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Terra Cobre | João Pais Filipe e Marco da Silva Ferreira

Terra Cobre | João Pais Filipe e Marco da Silva Ferreira

The first time I saw João Pais Filipe live was in the Novo Negócio, in a duo with Pedro Melo Alves, on June 15, 2021.

This concert is, to this day (and I believe it will remain so), on my list of the best concerts I have seen. I commented at the time to whoever was with me that I didn’t know what to write other than: “impactful, memorable and that made me sit there, hours on end, watching and listening to the two, in that perfect, harmonious and disruptive dialogue whenever it was necessary”.

Later, in July of that year, I interviewed João Pais Filipe for Covidarte and promised that I would still write about that concert. I didn’t, the timing passed, but what I felt at that concert is still very present in me.

Last September 30th I repeated the experience. This time I went to Estufa Fria to watch the performance Terra Cobre, by musician and sculptor João Pais Filipe and choreographer and dancer Marco da Silva Ferreira, as part of the BoCA – Biennial of Contemporary Arts program.

It was supposed to start at 7pm, but it started 37 minutes later (an issue duly explained to the public, which shows respect for those who were there). Nobody gave up. The kindness of those who were managing the moment helped, the Estufa Fria space invites us to enjoy the space and those who were there knew that waiting to see the performance would be worth it.

Terra Cobre begins with an arm that moves, a rattle that is the extension of Marco da Silva Ferreira’s body (who from now on will just be Marco). The body is used as a percutive medium. We have strength in the dancer and subtlety in the musician. I’m sitting down absorbing the world, traditions, changes, adaptations. And it started less than 2 or 3 minutes ago.

João Pais Filipe’s (hereinafter João) percussions are perfect, with no room for error. Technique, creativity, focus, sensitivity are words that define João’s work.

I look at Marco, the rhythm, the body at the service of the will. Possession and exorcism, the antithesis between the ground floor and the ancestor. A trance that passes into our body.

Unexpectedly, a song from Marco echoes. Scenically, the voice and bodies gain another presence, there is no percussion during the singing.

The gong enters and we leave the ground floor and let ourselves be guided to the more transcendent side. Repetitive, hypnotic, pulsating. Marco returns and takes me on a trip to Caretos. I return to the traditional, I let the story get confused, change perceptions and the rattles end up hanging and silenced in the final moment.

Seeing Terra Cobre is being part of the experience that unfolds between the village and the world, between the body and the sounds. Once again João Pais Filipe does not disappoint, and Marco da Silva Ferreira is on my radar as an artist to follow.

Take a look at the Boca 2023 agenda with the program running until October 15, 2023.

  • Terra Cobre de João Pais Filipe e Marco da Silva Ferreira
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The Selva | Causa Efeito Festival

The Selva | Causa Efeito Festival

Festival Causa Efeito | June 30, 2023 | Text that includes real facts and a short story I wrote while listening to the concert | Photos by Nuno Martins

It is always intimate and wrapped in moments of redemption. Ricardo Jacinto, Nuno Morão and Gonçalo Almeida are three reference musicians in national improvisation. The Selva practice a complex and incredible exercise of restraint that dissolves over the course of a story that binds us to the concert. To the here and now.
It’s hard to stop the mind. They lead me to memories hidden between notes that insist on squeezing my chest. It’s really hard not to be absorbed by the magnitude of Ricardo Jacinto’s cello.

I try to stick to writing what I see and feel, but stories, ideas come to mind and the pen begins to slide uncontrollably across the paper. Here we go to the tale.

When I remember looking at the blank of a possible suicide note, I am sure that the decision I made was the right one. The emptiness of a pen without ink. Perhaps because I repeatedly and rhythmically made the same movement.

Lower your head. Slightly rotate it to the left side.
Lower your head. Slightly rotate it to the left side.

Even the exhaustion of the bow, the disobedience of the drumstick, the fatigue of someone strumming steel strings.
The emptiness of a suicide note.

I remain focused on Nuno Morão. Maybe because it brought me back to the ground floor.

After all, maybe you like to walk here. Between hot notes, despite the eagerness of other times. I like to torment myself with robust memories of lost hands on plump thighs.

The Selva’s crescendo of intensity is always delicious.

Wet lips in a glass of rum. Today, it’s actually tequila.
The emptiness of an unwritten suicide note. Have you ever read your suicide note? Laugh at what? Laugh because you didn’t make it. Sad what lives in the silence of unwritten letters, sentences that remain in suspense.
I suspend myself. I look at myself from the outside. What a sad figure.

Now I’m with Gonçalo Almeida. A heavier side, but full of subtlety.

Run over gravel before entering a long, unexpected tunnel. The suicide note remains in the void. Scream without much success. The neighbor hammers incessantly on the wall next to my bedroom wall.
Bastard. Postpone the suicide note for me. What a chasing bitch.
Ideas in a rush. And the note that doesn’t come out. You told me it would be easy, that you just wanted to. But what about the note that doesn’t come out.

I can only continue with my feet nailed in the gravel, inside the tunnel, in the emptiness of a possible suicide note. I have ink in the pen again. I ran out of paper.
The emptiness of wanting to write a suicide note.

This emptiness will never end. I got paper again. I ran out of ink in the pen.

  • Foto de Nuno Martins | The Selva | Festival Causa Efeito
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Ikizukuri and Susana Santos Silva | Jazz em Agosto

Ikizukuri and Susana Santos Silva | Jazz em Agosto

The first time I wrote about Ikizukuri was in November 2018. K7 Hexum had just come out by publisher Zona Watusa. It is easy to see that I became an Ikizukuri fan. At the time I would end my review like this: “Ikizukuri with their Hexum will devour your ears and leave you with a tremendous desire to hear them live. Short, intense, and breathtaking. What more can you ask for?”.

In December of that same year, they gave 4 concerts in Portugal. If I remember correctly, I failed them all.

I couldn’t fail again.

After 3 years, in 2021, Gonçalo invited me to write the liner notes for the record, released by Multikulti, which yesterday was the motto of the concert at Jazz em Agosto. My response was immediate. It wasn’t necessary to think too much about whether I would accept to write the liner notes of an Ikizukuri record with Susana Santos Silva (who at Out.Fest this year gave a very good concert and about which I wrote).

I received the record and listened to it in a burst. I was surrendered and what I wrote came out in a rush (a sign that I did it without pain).

Yesterday I sat in the Gulbenkian auditorium with very high expectations. I had decided not to bring a notebook. I wouldn’t write about the concert, just as I didn’t review the record. I thought that made no sense if I had written the liner notes. I didn’t think it would be very right for me to do that. I thought, but I don’t think that anymore.

Yesterday I attended an impressive concert. I had a pen and rummaged in my suitcase for a sheet. A shopping receipt would become my memory’s best ally. After all, I couldn’t resist writing. I’ll write in the present, as if I still there, and I’ll just use each one’s first name, no surnames, no formalities.

The backdrop opens and the windswept trees become the video for the concert. No VJ in the world would do a better job than this one ─ this is my thinking. Life is stirring outside as the Ikizukuri and Susana prepare to begin.

I feel small, sitting in the front row. The stage is big, the scenery is overwhelming, and the musicians are lined up perfectly. The masks remain on Gonçalo and Gustavo’s faces.

Begin. The birds back there fly in a rush between the light and the wind, the treetops sway wildly. Ikizukuri and Susana begin to guide us to an increasingly heavy, more intense environment, and the chaos of the natural video accompanies them. They don’t know that behind them they have a movie going on that perfectly illustrates each sound, each note, each scream that comes out of Gustavo’s drums, Gonçalo’s electric bass, Susana’s trumpet, and Julius’ saxophone.

Let’s go to the second track and I realize it’s been good. How? I have pain in the prosthesis I have in my neck – a sign that I’m in semi headbanging.

The soundscapes are amazing. The masks fall from Gonçalo and Gustavo’s faces. Finally. They start to get looser. We continue. I look around and I can’t decipher what’s in the soul of whoever is sitting on my right side. I decipher from the tapping of the gentleman’s foot on my left side that he too is beginning to loosen up.

I don’t know how much time has passed. I refuse to look at the clock, Gonçalo brushes the bass’s arm across the floor, his body lets himself be commanded by the darkest side of the moment, Gustavo exchanges glances with him, Susana brings her subtlety and aggressiveness (I fall more and more in love with her sound) and Julius continues to brilliantly push the saxophone.

I write in my book: “jazz does not live only from foreigners”. We give too much value to international names when Portuguese musicians are creative and technically excellent.

Night fell and the scenery outside is exactly in the style of what you hear inside.

I go back to the book to write: “arrhythmias”. The arrhythmias are really mine and not theirs. My heart is arrhythmic, racing, and when that happens at a concert, it’s a good sign. They disarm me, make me take a deep breath and check my pulse.

The applause announces that we are finished. Gonçalo thanks. I reset my cardiovascular system. Ikizukuri moves my guts.

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Out.Fest | June 03, 2021

Out.Fest | June 03, 2021

Go to Susana Santos Silva’s concert text

Go to Rafael Toral’s concert text


Few words. In fact, they are not accurate.

In the Amphitheater Paz & Amizade there is a cool breeze while Susana Santos Silva enters the scene and speaks a few words to us. In fact, they are not accurate. “It’s been a long time since we’ve played with an audience like this.” I look around and there are many faces covered with masks. Many. That’s the most important. We carefully define. With distance and mask on. And culture takes place in that amphitheater. With so much time away from these wanderings, I feel that I have unlearned how to focus on a live concert, without headphones, without a screen, without thinking about going there just to do the laundry or take care of dinner.

I haven’t seen a concert in a long time. It’s been a long time since I’ve written on the spur of the moment. The quintet’s last album, released by Porta-Jazz, was halfway there for expectations to be high.

Trumpet, saxophone, drums, bass and keys.

And Susana. I follow its path and the leap and evolution are enormous. Respect.

Next thing I know, we’re already in applause and ready to enter the second theme. I enter a bohemian and decadent bar. A late spring afternoon with a very cool breeze. The sound guides me. One person on each side. I exchange glances with some of those around me. A unison sound that enters my ears. The electric bass that, so well, destabilizes the moment. The battery that keeps silent. The helicopter that decides to pass and become the sixth element for a brief moment and merges with the keyboards.

I find myself in the middle of a movie like Black Cat, White Cat, by Kusturica, or Ugly, Pigs and Bad, by Ettore Scola. At this point in the concert, Torbjörn Zetterberg becomes the center of the film.

I continue this journey and I don’t realize how many themes have passed. A heavier mesh begins, a somber environment. I get lost in time again. I continue to travel.

Final applause. When concerts are good you lose track of time. For those who didn’t go, here’s a tip: the Impermanence records will also make you travel.

Rafael Toral Space Quartet

It got dark and I entered the Auditorium. Some time ago, more precisely in 2019, I wrote a review of one of Rafael Toral’s records. I admire him, I respect him and I am fascinated by what he develops.

Auditorium, mask and smoke machine: it’s all a matter of habit (I’ll work on getting used to it).

I think this is the first time I’ve seen Nuno Torres live (I should be ashamed to admit this), Nuno Morão delights me on drums and the one who ends up surprising me throughout the concert is Hugo Antunes (doublebass). Perhaps because he feels that everyone is contained except for him. Maybe because I didn’t expect this record from Hugo. I too have preconceived ideas (who knew).

Rafael Toral’s presence is unmistakable. His set of material, the way he moves on stage, his expressions. I miss a moment of madness, of total liberation, of explosion. Why? I don’t know. I just hope that moment happens. The concert grows, its dynamics intensify, but it does not explode. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I consider it to be a need of mine after being confined for so long ─ to burst.

Rafael has the ability to take us to other universes and Nuno Torres is pioneering small paths where, together, they complement each other.

It ended quickly, like all good things.

  • Fotografias de Maria Santos e Rui Baião