We are harvesting the pomegranates and are waiting for the first rains in 150 days. But the sun keeps shining.
This newsletter tells about residents and their projects in September. Earlier residencies are on page residents 2019.
On 8 October we had a fantastic concert in our piano room by Mauro Dilemma (piano), Andeia Vaz (violin) and Beate Schnaithmann (cello). With works of Peter Ludwig and Astor Piazzolla, the tango was the read thread in the program. Their excellent playing was vibrant, romantic, powerful, dreamy and hypnotising all in one. They first played together in April and decided that they may go for a trio. The musicians considered this concert to be just a try out. That means a lot for the future.
On 27 September we got a spectacular performance by Gwenn Sampé. It was the start of an evening full of music and poetry.
With the enormous reach of her voice Gwenn was singing and telling about fears for ourselves and for the other. Her melodies were jazzy, sometimes interrupted by screaming, whispering a lullaby or singing a swinging gospel.
There were several other performers of that evening. Eilleen Kaene did sing Irish, English and Spanish folk songs, written by herself. Stella Whalley had an open studio showing the work that she made at OBRAS. José Rodriguez did sing two cantas Alentejanas and presented a poetry project involving ten languages (see below). Maria Hannson gave a musical performance with a wooden mask. Fernando Costa showed his latest wood carving and did sing, accompanying himself on a special guitar: viola Portuguesa. Hermínia Costa recited two of her poems and did sing several times during the evening. And Hermínia and Fernando cooked a traditional Portuguese dish: porco preto com migas de espargos.
On that evening our friend José Rodriguez dos Santos (Portugal) presented his poetry project "Found in Translation”. Some time ago he wrote a short poem in German and translated it with Google Translate in another language. Then he had the translation translated in a third language and so on until the poem was translated ten times, the last one being in German. He repeated this circle of computer translations three times. The original poem disappeared completely, but the translations brought unintended information to the surface; a revelation, created by a machine, that was hidden in the original poem. “This is very similar to how I create my abstract paintings: I try to create with no intentions”, Victoria Cattoni said.
Directly after her residency at OBRAS in 2017, the sound artist Aurélie Ferrière stepped on a sailing boat to join the Ocean Mapping Expedition for two months. This expedition is a 4-year sailing journey inspired by Magellan’s travels 500 years ago, aimed to understand the state of the oceans from an ecologic, scientific and philosophical point of view.
Aurélie Ferrière (France, currently living in Sweden) is classical musician by education. After a short period of experimental punk she started creating electro-acoustic music, often with nature as a starting point. During her ocean tour Aurélie collected sounds of birds, seaweed, waves and insects. She composed a music piece with it and combined it with a blue laser show that suggests gently moving waves. At this moment she is giving life concerts on several places in Europe and the USA. We were more than honored that she was willing to give a concert at OBRAS on September 10. This slideshow gives an impression, more information is on musicomexp
Elizabeth Murray (Ireland) came to redraft her newest book, her first for adults. It is a dystopian novel, set in a hot climate, post an international global warming disaster. But she created much more, including several short stories. Especially for OBRAS she wrote (with some feedback from Jona Ray) a poetic short story: The Silence of Stones, on a 7000-years old grave near to our house and on what these grave stones have heard during these 7000 years. We placed the poem on the Megalithic Monuments page of this website.
From the first day onward, Elizabeth worked with iron discipline. Her daily schedule included a 3-hours walk during which she collected objects to trigger her inspiration, such as bones and a snake skin but also buttons and crown caps of beer bottles.
Monique Luchetti (USA) is a bird’s lover, so it is not surprising that birds are also the main subject in her art. But more precisely: she is intrigued by people’s fascination for bids. This is why she explored collections of stuffed birds (partly in the Museum of Natural History in Lisbon). In the former century birds were collected and conserved partly for scientific reasons, but partly also for the act of collecting itself. It feels sad that some of those birds are now extinct. Monique made a beautiful series of drawings of conserved birds. Each drawing contains the birds’ species and the date of death.