MIA 2016 - Apontamentos prévios - V

Tal como no ano passado, pedimos a alguns músicos (e não só) que vieram e/ou vêm ao MIA para partilharem connosco as suas impressões sobre o Encontro. Como resultado voltamos a ter um extraordinário repositório de textos sobre as suas expectativas e testemunhos. Obrigado a todos!

Noel Taylor:

I came to the MIA Festival twice and on each occasion two things really impressed me. The first of these is the support and involvement of the local community. How is it possible that this little town on the Portuguese coast provides such a warm welcome to a festival of improvised music? The whole town seems to pull together to make MIA a success - treating everyone with respect, cooking amazing food, attending as audience members - even the Girl Guides join in.. The second, and equally important, thing about MIA is the quality of the music. MIA seems to provide a setting where everyone taking part has equal importance: relatively inexperienced improvisers often play side by side with seasoned performers. This seems to induce exactly that process of careful listening that all good improvised music depends on, MIA also provides a sympathetic audience that accepts and understands when a musician is taking musical risks, and every now and then an individual or an ensemble will take the festival by the scruff of the neck and shout to the world 'this is music'! 

Carlos Ferrão:

Dias de música livre, de novos amigos e novas sonoridades vindas de todo o mundo. Durante três dias fala-se a língua universal da música num ambiente amigável e convidativo. Vem-se do MIA com a mente aberta, com novos horizontes para a nossa própria música, com a expetativa de novo território para explorar... até ao próximo Maio em Peniche!

A time for free music, for making new friends and hearing new sounds coming from all over the world. For three days we speak the universal language of music in a welcoming and friendly place. We come back from MIA with an open mind, with a map of new territory to explore with our own musical practice... until next May back in Peniche!

Miguel Falcão:

Participar no MIA é conviver pessoal e musicalmente. Aliás as duas componentes misturam-se, confundem-se ou interagem. Se calhar expectavelmente, já que a improvisação é um factor comum, mas também surpreendentemente nas sonoridades e laços que se criam - efémeros ou duradouros. O desafio do MIA é sempre renovado - quer para os que se estreiam, quer para os repetentes. Não é imposto à partida mas vai ser descoberto por cada um, a cada nova edição. 

Maresuke Okamoto: Dear friends, this is Maresuke Japanese contrabass player. Soon great MIA festival 2016 will hold at Encontro de Música Improvisada de Atouguia da Baleia in Portugal!! This festival is so great meeting for improvisers in th world. The organiser is Paulo Chagas(reeeds) who is my really one of the most important co-player. I joined it from 2012 to 2015 every year. To join it for me that it needs more than 30 hours from my house in Tokyo Japan to Atouguia da Baleia... But this awesome gigs make me so happy feeling every time. It's not only gig but nice people, foods(especially sardine...), wine, fine atmosphere... On this 7th MIA I can't join it in the reason of schedule. so sad!! Hope you enjoy and please say hello to my really really nice friends and musicians!!

Karoline Leblanc:

As an improviser and organizer of improvised music events I'm a risk taker and a risk maker, being a strong believer that that's the only way to proceed if one's looking for new results in the moment's resolve, but I carefully manage that risk by knowing exactly the nature of the musicians I choose to collaborate with; I don't discriminate mediums, genres, approaches, it all can naturally intertwine, musicians not so easily so. I always meet the people with whom I'm about to collaborate the day before the concert, not to talk about music but to syntonise life forces, so to speak. On my way to last year's MIA, I knew I was about to leave my comfort zone and throwing myself in uncharted waters, knowing very little, if anything, about the majority of the MIA participants, and I couldn't help asking myself why on earth this formula (the MIA encounters), which looks at the first sight like a perfect utopia, could be so successful, and why musicians keep wanting to go back, especially that there's no fees involved. Is it because of the sheer size and uniqueness of this celebration, a great opportunity to meet and share in the spirit of freedom that characterizes these musics, a joint international manifest against the invisible (and not so invisible) forces that perpetuate the marginalization of creativity, the good times, the idyllic location, the sun, the food, the renowned warmth of the portuguese improvised music scene, the founded commensality inherent to all improvising beings? What is it? All of the above, I immediately acknowledged, MIA is indeed all this, but there's much, much more to it: it is the real deal if spontaneity runs in your blood. It is philosophically speaking the inner voice of our convictions, shared with unmatched generosity and rigor. It is serious music and serious fun! 

Dario Nitti:

C’era una volta un ragazzo che suonava la batteria, questo ragazzo la voleva libera e con altri ragazzi iniziò a suonare liberamente. Un giorno, il ragazzo che suonava la batteria decise di spostarsi fuori dalla sua periferia e si unì ad una carovana per andare alla fine dell’Europa a suonare la batteria libera con altri ragazzi in un posto che si chiamava MIA, dove c’erano ragazzi liberi da tutto il mondo che suonavano insieme senza mai (o quasi) essersi mai visti prima. Fu una settimana magica e grandiosa, in cui si suonavano tutte le musiche insieme, in tutte le lingue del mondo, il Paese dei Balocchi, dove la musica era libera e la birra costava poco, le sardine si sprecavano e il baccalà ti saltava direttamente nel piatto. L’anno dopo, il ragazzo che suonava la batteria decise di tornarci con altri ragazzi che suonavano la luce e le percussioni libere e si accorse che in quel paese che si chiamava MIA si suonava ancora libero e la birra costava ancora poco. Ci si aspettava moltissimo da quella seconda volta, ma le aspettative sono buone di rado. Per questo motivo, il ragazzo che suonava la batteria, l’anno seguente, tornò nel paese di nome MIA senza aspettative e quello fu il migliore passaggio in quella terra: la musica era sempre più libera e bella, uno valeva uno, la birra costava ancora poco e quella luce accecante, che c’è solo alla fine dell’Europa aveva smesso di accecare e aveva iniziato a rendere più limpide le cose e la musica più libera.

Stephen Shiell:

I participated in MIA festival in 2011, the word MIA already meant something special to me as it’s my daughters name, and now I can say it’s also special due to my very fond memories of the festival, the town that it’s hosted in, the people I met and the warm welcome from organisers Paulo and Fernando. Form the moment we landed we were whisked around, we went to visit various restaurants and bars, and a highlight was performing with a group in a bar in Peniche - a really memorable evening, i’m not sure how any of us got home but we did in the end, and relatively safely!  The unique things that struck me about the festival was the relationship between participants and audience, and the levels of musicianship, from absolute beginners, to the head of a portuguese philharmonic orchestra - and how it really was all about the music and the creativity that lies in us all, and the universal language of sound. One group who performed was ‘Relentless' - i have since maintained a great friendship and working relationship with artur vidal and have produced and collaborated with him ever since. the unpredictable 'names in a barrel' ensembles, from incongruous ones to utter genius pieces, were true improvisations as they are completely pulled out of a hat - i found this very inspiring. A real fond memory of the town itself, which I think is a reflection of the festival, was the day I wanted to phone home and couldn’t find anywhere to buy a phone card - after some miscommunications and misunderstandings, and lots of sign language and lovely smiles, the cafe, where i spent every morning watching the village go about there day, kindly said i could use their phone any time i wanted to. Such a lovely welcome for an english man.It was truly a pleasure to perform at and be a part of this festival in such a variety of ways, I’m extremely pleased to have participated. And now after a few years of carrying on with my love of improvised music I am returning with a group of musicians I work with a lot, Breathing Space, and we are all looking forward to participating in the festival and working with the town to produce a piece of work that collaborates with an amazing poet I met the last time i was there, Paulo Ramos. Breathing Space will provide a live improvised score to illustrate a lecture about neolithic portuguese history, the accompanying drawings, objects and sounds bringing it to life for any audience. The piece will explore methods of non-verbal communication and question the use of language in written history and the importance of oral histories that written texts can ignore. We are all going to approach the whole weekend as one big improvisation, being open to all scenarios, present in each moment, and participating as much as we can.

Manuel Guimarães:

O MIA tem sido, para mim, ponto de encontro de sons, ideias, sensações, quotidianos, ao longo destes sete anos. Esta sinergia de vivências tem originado outros encontros entre músicos, outras ideias e, consequentemente, outras sensações inerentes a caraterísticas específicas da música improvisada. Pelos registos áudio e vídeo será sempre possível rever e analisar grande parte, ou mesmo a totalidade, das improvisações que aqui aconteceram nestes anos, mas “Pouca música improvisada sobrevive à gravação. Uma das razões é simples. As ilusões técnicas praticadas na gravação (ao vivo, ou em estúdio) são inimigas da mudança constante de balanços e funções que se operam no interior da maior parte de improvisação livre” (Derek Bailey). “O que a gravação produz é um fenómeno separado, algo mais estranho que a própria execução, uma vez que o que se ouve em fita ou disco é, na realidade, a mesma execução mas retirada do seu contexto natural” (Cornelius Cardew). Por isso, como em qualquer situação de improvisação livre, será sempre preciosa a vivência dos concertos no MIA. A sua atmosfera peculiar, provocadora de encontros assimétricos entre improvisadores “antigos” e improvisadores “que-ainda-nem-tinham-visto-como-é”, tem sido o reflexo de uma problemática talvez tão antiga como o tempo: transpor o limite do que se sabe, neste caso, do que se toca. Esse salto no desconhecido parece materializar-se anualmente, ainda que, dada a cumplicidade entre muitos dos músicos reincidentes, esse salto não seja, por vezes, totalmente no dito.

Quinto Fabriziani:

It would be interesting to some improvisation on poetry, with the voices of and the texts of Portuguese poets. I also think soundpainting near the soundscape, that is, follow the words or themes or instrumental lines, within the same improvisation. It might be interesting to treat some improvisation with the use of ethnic and traditional instruments, drawing free sounds from the world. maybe it's something utopian, but who knows? this some thought I came about the experience of improvisation and with my work in poetry.  

Marco Loprieno:

My expectations in attending MIA 2016 are very simple: play and improvise as much as possible; meet with and get to know as many people as possible. 

Carlo Mascolo: 

I’m Carlo Mascolo, I’m a trombone player and the organizer of the impro music Free Flow Festival in Altamura (Italy) since 2012. The next meeting in Atoguia de Baleia will be the third one I’ll join.  I like this experience because it brings you to the edge of the personal research of new possibilities for the improvised music. Often, during MIA, musicians know each other while playing on stage and through their own sounds. I think  it is a very efficient and exciting way to make this kind of music. Paulo Chagas and Fernando Simoes found the way to let musicians and their music rise on very high musical and relational frequences, in a magical atmosphere. Finally, MIA gives you a new awareness of yourself and you know you live and share an experience that is unique and unrepeatable. This is where next MIA begins for me.

Rita Draper Frazão:

How would a Tower of Babel be, where, people from all over the world, could communicate in a Universal Language? I think it could, pretty much, be something like the MIA Festival! Why? Imagine you're on a ride to a place you haven't been yet: the mean of transportation is crowded and going fast, the sun is shinning and, meanwhile everybody is digging, sharing the best of themselves, through music. Seems like one doesn't want to arrive, to never end it! Is at stake, enjoying every second of this unique journey while sound whispers in the ear that rhythm is time, and the time is now. And MIA? MIA is the crusade that is setting this all free!

Como seria uma Torre de Babel, em que, pessoas de todo o mundo, pudessem comunicar numa linguagem Universal? Acho que podia, muito bem, ser qualquer coisa como o Festival MIA! Porquê? Imaginem que estão numa viagem para um sítio que ainda não conhecem: o meio de transporte está cheio e está a andar depressa, está um sol incrível e, entretanto está toda a gente a curtir, a partilhar o melhor de si, através da música. Parece que não apetece chegar, para que nunca acabe! Está em jogo, aproveitar cada segundo desta jornada única enquanto o som sussurra ao ouvido que ritmo é tempo, e o tempo é agora. E o MIA? O Mia é a cruzada libertadora de tudo isto! 

Raphaël Ortis:

It was a few years now that I knew some of the musicians from the improvised stage in Portugal, but it does not replace what the MIA offers.
The big gatherings have that special, it offers moments of meeting, sharing, "living together". Music for music's not enough. She is a way of communication and discussion, openness and exchanges. The social dimension is essential and unavoidable. Improvised music facilitates and enables this approach. Of course there are codes to know, but which are less related to learning and the curriculum chosen in learning an instrument. We are talking about listening and let go. We expect nothing, we do with what's on now and in the present. We adapt to each other, and the other does the same. We give without expectation, and we maybe receive. The important thing is to build on together a common language from gestures and sounds put together into a whole that we can expect consistent, harmonious in all cases. We could say that improvised music is not made for dancing. I understood that it's not that I do not like to dance, I like to dance when my body is touched and moved by the atmosphere of the moment. This requires being available and know what we are looking for in a place we chose for what we know it can bring us. In the case of MIA, I just seek dialogue and correspondence with people I would not have had the opportunity to share with, otherwise than in the same room together in one place, and more, in an spontaneous organization in front of  an audience.
The dialogue is done with gestures, frequencies, sounds, and with respect for the history of each.
Events like the MIA are essential and vital for the development of the international improvised stage.