Phonography and sonic art
Pipinoir, Expressão Criativa
17 Rua dos Aranhas
2nd - 15th August
O ESTADO DAS COISAS
15th - 30th August
Rodrigo has always believed in the methodological (and even therapeutic) benefits of throwing away everything possible. However, it is since 2012 that his language has become considerably more complex, and so, the ever longer and denser pre-compositional processes started to amass. From such preparation processes (the foundations of the construction of every work), today, he has archived more than 700 little documental fragments, including notation studies, instrumentation and spatialisation planifications, drafts, graphs, tables, diagrams, maps, matrices, syntactic systems, trans-formation processes, functions and calculations, translation and sonification schemes, conditional programming designs etc.
Along the years, apart from resisting to the temptation of impulsively erasing the whole collection, Rodrigo has been witnessing its organisation, in ways, which sometimes seem almost spontaneous. Depending on functions and utilities, each new fragment emergently relates to the pre-existing ones, thus moving the whole towards the taxonomy of the author’s creativity.
TAXONOMIA serves as an interaction tool with the local artistic communities, with whom the collection is systematically shared and worked on, so that issues to do with the functions of signs and symbols in human communication are explored. Concepts such as notation, interpretation and improvisation are approached, whilst realisation, concretisation, materialisation, sonification and translation processes are tested. There is additionally reserved a space for discussion and negotiation of notions of necessity, utility, efficiency and intelligibility.
In regards to the physical installation of the work, initially, the space starts empty and blank. Day after day, the walls become gradually filled up with drawings. One by one, and mediated by a conversation with the author, these are interpreted and recorded by local performers, who are invited to visit the space. The recordings are edited in-situ and positioned with multiple loudspeakers nearby each respective drawing. The piece’s shape thenceforth advances organically through the walls, gradually filling the room with the memory of everybody’s participation.
RODRIGO B. CAMACHO
He is generally described as a composer of strange music, which you should approach only with adequate alertness. The various contacts with sociology and political sciences have irremediably transformed him. In fact, he is a systematic and detailed hyper-structuralist, a creator who critically falls for problematic ideas. He is interested in language and transformation processes, with which he articulates each particle with rigour and technical flair. He strives to gain obsessive control over everything in each work, from the conceptual kernel, to the more superficial aesthetic levels.
Along several works, and even interdisciplinarily, he has maintained a stylistic consistency of violent, aggressive and, at times, stark aesthetics. Nonetheless, the complexity and interrelatedness of everything have always fascinated him. He has hence been coming to study game theory and emergent phenomena, which he is inspired by in order to create highly sophisticated constructions that organically unfold before participants and audiences. Perhaps, what he most often does might not even be music at all…
THE STATE OF THINGS
Reproduced through various speakers hanging from the ceiling of the space, the piece has as its basis the dynamics between moments of sound and long blocks of silence. At a first glance, the sound consists of the author's voice, asking the participants to answer various questions according to four categories. For a start, there come questions on each one’s identity: name, age, profession etc. Following, are the music related memories or strong influences and, after that, questions on recent events of public interest. Sara also utilises phonographic material she has been recording in Funchal, which the performers relate to by using their voice or any other instrument.
Throughout the days, these answers are recorded and recombined in various forms, producing new dynamics as more arrive. Each performer is also given the possibility to affect the development of the piece, choosing, within a group of possibilities, questions that the next ones will answer. In this way, the posed issues will start moulding to participants’ volition, thence originating a map-ping of what is most relevant to each one, and inevitably, to the whole. Little by little, the audience becomes able to witness the development of a space that receives the expression of a community of a time and place, whose identity is marked by the artistic practices as well as the sociocultural experiences they hold alive.
A lot of this work focuses on the recovery of information through various types of memory, one can activate. Between these, we can distinguish declarative memory, also known as explicit, which requires a conscious effort to reactivate information. This includes episodic memory, dedicated to autobiographic events linked to a time and space associated with emotions and other contextual criteria such as who, when, where and why. Distinguished further is the topographic memory, which involves the capacity to recognise an itinerary or a familiar place. Particularly, we can find the procedural memory, which does not base itself on the conscious return of memory, but on an implicit learning, activated, for example, in the act of doing something such as playing a musical instrument.
After having studied fine art as well as music, Sara’s creative interests became centred between research and audiovisual composition, always with a conceptual concern as a basis. Having worked with installation, video and electronics, many of her current pieces are created with, and thinking of, people. Such attentiveness was awakened when she began composing for specific musicians; some of her friends and acquaintances. The idea thence came up that each performer’s potential goes way beyond their musical capacities, and that their value resides also in their own personal characteristics and individual experiences, in each one’s life story.
Sara’s pleasure for malleable and open structures took form in compositions with macro structures to be occupied with unique pieces of life and content. With a fascination for analysing and attempting to understand complex questions through dissecting them into small fragments, some techniques started being regularly em-ployed. These can be found in the form of action-proposing questions and options with indeterminate consequences. With an ever-growing anthropological and sociocultural interest, Sara has been trying to understand how art can intersect and affect daily life.