© 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, 24 de maio de 2015

Meet this MIA Festival

Last weekend I dove into a music marathon: MIA Festival in Atouguia da Baleia.
Atouguia da Baleia is close to Peniche, a region also famous for surfing worldwide, among other features like this event.

More than a festival, MIA is an encounter of musicians from all around the world that want to try out new things in music: experimenting and improvising. And this year 71 musicians from 14 different countries participated. Yes, 71!!

A meeting of old friends, new friends, and most of all very talented and inspiring people, that left me with the permanent feeling of floating. Damn! That's what I think great musicians do!

Below are the drawings I did, that were published in Jazz.pt and also here with some details on their making. Hope that you like it, and that you get to know the work of these people too! The things I describe are personal thoughts, parts of the process, may you see other things I didn't!

Find also here the article Rui Eduardo Paes (a.k.a. REP) & Nuno Martins did for Jazz.pt about this same festival.

© Rita Draper Frazão
This one is François Choiselat. This French musician was conducting the Soundpainting workshop that culminated in a nice concert. Bits of him spread around with his instructions to this complex and interesting code was the idea I had while doing it. 

© Rita Draper Frazão
This one is the Italian Simona Verrusio. She was an amusing element of every single group she took part on. On this one drawing she was playing a carnival horn.
She provided, in one of her performances in MIA, one of the most incredible interactions between musicians and audience I have seen - she not only sounded herself as she made us sound too, making us part of the process of the concert. I had such a blast doing it I couldn't do any drawings from this!
 I was totally mesmerized. It remembered me this passage from The Little Prince:

"Men," said the fox. "They have guns, and they hunt. It is very disturbing. They also raise chickens. These are their only interests. Are you looking for chickens?"

"No," said the little prince. "I am looking for friends. What does that mean--'tame'?"

"It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. It means to establish ties."

"'To establish ties'?"
"Just that," said the fox. "To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . ."

It was just that - Simona knew how to tame us with grace and beauty in a very warm and fun way. Unforgettable. 

© Rita Draper Frazão
This one was made in the concert where Luiz Rocha performed with Maria do Mar (see the portrait I did last year from this stunning violin player here) and Adriano Orru.
This Brazilian musician based in Barcelona, is all about plasticity. His versatility made me think on which colors could match this idea. I came to the conclusion he could do every musical color, and so I wrote "As Cores do Mundo para ti" - "The world colors for you" in the primary colors - the ones that allow us to make all the others. He is a larger than life being and a very creative person who now also has this amazing blog, Carahiba, about music, check it out!

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This one is Adriano Orru and was made in the same concert. It was held at St. Joseph's Church, a beautiful refurbished monument from 1747. Its altars' colors are stunning (see the pic here) and were the scenery to this moment of spiritual elevation. My spirit was lifted afterwards and this drawing above from the Italian double bass player, Adriano Orru, regards to its lightness. Just beautiful.

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Silvia Corda is a poem. She is a pianist from Italy and her beauty passed to what she played, and so I wrote this little poem for her:

era assim
um poço,
duas vezes 
em que 
se extingueriam
e os tons
e o gesto
da palavra muda
so it was
like a well,
too times
it would extinguish
and gesture
of the mute word

© Rita Draper Frazão
This one is the Italian accordion and keyboard player Domenico Saccente, a young talent full of energy. Pictured his strength coming out of his knife hair cut. And also, I also have to say it is great to hear accordion played in such matters as experimental language. I guess a fresh new approach to traditional instruments is pretty much needed!

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This one is Afonso Castanheira. I was digging so much listening to this guy because he was having fun and I had fun with him as well! There was this Jam session in Armazém dos Tubos where he was on fire playing - enthusiastic and lively! That inspired me and gave me the motto for this drawing. He's just one of those guys with Borogodó, as Brazilians would say. Meaning allure. I guess the sound of the word Bo-ro-go-dó has much more to do with him then the uptight A-llu-re! In the end, I guess in between the swing of the sea waves and the creative fire of life you'd find Afonso.  
He's also one of the guys behind A'mar Studio, a project worth to check out too. 

Wind Sheriff © Rita Draper Frazão
This one is the drummer Pedro Santo, I called it the Wind Sheriff. His long dread locks and the air he made circulate while playing inspired me in its freedom of speech. Bravo!

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Pedro González Fernández is a violin player from Spain. He has very expressive eyes and sensitivity playing; kind of a mix of the colors he held on his shirt the entire MIA - colors of forests, lakes and mother nature which I used in the drawing too. 

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This one is the Uruguayan double bass player, Alvaro Rosso. I called it The Notes shepherd. While listening to him and doing this drawing it crossed my mind "O Guardador de Rebanhos" from one of our most famous poets, Fernando Pessoa. (Please find a translation of this poem, "The Keeper of Sheep" in English here and here)

Eu nunca guardei rebanhos,

Mas é como se os guardasse.

Minha alma é como um pastor,

Conhece o vento e o sol
E anda pela mão das Estações
A seguir e a olhar.
Toda a paz da Natureza sem gente
Vem sentar-se a meu lado.
Mas eu fico triste como um pôr de sol
Para a nossa imaginação,
Quando esfria no fundo da planície
E se sente a noite entrada
Como uma borboleta pela janela.

© Rita Draper Frazão
Marco Olivieri is an Italian Piano player. He was playing melodica also when I drew him. He has the particularity of being blind. I have to mention this because, funnily enough, the amazing thing was all the colors he made me see while he was playing. So beautiful and touching. Had the feeling he had a lot of joy playing and so I also wanted to put colors in all the melodica keys.
After his performance, I have showed him live this drawing and I described it to him in a way I had never done before, touching his face and telling him which parts were there, so many colors and why, making the movement of the curved line of the melodica in his tummy so that he could picture its disposition. It was a moment I will never forget.

© Rita Draper Frazão
This one is the Portuguese guitar player Cortez-Lamont III. It was an ambience red guitar playing, red of action, fast and whole, spirit alike. Also nice to see the devices he used to make sounds!

© Rita Draper Frazão
This one is the Italian drummer Dario Nitti and it was one of the drawings, from these series of MIA drawings, that took longer to be made. I started asking him to draw his hand directly on my sketch book, which he did. Then I made live his portrait inside the hand and afterwords did the outside part of the hand, the collage black part, where I included some fake tattoos, cut into pieces, he gave me minutes before. It was perfect for my idea, since I wanted to convey a noisy scrawled visual to it. Dario might seem loud and energetic but he's got more than that, he's got a gift inside. You just need time to see that part - what's hidden in between those hands.

© Rita Draper Frazão
This one is Fernando Simões, trombone player and one of the organizers of MIA. His playing was generous and showed his sensitivity. It was like his indicator was a match of light. Beautiful.

© Rita Draper Frazão
This one is the Portuguese pianist, João Godinho. I later found out he's also a brilliant composer, and that was a rare occasion that I could draw him live since he's usually in the backstage seeing someone else performing his stunning compositions. Also played accordion in MIA. Hope I can see him live more often!

© Rita Draper Frazão
This one is the bass player Rui Sousa, our beloved Porteiro da Utopia, (Utopia's porter) in Facebook. I thought of this name and of what utopia could mean, and of how the visions of an utopia can be turbid and hence the simultaneous pencil drawing.

© Rita Draper Frazão
The Portuguese singer Laura Marques transported me somewhere else. Rainy days, with mushrooms, stones and horses on the way. She is a graphic artist as well and takes care of Eringer cows in Switzerland Alps during summer - Just the perfect image I needed to match this drawing: Laura singing like the bird she is, among the mountains. 

© Rita Draper Frazão
This one is the Portuguese guitar player Bruno Gonçalves. His playing was very soft, and led me to this image: the music was air, thought, language, and Bruno was its mean to pass, never possessing it letting it flow as the most precious thing on earth.
Reminded me this passage of the Dharma Bums, from Jack Kerouak:

The season was over. I paced in the windy yard with cup of coffee forked in my thumb singing "Blubbery dubbery the chipmunk's in the grass." There he was, my chipmunk, in the bright clear windy sunny air staring on the rock; hands clasp­ ing he sat up straight, some little oat between his paws; he nibbled, he darted away, the little nutty lord of all he surveyed. At dusk, big wall of clouds from the north coming in. "Brrr," I said. And I'd sing "Yar, but my she was yar!" meaning my shack all summer, how the wind hadn't blown it away, and I said "Pass pass pass, that which passes through everything!" Sixty sunsets had I seen revolve on that perpendicular hill. The vision of the freedom of eternity was mine forever. The chipmunk ran into the rocks and a butterfly came out. It was as simple as that. Birds flew over the shack rejoicing; they had a mile-long patch of sweet blueberries all the way down to the timberline. For the last time I went out to the edge of Lightning Gorge where the little outhouse was built right on the precipice of a steep gulch. Here, sitting every day for sixty days, in fog or in moonlight or in sunny day or in darkest night, I had always seen the little twisted gnarly trees that seemed to grow right out of the midair rock.

© Rita Draper Frazão
Ahhh... This one is Maria Radich. I started drawing her and then stopped and thought: It's done already, this woman fills up all the blanks in the page. She is simply immense! Had made some drawings from her (see them here and here) before and I never get tired of doing it - her creativity is endless and inspiring, inspiring, inspiring! See how she dances too. It's moving to say the least. Also these days, while finishing these drawings I heard OVO, a pop rock project of whom she once made part of as well.

© Rita Draper Frazão
This one is the Portuguese drummer Luís Filipe Silva and was made in the Sunset Octet concert in the beautiful XIVth century Gothic Font site. The sun shades and the ocher font stone color inside where Luís Filipe was playing led me to draw him in this color.

© Rita Draper Frazão
This one is the Italian singer Marialuisa Capurso. One of her first solos this MIA started with f sounds, or words started with that sound, like form, physical and so on. I wanted to make its color very personal so I borrowed her own lipstick to draw the f

Rui Eduardo Paes (aka REP), Maria Radich and Maria do Mar as Rabbit 
© Rita Draper Frazão
This one regards REP's new book launch. Maria do Mar appeared as the Alice in Wonderland Rabbit, and both Marias presented the book regarding the idea of being late, having no time, and hence the music score with no compasses marked passing through them. 
You can read about this book (in Portuguese) here or buy it online here.

© Rita Draper Frazão
This one is the Italian drummer Felice Furioso. I took the stripes of his coat to pursue this idea of the twists one has to do in order to go along its way in life. It was the feeling I had he was doing while playing. The colors I chose were based on his self made Cupa-cupa, a Lucania (Basilicata) inspired instrument. 

© Rita Draper Frazão
This one is the Portuguese guitarist Fernando Guiomar. Being the mentor of the project Trape Zape, he shared with us, his contribute with breezy sea landscapes. To make this shade of color I used turquoise blue, lilac, grey, and sky blue. In my vision, it took all those colors to perceive the special watery shade on him.

© Rita Draper Frazão
This one is the Portuguese saxophone player Francisco Andrade. It was nice to hear him because he had moments where he had a tremendous presence, where he roared his sax and others where he could play very poetic and simple lyric lines. I can't ignore the fact he told me he brought a special shirt to MIA thinking on my drawings! True or false, what it does matter is that, that same shirt gave me indeed the theme for this drawing:
Parts of an orchid, or the rings of Saturn, there was a column beam, that colossus, overnight, flowers and stars in a lavender sky, blue and black. Is it a flower or is it a planet? 

© Rita Draper Frazão
This one is the Canadian pianist, Karoline Leblanc. While listening to her I kept in mind the Portuguese saying: "Água mole em pedra dura tanto bate até que fura" (something like "Constant dropping wears away a stone"). With her persistence and beauty of sound she made her stand. The colors I chose are the colors she wore but also the colors of water, earth and stones.  The piano was her mean of expression, her extension, so I just wanted to draw the parts where I could see her skin. 

© Rita Draper Frazão
This one is the Portuguese drummer Paulo Ferreira Lopes. Based in Canada, it was the very first time I saw him playing live. Was blown away with his talent and technique. Had the feeling he had a very strong energy he always mastered to show in a very controlled way, intriguing whomever was listening. The color was on him and he was the one passing it to the instrument, not the reverse. Discreet, incisive and brilliant. 

© Rita Draper Frazão
Last but not the least, above is my drawing of Paulo Pimentel, who was, to me, a big revelation in the festival. Known by his tuning pianos activity, he showed he does much more than that.
How was it possible that this amazing performer - that knows the piano in all its meanders - was kept away from actively playing?! How?! I witnessed one of the most beautiful things in life happening - to see one finding its true colors, doing the right thing. Don't you ever consider to stop playing, Paulo, because your talent is poetic, special and rare! This world needs artists like you.
The colors I chose for this drawing regard this metamorphosis process, also crossed my mind the idea of tuning colors. 

And well, out of 71 musicians I have made 28 drawings. There were musicians from Portugal, Italy, Japan, Uruguay, Brazil, Canada, Spain, France, Sweden, Austria... It's worth to check all the participants, take a look here

This time I stayed at the Geekco Hostel. Was very well received, they even put a table in my bedroom so I could properly paint and draw in the concert breaks. We were able to have late breakfast too, sweet! I was so happy and full of joy these days, that not even its close location to the church bells ruined my mood, just a part of my sleep! ahahahaha

It's always hard to draw everybody, in such big events, but besides that, my main concern was to try to give you back all the great things you all have made me feel during this weekend. May you find these drawings fair enough to the degree of talent of these people. 

Thank you to the MIA organizers, Paulo Chagas and Fernando Simões, to the Jazz.pt crew and to all the participants!

This post is dedicated to Massas who was with us on MIA and made part of our music family here. Concerts will never be the same without your unmistakable voice. RIP.

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