© Rita Draper Frazão

Inner Tour is a blog about People, Arts and Traveling by Rita Draper Frazão.
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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!

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