as visual background and soundtrack. But we also did some original songs and later the Standards started to play these too. So it works both ways. Our first gig was in June, in Vienna, organised by Tanzquartier Wien. They liked it so much that they invited us to go back for their anniversary celebrations in October, but we said no and proposed the Standards instead - and so it happened. Later this year we did more gigs in Ljubljana (Slovenia), Berlin and Girona (Spain). In May 2007 we’ll play in Paris.
Audible Movement, Visible Sound – Mark Tompkins and I have been teaching together this workshop which focuses the grey zones of cross-path and contamination of the performing body regarding movement and sound making, in a context of improvisation – or real time composition. We started in 2000 and have done it three times in Vienna, Strasbourg, Lisbon and Bucarest. In 2006 we spend two great weeks in Ljubljana (during the football world cup!) doing this workshop at the amazing Kino Ciska, an old abandoned cinema. It’s always a great adventure for me to be involved in this workshop, since I get in touch with myself in terms of body performance. This is an area that for years was unknown to me and that I could never imagine that I had any talent at all to do it… But doing this teaching (or should I say training?) with Mark since 2000, I’m getting more and more at ease to do it; plus I’m getting very encouraging comments from Mark and from the dancers who participate. In Ljubljana I felt for the first time very comfortable to improvise as a dancer, even in the final presentation of the work, doing a performance for an audience. More, more, I want more of this!
Cine-concert homage to Carlos Paredes – The Portuguese guitar is a kind of a 12 string big mandolin, and the most known traditional instrument from Portugal. It stands as a national symbol. And Carlos Paredes was the most outstanding player of this instrument, playing his own and his father’s compositions. Personally, his music is the one where I can deeply find the Portuguese soul, whatever that is.
This cine-concert was done in 2005 at ZDB (Lisbon) as a single event to do an homage to Carlos Paredes. It includes the projection of “Movimentos Perpétuos”, a documentary by Edgar Pêra about Carlos Paredes. In between the projection of the documentary there are several live musical performances about 15 minutes each. First one is the duo João Lima (Portuguese guitar) + Jean Marc Dercle (one string bass); João is a great player and his style is influenced by the art of Paredes. Second performance it’s me, doing a solo improvisation on mutant Portuguese guitar (since 1993 I’ve been applying my knowledge of experimental techniques – mostly developed within the electric guitar - to this instrument). Third performance is the duo Dead Combo (check their page here at myspace). There is a last performance with all of us playing together. During all the performances there are live video projections, with Edgar mixing live images shot on stage with some pre-recorded material. This homage to Carlos Paredes is a very lively one. Not only one can learn more about his personality and enjoy his own playing in the projected images, but also presents different approaches on how his influence is still alive in the hands of some Portuguese musicians.
In 2006 we were invited to play this show two nights at CAPA (Faro / Portugal). We had a great time doing it and received both nights a standing ovation from the audience. Thus, we wish that more presentations of this homage might happen in the future.
Video work – having seen a concert of “So Happy together” with my videos, theatre director Paulo Filipe Torres invited me to do videos for his play “Tanto Mar”, presented at D. Maria National Theatre (Lisbon). It was the first time in my life that I participated as something else than composer in a theatre play and also the first time – and so far the only one – that I was invited to participate in something as a video artist. Doing this work I had the chance to develop furthermore my skills of video editing and go deeper into what is my personal video language. Later this year I did all the videos for Lost & Found, my duo with Mark Lewis Tompkins. And when Ana Albuquerque invited me to do some ambient music for her jewellery exhibition I proposed her doing video instead (check this video at my page at myspace). So,in fact, I did a lot of video work this year.
Granular – I was still in the board of directors of Granular in the first half of the year, but I resigned due to different perspectives between me and the board of directors about what I think this association should be and how it should work. Having said this, I’m still an active member of the association, participating in events that we organize. In this context, I played amplified objects in a gig at Museu do Chiado (Lisbon). This concert was part of “Der Gelbe Klang”, a series of concerts organised by Granular at Contemporary Arts Museum do Chiado. Our concert was a homage to Dada movement and was called “We are a furious wind”, featuring also Américo Rodrigues (voice), Pedro Tudela and Miguel Carvalhais (laptops). In this gig I shaved my hair on stage, amplifying and processing the sound of the shaver. Another concert was within Granular’s festival Metasonic (at Goethe Institut, Lisbon). Here I played (electric guitar) with Rodrigo Amado and Paulo Curado (saxes), Carlos Santos and André Gonçalves (laptops) and José Oliveira (percussion).
Composition – Since I spent most of my working time at home doing video, I didn’t do much composing this year and, unfortunately once again, no CDs of mine were released. A couple of minor things I did were the music for the opening of Musicbox (see another post in this blog for more info and to listen to it) and the music for the campaign of the left-wing candidate Francisco Louçã, to the Portuguese presidential elections. Anyway I finished 2006 composing 4 music pieces for Drumming, a percussion ensemble. The première of these pieces will be on 19 january at Teatro Viriato, Viseu, Portugal.