© Rita Draper Frazão

Inner Tour is a blog about People, Arts and Traveling by Rita Draper Frazão.
If you want to use my work, presented here, please send me a message.

domingo, 26 de abril de 2020

Days are not days and times are a-changin'

I guess this big change the world and us are in, requires new approaches on life.

Accordingly, I've been thinking a lot, in doing different things here, in my blog. In fact, I feel the need to do so. I have tons of unpublished material and several ideas. This article might just be the beginning of one of them. Wait and see!


Days are not days


Some days ago, the Swedish guitar player, Samuel Hällkvist shared on his Instagram account the album Days are not days is now available on streaming platforms like Spotify or Bandcamp.

For some reason, when this album was released, back in 2016, I didn't share it here and in any of my my social media, although it is mentioned in my Selected CV section, here at Inner Tour, ever since.

The little did I know, that the best thing to do would be not to do it at that period. Somethings need time to grow, to evolve, and the present context gave me the perfect timing to share with you, a little more about the story of this album, in which I was involved in, too.
 I also feel I have so much more to say about it now, than I would've had, back then. 

 Moreover, art in general, plays a very important role, these days. And as prophetic as it might seem, the title and the content of this project - Days are not days - are just spot on... 


The seed 


It had been, back in May of 2014 that I first heard and saw live Hällkvist playing. Even if, at that time, I didn't draw him at MIA Festival, where we met, I would later do it, a couple of months afterwards and when this album was in the making, one year after. These drawings were never officially published by myself, and I will share them for the first time now.

Back in 2015, Samuel Hällkvist, showed me, the fresh recordings he had just made with the Portuguese sax and flute player, Paulo Chagas (also co-mentor of MIA Festival) and the Danish guitarist Stephan Sieben.

I can vividly remember that day. I was at my studio, and you guys, I heard it once and I started writing about it, right away. Processes regarding music feel home in my brain, and my neurons apparently work faster to the point I, sometimes can't control its speedy reaction - normally in the shape of drawings and texts. This one took me minutes to do so.

Just out of curiosity, I decided to send it to Samuel. He and the rest of the band, decided my text should appear in the album. But they didn't do it conventionally. They've fractioned my text in parts and named the 6 tunes after each one of them. That was a total surprise for me!


My story of this sound


Below is the original text:

Golfinhos, mas também becos escuros. 
Um mergulho de um penhasco, e se fosse um reflexo, um vapor entre dentes, a trincar a núvem, voando na tempestade, no mau tempo, entre meteoritos.
Era um nevoeiro e um sapo, dos jogos de computador, do spectrum, dos xizes e das cruzinhas, das várias vidas por bater.
Havia pessoas nesse planeta. Era preciso sintonizar na praia e no espírito, onde havia ondas e marés.
Também era um caminho numa corda, num trapézio.
O ar enchia, em tubo, entre uma garrafa e um balão. Era uma mensagem no caminho.


And here's my alternative English translation (which is different from the version present in the CD, of which I am not the author of). The numbers correspond to the track division previously mentioned.


(1) Dolphins, but also dark alleys.
(2) A dive off a cliff, and if it were a reflection, a steam between teeth, biting the cloud, flying in the storm, in bad weather, in between meteorites. 
(3) It was a fog and a frog, computer games, the spectrum, the exes (x's) and little crosses, the various lives to beat.
(4) There were people in that planet. It was necessary to tune on the beach and in the spirit, where there were waves and tides.
(5) It was also a path in a rope, in a trapeze.
(6) The air filled, in tube, between a bottle and a balloon. It was a message on the way.


The drawings


© Rita Draper Frazão

As soon as I wrote the previous text, this was the image that came out. A progression from the darker to the light blue, the x's storm, turning into a plain blue sky. Or a polluted ocean, that through a storm, washes out all there is to clean, in a renewal process. I did it so, as a metaphor to this music, but it could so be an image used, to depict what we are going through, now. 


Samuel Hällkvist © Rita Draper Frazão

When I made this drawing, I wrote it was related to the ability to dream and be sensitive. Now I'd have something more to add.
The truth is, every single time I heard Samuel Hällkvist playing, I felt his sound as very graphic and cerebral, in the sense of having new ideas and having the ability to materialize them. Kind of like if his voice would build a color cloud from scratch into a consistent blue. 
More or less what he did here: he was the mentor behind Days are not days, and without him, none of this would've been real. Thank's!


Paulo Chagas © Rita Draper Frazão

I have portrayed Paulo Chagas several times before (see for example, here), but of all I have made, so far, this is my favorite drawing of him. Paulo is here playing flute, and in that day, he played sax too. I wanted to blend both, so I was inspired by his mother-of-pearl sax keys to fill his figure, while the silhouette itself, alludes to the flute playing.
Scans and photographs aren't sometimes the most faithful towards the original, and here's, another of many examples I have shared in this blog, whose true colors and energy, can only be accurately perceived live. 
It was made with watercolor (an earthy golden shade I specially bought, some years ago, in Berlin), pen, and acrylic ink (pearly white with shades of gold). One of the singularities of this drawing is that, according to the light, so the drawing glows. A natural response to the stimuli in the environment, like I feel he is sensitive enough to do with music and whatever landscape that surrounds him. Subtle that can only be better understood live.



Stephan Sieben © Rita Draper Frazão

This drawing has to to with Stephan Sieben's action, and fast reactions' mode. 
No doubt this guitarist is pretty ingenious in his resources: in the action (orange red) and in the concepts he puts in every note he plays. The word ingenious reminds me of the Genie lamp, and hence Stephan's coming out of one. A wish was granted!


© Rita Draper Frazão

This was actually one of the first I have done. It started out to be just the brick wall in watercolor. 
The background, for the ones who know this venue, could only be Zaratan's "manger charcoal bunker" (such an inspiring and nice place!). That's why the silhouettes of both, were painted with that same material. 


Bonus co-incidences


Other fact, relevant to the timing of this publication (you'll already understand why), is that this album was brilliantly mixed and produced by the monstrous American Guitar player, composer and producer, David Torn.

I affectionately call him monster, or better written how I meant it, monstar. I believe only such category of artists (and ultimately human beings) can keep up with giants like David BowieMadonnaDavid SylvianLaurie AndersonJohn LegendTori AmosRyuichi SakamotoSteve Roach, Don Cherry, Jan Garbarek, John Zorn or Tim Berne... just to mention some of the people in the music industry he's worked with. Curious fact: he's recorded with Mary Pastorius (Jaco Pastorius' daughter) as well. 
Besides that, Torn's also participated in the music making of dozens of movies such as The Big LebowskyFur, The Order, or The Departed

Two years afterwards listening Days are not days' music, I would later briefly meet and draw him in 2017, in Jazz em Agosto Festival. I have never published that drawing, and now, clearly, reasons aren't lacking to add it to this article. Funny, huh?



So, here it is! As free and loose as he expresses himself, the wind gave me the motto of this portrait: the sweep of the superfluous towards synthesis, the movement and being different, original. There's something very incorporeal about him and his work that I also wanted to convey here. Thinking about when materialization can be a matter of perception, of awareness...

A bit like I feel we are now... raising awareness of causes that matter. Trying to change our lives for the best due to an unpredictable and unprecedented cause. 
I have always felt music did that with me, helping me out to evolve as a human being. 

That being said, I'll end up quoting Bob Dylan's lyrics of Times are a-changin' (1964):

Come gather 'round people, wherever you roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown
And accept it that soon you'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin'

Then you better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'

Come writers and critics who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide, the chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon for the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who that it's namin'

For the loser now will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'

Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside, and it is ragin'

It'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'

Come mothers and fathers throughout the land
And don't criticize what you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin'

Please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'

The line, it is drawn, and the curse, it is cast
The slow one now will later be fast
As the present now will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin'

And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'


May all this inspire you too, in these times of change.



domingo, 24 de novembro de 2019

The human voice (Isilda Sanches | Antena 3)

Eye in the sky, Isilda Sanches © Rita Draper Frazão


Radio Series


In the begining of this year, I started a new challenge for my blog. It's something I had in mind for years! The project is about my favorite Radio Hosts, and I called it Radio Series.
These consist in articles and drawings about each one of them.

Today the sky has Venus and Jupiter aligned. (Something that happens just once a year!) Along with it, I can finally share with you my visit to Isilda Sanches, in Antena 3 Radio. May you enjoy this, as much as I did, doing it!


Life Frequencies 


Antena 3 is the national radio dedicated to alternative music, rock, pop and Portuguese Music. 
Isilda Sanches is the hostess of the radio show Muitos Mundos and also the author of the rubric, Fricção Científica. She can be, also, heard live every morning, from Monday to Friday.

Before she joined forces at Antena 3, in 2015, she was on the wheel of Radio Oxigénio for sixteen years, where she, basically, helped to shape, change and give voice to the electronic music panorama in Portugal. Things were never the same again. For the better. 
I started listening to her in the very beginning of that radio, until now.

Previously, she made part of the golden team that built, the already extinct, X FM Radio (1993-1997), in Lisbon.

Radio Series started because I once had the dream to draw her. You can find out, next, why my fascination never ceased.


  The Human Voice 



Messages from the sky, Isilda Sanches © Rita Draper Frazão

Voice is sound, and sound resonates in the human body and emotions. One's body and mind can react to a voice, as it reacts to a certain music. 

This is a scientific area of research and study, such as in the book - The Evolution of Emotional Communication: From Sounds in Nonhuman Mammals to Speech and Music in Man (Series in Affective Science).

I guess, if you have ever heard or met someone, whose voice you love or empathize with, you'll be familiar with this concept, too. 
But, there's a difference between loving a voice, and empathize with one, in a way that, one feels that is therapeutical.  If you, while listening to a person, ever had a unique feeling - something soothing to your soul, right at that moment - that you can't get elsewhere, you'll know what I'm talking about.

There are many voices I love, but there are very few people, that I can point out as being therapeutic to me.  Isilda Sanches' voice is one of them. But this isn't just about how her voice sounds like.

The title from the portrait above, was taken from the RAH band tune (Messages from the stars). I had in mind part of its lyrics:

(...) You must be from another galaxy
When I'm out there all alone
And feeling far from home
I'm fading into blue
And there's nothing I can do
Then out on the sky like a flash
Sending me high, high
You rescue me
You saved me from a certain tragedy

In the drawing, soap bubbles and stars allude to the Universe, Rhythm, Dreaming and Experimenting (and hence the primary colors, that give birth to all others). The color spots, out of the drawing lines, materialize what makes her unique: being different and out of the box, out of format.


Plat du jour



Isilda Sanches during an interview with Sallim


I believe that in communication, empathy is key, to properly deliver messages. One thing I have always admired in Isilda is, not only her tone of voice, what she says, how she says it, but also, her incredible ability to relate, to empathize, and make others feel at home, and welcomed - guests she interviews, or listeners. As if all became part of the furniture of her living room.
In a very graceful way, she's the type of communicator that, while in a conversation, can make one share valuable information, without any effort.

A sense of belonging and a feeling that everything is ok  is often present and is remarkable, bearing in mind, the variety of subjects, music, and people she covers. (and the bad days everybody has, including her!)

I get the feeling she's more of herself, when she's in a dialogue of ideas with someone.  
Could be an explanation to why she does it so naturally, and in such a humble, and human way. Being a social animal, she is also shy and very observant, analytical of others, and of daily life. 
In fact, I find in her, something that turns everyday routine so much less boring and predictable. (That certain tragedy from the lyrics!)  Be it a groove, a funny story, a music history chapter, or something else she offers as a Plat du Jour (today's special from Herbert) with love. 


Science Explains


All these notions of the voice tone, speech, empathy, safety and communication relate to prosody, a concept very important in areas such as in writing music lyrics (and singing them), Acting, Psychology, Communication, Linguistics, Otolaryngology, Speech Therapy (thank's Nônô) or Neuroscience.

And, yes, all this had in mind, Isilda's scientific love affair  (that one can follow through Fricção Científica). I couldn't fail to mention here some examples of scientific studies, that talk about prosody and its importance in communication. Have fun digging them here, here, and here!

The curious thing, is that I can correlate her interest in science, avant-guard discoveries, sci-fi, and weird things in her music selections. Things for collectors, music geeks, things nobody heard yet, things that will be the future and are now ahead of its time, things that are so rare and hard to find, nobody heard about it; what will be the next big thing, absolute classics, psychedelic stuff, things that make you happy, smile and dance - she'll find all that and more!!


Cosmic Alignment



Eye in the sky, Isilda Sanches © Rita Draper Frazão

The high consideration I have for Isilda Sanches, meant extra dedication. That required, as you saw above, researching scientific stuff, learning to draw, in real time, with something I had never tried before (a ruling pen), and also carefully choose the date to publish this article.  According to astrology, I chose the luckiest and most loving day of the year.

This drawing, is the one I consider my main Isilda Portrait, and was the last one to be done. I drew the outline with the ruling pen (that I know that is very meaningful for her), while she was passing I wanna be adored, by Stone Roses. Also a favorite of mine.
The rose is obviously a reference to the group, but it's there, also, to symbolize her sensibility and the beauty and life she brings, as flowers do. I chose to do it in a collage from a magazine, in a reference to the press.

Hands to me, mean gestures, communication, and communion - things that I feel are some of her greatest abilities. The beauty of her hands match her delicacy and refinement. 

And what would an article about Isilda Sanches be, without a mention to the writer Philip K. Dick? I couldn't allow that, so in homage to her sci-fi love, I named this portrait of hers, after a title of one of his books, Eye in the sky

The black thin lines lead to a star. Don't we all have a lucky one? In my drawing, it also refers to faith in the Universe, in higher beings, in rebirths, in lucky stars. 

As within many science fiction stories, I guess choosing the risky unknown makes part of her matrix. And that is why I look up to her so much!



sexta-feira, 11 de outubro de 2019

Dreams that can change your fortune (with Marcos Valle)


Lord of the seas and the stars, Marcos Valle © Rita Draper Frazão 2019

Great stuff has been happening in Lisbon!  
I had a great thrilling cultural summer, packed with great concerts, that surveyed the city. Marcos Valle, made a concert here, and I was there to draw him, and his band!

Let's give him the credits: this musician, composer and producer, has created some of the most killer groovy tunes, Brazilian musicians' have ever done! Songs like Samba de Verão and Estelar boosted Brazilian music's influence into the world, to another level. I feel like, interestingly, throughout time, and still now, Marcos' music evolves, teaches and learns from new sources. 

No wonder, guys like Kanye West, Jay-ZJorge Ben Jor and Nicola Conte sampled his work!
Renowned singers like Sarah VaughanElis Regina, and more recently, Bebel Gilberto, have recorded with him or sang songs of his. 

Also with Leon Ware, (who produced music for Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Bobby Womack, Isaac Hayes or Quincy Jones) he's written pearls like Rockin You Eternally, and many more. I need to bring this up, because his most famous single, Estelar - that sold over ninety thousand copies worldwide - was one of those songs. Credits to his brother too, Paulo Sérgio Valle, who wrote those lyrics, and made many others, in a musical partnership with Marcos.

Knowing his music, you'll figure Valle's been throwing us hits, since the 60's! And guess what, he's alive and kicking! 

I think one of the recipes for his success, is that he keeps himself updated. He's someone very observant, attentive towards what's going on in the world, and that is reflected in his lyrics, in his musical choices, and in in the musicians and producers he works with. Themes like online dating, and the introduction of electronic music in his work are just some examples of that. No wonder I saw, at the concert, such a wide variety of ages, in the public.

He came to Lisbon to promote his latest album, Sempre, and revisited many of his hits too. One of the things that stoked me, was the freshness I felt in him. 
I imagine it can be hard to have all those hits and have to play them over and over.  The special thing here, is that I felt Marcos did it, as if he'd written them all yesterday, and wanted to share them with the world, with the greatest gift the Universe's given him: being inspired and being able deliver, while surfing in the wave of his dreams and creations. Some call it art. Or, in this case, the art in Marcos.
His music is happy and related to the good things in life: love, relationships, nature (always the sun!), taking care of yourself (mind, body and spirit), hope, dreams and having fun!

All of those, were inspiring for my portrait of Marcos. I made sure the color hues were all light and vivid, because softness and liveliness are qualities I appreciate in him, and I wanted to channel that, here too. 
Living up to the status of a legend, (a mythic figure for me, definitely one of my musical heroes) I felt his face had to have a classic vibe to it, and that is why it is just a pure straight pencil drawing with no colors in that part.  
Sun rays crossed my mind, while I was drawing and painting his hair.

Post doing the drawing, and while researching to write this article, I came across with this tune from Marcos, that I didn't know yet. It's called Fogo do sol, and is oddly connected to my drawing, since part of the lyrics say: 

Fogo do sol
Água do mar
Luz do luar
Eu sou assim

(Fire of the sun
Water from the sea
Moonlight
I am like that)

...I could've only portrayed him as the Lord of the seas and the stars he is, and deserves to be. 



Estelar, Patrícia Alví © Rita Draper Frazão 2019

Marcos Valle's partner in crime, is the singer Patrícia Alví
She's got a tuned voice, and an alluring presence. There is a lot of vitality in her.
I've made this drawing, while she was singing Estelar (means stellar). 

Her enticing vibe and long, beautiful, shining, dancing hair, inspired me to use a silver (stellar) eye shadow as paint and suggest motion.  
Her head is slightly leaning, in a posture of cooperation and listener. (So important in a musician!)

And, at the same time, this portrait is about her strength, freedom of movement, creativity and unconventional ways of doing things. How come?
In my mind, I came up with a way to visually match what I just said. And, I wanted to do something a bit more unexpected. A portrait is always unique, depending on the person I am drawing. In this case, the angle and the perspective of this drawing itself are symptomatic of my will of not doing the "same old thing" people would expect from a portrait: to draw a face.



Jessé Sadoc © Rita Draper Frazão 2019

This is the portrait of the trumpet player, Jessé Sadoc
There is something passionately focused, on Jessé's way of playing. His clearness of speech, somehow reminded me of Chet Baker. Every note in its right exact place. Know what I mean?
Because of that, I envisioned a portrait with very simple lines, for him. 
One's gotta be passionate about music to play like he does, so here, his trumpet is transformed into a blown heart.

Besides Marcos Valle, it makes sense he has worked with top notch artists such as, for example, Caetano Veloso, Ed Motta, João Bosco, or Lenine.



O Swing do Brasil, Renato "Massa" Calmon © Rita Draper Frazão 2019

Renato "Massa" Calmon, doesn't play, he slideessssssssss. He grooves in a sassy, funny, proactive, and creative way. 
I feel like Renato is a very fast learner, one that picks very easily new stuff, musical languages and rhythms.
I looked at him, and could feel this inner kid, enthusiastic about having fun.

 Listening to him, and if I didn't  know, I could tell, with my eyes closed, that he's Brazilian. It's just the way he plays, the way he grooves. The Brazilian swing runs in his veins, and his witty attitude makes a difference. That's where the colors of the Brazilian flag, in the drawing, are coming from. 

The scribbles were done in a loose hand movement. I intended to do something free, with no stiff molds, as I feel he does with music. No wonder he played with big names of Brazilian music, of the most diverse musical expressions. People like Fagner, Luís Melodia, Cássia Eller, Tim Maia, João Donato, and Ivete Sangalo, just to name a few.

 If I had to pick words to describe him, it would be diversity, fluency and versatility. So I picked different alphabets to write the title of the portrait. All languages make his own sunny realm.



John Copland © Rita Draper Frazão 2019

About John Copland, whose portrait is above: first of all, John is English. I guess every musician could learn how to play Brazilian music (if they want to), but not all of them could succeed, as he did. I was impressed.

I feel like John is very conceptual and pop*, in the way he plays bass, and that gave me the idea to open up "his mind" to the Universe with a pop type of pattern coming from it. I also had in mind, the dots in silkscreen prints, very much used by Pop Artists like Roy Lichtenstein or Andy Warhol

*John sometimes plays with pop groups like Crystal Fighters.

And, sometimes, from repetition comes new creations (and I think that might be particularly true in music), hence the pattern. The expression thinking out of the box was blinking, here too. And the box here was his mind, his ideas.

At the same time, the depth in John, required a more intense type of sketch for his visage. 
Black, was the color he was wearing that night, and (in tune with what I just said) gave me the contrast I wanted to pursue, here too.
Without a doubt, he was very consistent, incisive and needed. A pillar, as if the bass were a horizon(tal) line.



Raphael Sant'Ana's hand © Rita Draper Frazão 2019

Last, but not the least, is the drawing related to Raphael Sant'Ana, the man behind Rinoceronte Entretenimento. Raphael is the person who made all this possible. Thank you!

Inspired by his turquoise eyes, the light blues in this drawing, also relate to his great sensitivity, will to help, and being useful. His kind nature, made me think of dolphins (the stamps inside his hand) and his spiritual side, linked me to the stars shape.

Also, this drawing is kind of an optical game, where you can try to better perceive the shape, if you half shut your eyes to see it. 

Up until this point, I think people know I have a special thing with hands. I metaphorically see them as a way to relate. And ever since I was a kid (my Grandma who was painter, made me draw dozens of them!) they've been becoming more and more important in my work. And to this "portrait" of Raphael, hands had to be present.

This drawing is about an osmosis, of the self and the surroundings (hence the two light blues very similar, but still different hues). It's also about the things some could see, if they pay attention (as Raphael does), to certain details. All this, wrapped in his gentle and natural loving way to deal with people. Picking his hand to draw him, was just my way to portray his strong relational character.
 Not quite easy to mimic, and earned him a page in my drawing book!

-

Marcos is amazing and still rocks as the coolest thing on earth, as all the musicians that played with him are, individually, very strong and have very well defined musical identities.
All worked beautifully and was a pleasure to witness!

And it's not every day one gets to meet, draw and write about one of your musical heroes.
So, quoting Marcos, in Wanda Vidal's song, I'll end this article like this:

"Um sonho quando é forte, às vezes muda a sorte"
(When a dream is strong, sometimes changes your fortune)




sexta-feira, 26 de julho de 2019

Borders and the inside (João Godinho | Antena 2)

Borders and the inside © Rita Draper Frazão 2019

The second chapter of my Radio Series is here!
This time, I visited João Godinho, Fora de Formato's (Out of format) host, in Antena 2. Come and join me in this fascinating musical tour through the sounds of the world, history and the future of music!



Unfolding the format


Fora de formato had 13 radio shows (from the Caleidoscópio series), broadcasted by Antena 2 Radio. The show was aired from the 5th of January to the 30th of March, this year.

As a listener, I felt like the depth of this program required me, to think about it, and digest what was shared there. Even three months after, the program is over, its content, is definitely worth talking about, here. You'll see why! The good news is that all episodes can still be heard online, and are listed here.

Its theme? To give voice to instruments, composers, expressions, techniques and means that aren't usual in music, and that are mostly unknown from the general public.



Meet João Godinho


João Godinho composes, plays piano, and accordion too. Besides that, (if that wasn't enough) João is a creative entrepreneur in the music field. Producing, communicating, translating, organizing, pushing forward, educating, are all things he's been actively doing, for a while now (see a bit more of his bio and cv here). This radio show was just one of them.

He seldom plays live, but the Universe gave me the rare chance to be present and register the last time he did it, in a portrait! (See here) There is something shy about João, that perhaps makes him feel more comfortable behind his creations (and not exposed, and on stage). Knowing that, I particularly appreciated, and feel grateful, that he's let me sneak peak his work, in this context, in first hand.



Radio series meets RDP


Antena 2 is the Portuguese radio dedicated to classic and contemporary music. This radio, makes part of RDP (Radio Difusão Portuguesa) - the biggest Radio network, in Portugal - and where the national Television (RTP) studios are, as well.

I have to start with RTP's humongous facility, the space available, the whites and the blues, the quality of the studios, and the view of the building, to the Tagus River. Absolutely stunning and so inspiring! 



The hyperlink show


The diversity and amount of works, subjects and visions shared in Fora do Formato, are absolutely overwhelming, and a bridge to further knowledge. If You are a curious person, and are eager to learn more about music, here are just some of the topics referred in this radio program. 

Musical concepts

  • The role of the composer, the concept of what is music, the duration of the music; 
  • History, evolution and transgression of the musical notation. Graphic scores;

Instruments and music around the world

  • The difference between apparently similar instruments, such as accordions and concertinas, disklaviers and pianolas;
  • Portuguese guitar in a Fado deviant context and in an experimental music context;
  • Mechanical musical instruments, 



Technical meets conceptual

  • Special instruments tuning;
  • Contemporary music played with ancient instruments, and unusual ways of playing traditional instruments (Extended techniques), 
  • Music made out of unconventional stuff, such as: toys, cutlery, paper, water, trash, stones, pottery, ice, and I couldn't fail to mention this - possible favorite - piece for graphic designers: music made with a Typewriter, from Leroy Anderson.



Social and environmental affairs 

  • Nature and music;

  • Political fairness in cultural policies in what innovative arts are regarded;

  • Limits of the current music education;



People one should know about



New problems and solutions in music

  • Authorship and copyrights;

  • Music composed by artificial intelligence:

  • Instruments and music without human performers.




The Borders and the inside


I was absolutely blown away with the things I've learned with this show. 

Fora do Formato questions what is autochthonous, and what is foreign, what is standard and what's outside of the box, what is close to us, and what is weird, what is human what is technology. It also deals with breaking preconceptions music wise, such as girding certain instruments and composers to a certain context, and even questioning the role of the composer, itself, nowadays. 

The importance of this show, could also be placed in inspiring other composers to push the boundaries of music, forward; to question the public's role, and everyone's ability to make music.
 It's a reminder to look back and see the future to come, and also to see the future that, by the way, is already happening, right now. One could pinpoint what could change for the better too. 

Another beauty of this show, was how the most improbable things, may somehow (after listening to his show) become dear affections to the listener. (Thank's for that João!) Freud's Unheimlich concept, suits here like a glove. German has amazing words, such as Unheimlich, that can mean familiar, close and weird, mysterious at the same time. Kind of what I felt here!

Rock, folk, jazz, improvised music, classical music, far away places and your block... I believe one can find references, ideas, and surprises in this radio show that can change one's preconceptions of the world, through music.

In the last episode of Fora de formato, Godinho quotes two masters, in two famous statements of them, that I feel I need to quote here too, because I feel like the ideas behind those, were crucial to the making of this radio program.

I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.
John Cage


Frank Zappa



The drawing 


João Godinho was, actually, the first radio host I drew for these Radio series of mine, and, it took me two of his programs, to finish the drawing you see above.

Fora do Formato's variety of the contents, was what inspired me to do the portrait's background full of different colors, textures, movements, etc. I thought of it, as different countries (music languages) interlacing themselves, overlapping, fusing, bordering, creating something new with it... couldn't help to think of the Non-places, of Marc Augé. The anthropological domain is undoubtedly fundamental here.

João's figure is the only thing in pencil. He was what made all this make sense (even, and specially, with such different concepts) the structure of all this. Just as I see the pencil for drawing: I find it the bones of drawing, and the first possible link to whatever we can imagine.

In the drawing (and in my mind) he was blowing through his speech's green freshness.



Dream Composing


Indeed, I find that Fora do Formato, could've only taken shape through the hands of a musician, a composer, and someone who has an insider's view of the subject.

Therefore, and besides his many projects, I need to mention the beauty of his work as a composer. I see the daily life, the trite turned into gold, the rhythm of the piano as a dance, the telluric insight, the sense of humor, the play, the scenic aspect of his music, the conceptual and the traditional, the repetition and the creation born through it. Days gone through, and his music flowing fast.

You can listen to some of his compositions here. Very funny that his show is included in a series called Caleidoscópio (Kaleidoscope), because I find in that same object, the image to portray his creations: full of movement, light and colors. I could easily picture him doing music for dance, cinema or theatre (arts with motion). So much potential to explore here!

Last, but not the least, I need to mention that João Godinho has composed a new piece, called Alcance (Reach). Its world premiere will be in Berlin, (today, at Konzerthaus) followed by a concert in Lisbon, next Sunday, the 28th of July, at Centro Cultural de Belém. Both concerts will be performed by the Jovem Orquestra Portuguesa (JOP), conducted by Pedro Carneiro, and leading the piano, will be the Portuguese  pianist, António Rosado. They will also play George Enescu's Prélude à L'Unisson and the Symphony n. 7 of Ludwig van Beethoven.
I wouldn't miss it for the world!