RE:FUJACO Miguel Carvalhais and Pedro Tudela are one of the historic collaborations of the Lusitania electronica, which in recent years has been experiencing a particularly prolific season in terms of releases and new projects. The fruitful research laboratory they have established a few years ago, the Crónica Electrónica label, has become one of the liveliest corners of experimentation in the contemporary digital music scene.
Galaverna is therefore delighted to host, for the third release of its catalog, the contribution of the two sound artists from Porto. Following a line of conceptual exploration in post-digital sound proposed by the label run by Enrico Coniglio and Leandro Pisano, Carvalhais and Tudela decided to venture into a long suite of thirty-two minutes, based on atmospheres and resonances captured during an artist residency at the São Pedro do Sul mountains, in center Portugal, in May 2011.
The villagers of Fujaco, the surroundings and the natural environment are the focus of a series of field recordings wich are distorted, dirtied, elongated, smoothed in a kaleidoscope of mixed elements, disturbed as if they were leaked from the unreachable frequencies of a shortwave radio.
The work of Carvalhais and Tudela, presented during the festival “Vozes de Magaio” a few months after the recordings, is in some ways the continuation of a journey of exploration of sound spaces, already started in previous albums like “Music for Empty Spaces”: in balance between surrealism and hallucinatory atmosphere, “89″ offers a short and intense glimpse of a ghostly landscape where the rewriting of environmental sample becomes a melange of shapes, effects and acoustic illusions playing on different levels. As in a refined and charming “mirror effect”.
Notes “89″ was created during an artistic residency promoted by the Binaural/Nodar association in 2011. During a period of several days we explored the mountain village of Fujaco, in São Pedro do Sul, Portugal, meeting many of the 40 or so inhabitants and recording them, their environments and surroundings. From these recordings and experiences we composed the first version of “89″, that was presented at the old schoolhouse of Fujaco for an audience consisting of many of the inhabitants and the visitors to the “Vozes de Magaio” festival.
All recordings were made in May 2011 in the villages of Fujaco and Nodar, São Pedro do Sul, Portugal, and their surroundings. “89″ was composed by Pedro Tudela and Miguel Carvalhais in 2011 & 2012 in Nodar and Porto.
Thank you to all the wonderful and kind people of Fujaco and to all at Binaural/Nodar: Luís, Rui, Manuela and Carina. Thanks to Suzanne Barnard and Pierre Gauvin; to M. Behrens, J. Fonseca, J. Dias, A. Ferreira, R. Avelar and E. Coniglio.
Mastering by Miguel Carvalhais.
Photos by Pedro Tudela.
Re:Fujaco by Pedro Tudela and Miguel Carvalhais is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.galaverna.org.
Recorded in the mountains of São Pedro do Sul, Portugal, Re: Fujaco is a trek through a beautiful village, its people and way of life. Starting innocently enough, dark undercurrents soon emerge amidst electronic stalling and a touch of drone; all is not as it seems, giving this release a distinct edge of secrecy. Above all, it offers us a highly detailed feel of a place that, until recently, we had never visited. [James Catchpole]
Oltre il suono, capita sovente di ritrovare artisti sperimentali intenti a catturare istantanee di luoghi più o meno ameni attraverso gli echi concreti dagli stessi emanati. L’ultima di queste cartoline in movimento, tradotte attraverso mezzi auditivi, proviene dal Portogallo, più precisamente dal villaggio montano di Fujaco, dove Pedro Tudela e Miguel Carvalhais, titolari del progetto @c hanno soggiornato per un periodo di “residenza artistica” all’inizio del 2011. “89″, unica pièce di trentadue minuti di durata compresa nel lavoro, è il diario di quel soggiorno, fatto quasi interamente di field recodings raccolti sul posto, del quale rendono tanto il senso di quiete quanto i rumori vitali attraverso dialoghi smarriti, clangori di attività quotidiane, risate, brusii e strida infantili e quant’altro sia transitato per i microfoni. A cristallizzare, enfatizzandolo, il senso di pace spettrale evocato dall’ascolto dei frammenti così giustapposti, i due artisti hanno aggiunto semplicemente un drone che, impalpabile nella quasi silente parte iniziale, nell’ultimo terzo del lavoro si torce in increspature di vero e proprio rumore. [Raffaello Russo]
There are life journeys, there are journals, and there are musical journeys. However, today I am going to introduce you to a journey made by music and sounds. @c is a Portuguese duo formed by the sound artists Pedro Tudela and Miguel Carvalhais. Both have important experience within the experimental electronic music and have released several albums on their own label Crónica Electronica and on independent labels. The aim of their creature Re:Fujaco is to filter still life and nature, alternating and distorting it thanks to music and samples, voices and patterns, in a continuous pinball match between the environmental landscape and musical deformation. Re:Fujaco is an album made up of one 32-minute-long song, called 89: take Roll the Dice-y musical tension, Eddie Vedder’s outings and John Cage’s heritage, already pursued by the genius of Brian Eno and Matthew Herbert’s trilogy. Therefore, we gather that this album-journey is not an easy listen, as it requires some time just to be listened, better if with one own’s eyes closed: we are in the mountain village of Fujaco, in São Pedro do Sul, (Portugal). Microphones can barely record steps on the grass, the animals whispering and caves that almost teleport the listener in a tense atmosphere. Thanks to the union of drops and basis, samples and abnegating gaps, emphasizing the dark solitude of the journey, the record gets more and more a Trent Reznor-esque haunting atmosphere of secret cavities, as pauses have the same relevance of the sound. Reaching the end, fragments of fire crackling, silence and voices overlap in a net of improvised snip-snapping, almost resulting in an unconventional melody, just before losing itself into nature. From nature to music into an unconventional and yet fascinating evolution, this journey explores the visual power of field recordings, and how even stones and buzzing flies can make music. [Fabiana Giovanetti]
“89″is a thirty-two minute piece recorded in Fujaco, a mountain village in São Pedro do Sul, Portugal. Through all of its duration (“89″being the only track), listeners are effectively Fujaco’s most recent visitors, spending several days in the Portuguese village in the space of half an hour. @c are Pedro Tudela and Miguel Carvalhais. All of the recordings on Re:Fujaco were taken in May 2011, during an artistic residency, and then later finished off in Porto and Nodar. A sweat soaked humidity circles the recording as lively bees and harmonious birdsong filters through alongside the native animals that abide in the mountains of Portugal. Insects chirp, along with the blares of sheep. Metallic silver wind chimes tinkle in the breeze and the village voices cut into the mix, artfully so, sending the climes of spring and the promise of a hot summer into the air. If the date of the recording had remained a mystery, the music would quickly speak the truth of the season. @c differ from the field recording…uh, field…by inserting a palpable drone that drifts in and out of the music. Added to this are voices that seem to be everywhere and nowhere, cut ‘n’ pasted into the recording. And then there is that slightly disturbing voice, as if treading through a sludge of deep mud, that slowly enters; an incomprehensible, repellent undercurrent. Slowly but surely, the sounds gradually fixate upon anyone listening to the land. An opening trek sends feet rustling over light stones that are almost close enough to touch, and a crisp gravel becomes splayed by a careless palm. Subtle grains in the recording start to filter through; a low, droning growl approaches, as if that barking woman’s voice is commanding her stray dog to return, and not to mind the new visitors. Good doggy. A sense of undisturbed peace feels its way inside the rural landscape, and then enters into @c’s aural soundscape. A whisper of breath would be audible within the first 5 minutes, until a swarm of bees descend and scatter the serenity. After this, the listener is quickly shuttered into a dank subterranean hideaway (maybe this?), or even deeper, that breathes claustrophobia despite the sound of what appears to be raindrops falling in a cavernous echo. Yet, Re:Fujaco is not what it appears to be. Clangs of an old industry reverberate inside an inner shelter, out of the heat, but it may also be the muffled thud of clashing rocks heard in a black forest. It returns over and over, dripping in an isolated recess. Along with the return of that warped, croaking voice, the atmosphere has decidedly cooled. @c’s mixing is impressive. Everything is manipulated just enough so as to remove the recordings from their original setting; they are then segmented and projected inside another of Fujaco’s unique environments. For example, the villager’s voices are inserted suddenly, without any forewarning, out of the sun and into the midst of that industrial remnant, now abandoned and shining coolly with dull rust. The male and female voices of the villagers differ wildly; an outburst of laughter, children playing, a pause for thought or a passionate conversation; this is their music. In the end, these voices cut up in seconds and never appear in the same place again, like captured snapshots of entering ghosts. It makes you wonder just what they’re discussing. Nearer the end, the voices rise to such an extent that their presence surrounds the recording, circled by a densely forested drone glimmering through the tree lines. In this sense, Re:Fujaco is an unusual listen, the emergence of a very real drone blurring the field recording lines and almost creating a triangular hybrid between the field recording, experimental music and electronic sequencing. Re:Fujaco is a recording that can be listened to over and over and still discover vital new elements (and new terrain) on each listen. This is a shameful cliche, but it’s true in this instance. On return to Fujaco, it’s easy to find different contours that may have been missed, angles unexplored; hidden gems in the landscape that are only visible after spending a longer time searching the area. Fujaco seems to be a beautiful place, and Re:Fujaco ensures that it can now be entered through the music, and the imagination. Fujaco has new visitors. [James Catchpole]
@c presents nature in digital form. This is a strange approach to the concept of field recordings. Aspects of actual nature (birds, people) are sullied through constant filtering and re-filtering. What remains is a digital artifact of those intimate experiences. Since the two do share an obvious affection for the town and their residents it ends up having certain liveliness to it. Had Luc Ferrari lived long enough to be around for this level of digital manipulation, he might have created something this heartfelt and raw. Crunches start off the recording. Here they appear to be wandering through the forest. The microphones can barely handle it. Movement sounds particularly fun. Occasionally they bump into people on their way. Whether or not the people are really there or just edited in makes it a bit joyous. Hearing the others run around them while they slowly walk is particularly enjoyable, like the poor duo is unable to keep up with the rest of the world. Buzzing of bees forms up, creating one of the few drones of the entire passage. In a way it is reminiscent of Russell Haswell’s noise field recording ‘Wild Tracks’. For there the noise drops out. At the very end @c add more to the field recordings, resulting in something vaguely approximating a melody. A weird sound of what may be a bell appears to linger around the sounds of people, letting them get spliced in and out of the sound. This is a lot different than a typical field recording, especially towards the end when it begins to have @c reemerge and inject itself directly into the environment.
Galaverna is an Italian netlabel run by Enrico Coniglio and Leandro Pisano that started this year and ‘Re:Fujaco’ is a new release which delivers a work by Portugueses @c composed by Miguel Carvalhais and Pedro Tudela. Both have and important experience within the experimental electronic music and have released several albums on his own label Crónica Electronica and on independent labels. “89″ – the only piece of this album – was created during an artistic residency sponsored by the Binaural/Nodar association in 2011. The duo was admitted to work for several days in the mountain village Fujaco in San Pedro do Sul, Portugal, where they recorded its environment and surroundings besides the 40 or so inhabitants of this town. The field recordings captured some locals dialogues, birds, insects, earthworks and stones, animals, that as the issue progresses, these sounds are processed and start taking other sound forms. The buzzing of flies, for example, is concentrated such that noise increases its volume until it disappears. Towards the end of the piece, a drone in the background begins to create a dark and haunting atmosphere. [Guillermo Escudero]
The original programme of Lost & Found was to make available music of a variety of origins that was otherwise inaccessible or unarchived. While this continues to be the focus, I would be remiss if I didn’t, at least occasionally, throw up some work that is publicly available though perhaps overlooked.
I was previously familiar with @c’s work (the duo of Miguel Carvalhais and Pedro Tudela) in the digital realm, and some of their trademark techniques are on display here (choppy rhythmic edits, spacious tonal beds). The source material continues to progress from previous work, however, consisting mostly of found objects and field recordings. The content brings a warm, organic texture to methods of production that typically lend themselves to cool, mechanical mixes. ‘Re:Fujaco’ brings together the formative structures of an artist like Seth Nehil with the inspired vocal sampling of Alessandro Bosetti. The overall experience feels like a reminiscence of the time spent in a foreign environment – cascades of brief memories playing out over a slow narrative arc. Excellent work.