Hello wonderful people!
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The sunlight filters through the badly drawn blinds, hits your eyelids and gently tugs you from your slumber. The birds are singing in the tress. Rise up! Rise up sunshine, rise up on this lovely lovely Sunday morning in Lisboa.
You wake up in your bed in the breathtaking Selina hostel. There’s fellow festival goers chillin’ on the balcony, teas and coffees in hand, chatting about the previous night’s events. The funny little moments of joy, the madness of the warehouse, the smiles, the simple glances, the never ending dances, the taxi back to welcome the collapse onto a mattress.
- That pizza from the oven,
mmm so good
- I'm hungry!
- Ya, and the Salgados from O Gambuzinho
- Me too.
You ask the lovely people in Selina for any healthy breakfast suggestions.
- Something to ease the hangover, ya know?
- We know!
- Is that yer man?
- Yer man you played guitar over the poetry yesterday
- The lad from Leeds?
- Nah it couldn't be him
Well whoever he was, he makes you a delicious crepe and a juice. Fixes you right up so it does. Ready for the day now, and off you go to Arroz for day two of PORT to PORT.
- Is that the DJ from last night!?
- Senhor Costa or something?
- Will we go in for a pint?
- What was his name?
- Senhor Santos that's it!
- Ya, just the one though
You arrive into Arroz a bit later then planned but just in time to catch the last few minutes of Róisín’s morning yoga workshop. You grab a matt and join in.
Refreshed and beaming inside you’re starting to recognise some familiar faces from last night.
- Ah there's Béa!
- And there's Jamesy!
- She's some dancer!
- Some man for the dancing too, wouldn't stop feeding me Poitín all night though, or Agua Ardente as they call it here.
So you’re now sitting down in front of the outdoor stage with another slice of pizza (you couldn’t resist).
There is an array of music equipment laid across a table, keyboards, mixers, pedals, cassette recorders, mics, leads upon leads upon leads, and sat in the middle of it all is Cork native music-maker and all-round-sound-feen Mark Waldron-Hyden.
Check out his amazing first release on Sunshine Cult Records. Its a sonic journey, worthy of a ‘lights off zone out’ listen (or two).
In his own words…
“Recorded over a period of months using acoustic instruments, synthesizer, field recordings and tape manipulation. Stream Segregation deals with repetition, space and its effect on the human body.”
You’re feeling more alive now, the hangover is drifting into the past as the present gifts you many presents. The beautiful smiles on the peoples faces, the hustle and bustle, people doing this, people doing that. Joseph Moon is busy setting up the next act, working his magic as the soundest soundman in the game. Martin and Coulstock are filling the time between these sets with the grooviest of grooves and the warmest of tones.
A cool breeze runs across your face. You breath it in.
You head over to the craft stalls where you see these beautiful earthy creations from PanoPalha, and these vibrant colourful crafts from Kee’mee. Then you notice the intriguing handmade books by Ilya, you can’t resist buying one as a gift for your Mommy. It’s Mother’s Day after all. Ilya tells you you should check out the Zine making workshop that’s just about to start. You take his advice and rush over to do so.
Here you are greeted by the lovely Oriane who has this beautiful pop up zine library before you, you flick through the zines and all of a sudden you’re bursting with inspiration, a feeling to create.
Oriane leads you through this amazing workshop on how to create your own Zine, and by the end of it, there you are holding your very own Zine; you can’t help but feel proud, the joy of creating, eh?
Shaky Shots is an independent, DIY, alternative, not-for-profit organisation – run by Oriane Duboz. “We produce, promote, curate and facilitate Art & Music Projects in France and Ireland.
“We value alternative spaces, humble people to collaborate with, as well as mixing genres of music and ways of making art.”
There’s a strange noise floating out from the warehouse, it’s the scratching of a guitar string, resonating and reverbing, inviting you. You join the others in the warehouse where you see SmokedFalmon has taken the stage.
SmokedFalmon is the solo project from Nuno Ferreira, born under a stone in the early 90’s.
Being the guitar the ground of this musical journey, it creates layers of psychedelic melancholy and chaotic melody, complemented with a lot of sound effects from space and a good share of digital synths; in a path of constant experimentation, it can lead towards an introspective mind journey while allowing the body to express itself within the frequencies.
Time has fecked right off, and left you in an oozing, ebbing, and flowing of a sonic experience. SmokedFalmon’s music takes you on several journeys there and back again, with a few scenic routes and shortcuts thrown in, and after you are left peaceful, serene, but under the surface there’s an energy bubbling.
Your friend puts it perfectly…
- That was intensely tranquil
- What's next?
- Tea? Nah I'm grand I've a beer here, but who's playing next?
- Nah I'm okay for tea, they don't even have Barry's here sure, I just want to know who's playing next!
- I DON'T WANT TEA!
- It's time for tea
- Time for Tea
- IT'S TIME FOR T!
Described as somewhere between Bob Dylan and Fela Kuti, Time for T have always been difficult to categorise. This may be due to the eclectic backgrounds of the band (England, Portugal, Brazil and Spain) and the nomadic nature of it’s members. The project was started by Tiago Saga in Brighton back in 2013 and is now based in Lisboa.
With influences from all over the globe – Tropicalia to Folk Rock and Desert Blues to Soul, their ‘Mongrel’ sound can make the whole crowd dance as easily as it can get you crying as most of the songs, when analysed closer, are pensive folk songs sugarcoated in sunny melodies and groovy rhythms.
The sun is lowering in the sky now, the golden hour is licking the scene with an orange haze. Ah, beautiful. You notice over in a corner there is a group of people, crowded around something…what is it? A bike?
Art with People, Not just for People!
The duo of visual artists Diogo deCalle and Bruno Lavos form the Atelier SER. It’s a Spontaneous Art Movement; project focused on Participatory Art as a way of working, thinking and reflecting the public space, art and active citizenship.
‘We act as a spontaneous collective and we are a creative movement of relational action. We create imagery of sustainable growth, developing messages like visual poems, mapping Identities and places.’
Atelier SER takes to the courtyard of the festival on a bicycle and their itinerant screen printing ‘workstation’, with which they conduct the most creative workshop.
You come away from Atelier SER holding a smile and your very own screenprint, although a bit smudged because you couldn’t wait for it dry before showing it your friend. You love it.
There’s Shaka with his Berimbau, Phil Alexander Edgar with his fantastical poetry, Kieran who delivers songs of folk tales from his guitar, Jay offers messages from his lips, while Molly pivots and pirouettes, ducking and dancing, weaving narrative with movement, Mr.Bubble provides the beatbox as Spekulativ Fiktion catches the beat and spits his bars on top, Shaunna performs her poetry which is entangled in her performance of theatre with Ciarán, The Choke Collective bring music and poetry to the courtyard, letting it float effortlessly into the sky joining the birds in flight.
The Crossover is a multi disciplinary piece of performance art featuring work from poets, visual artists, dancers and musicians. It incorporates the use of the full Arroz Estúdios. Beginning in the courtyard you follow the cues and move inside as the sun has set. Here you are stopped in your tracks by Emmet Brickley’s paintings. Your eyes scan them, drawing in every stroke, every detail, the scenes and feelings the colours evoke.
You also see Róisín McCabe’s lightbox installations. The figures glow, and as you move around them they seem to dance in the light. They conjure up thoughts in you of them being fairies, visiting our festival, perhaps playing tricks, spilling beers, tangling up feet on the dancefloor, but all in good spirits, keeping a watchful eye on our gathering.
You have been so immersed in The Crossover experience, that when it’s all over it feels sort of like waking from a dream. You take some rest on a couch, relaxing your bones, and refreshing your mind. Wondering what’s the next little surprise you will find…
The most Irish band Portugal has ever produced. You’re there taking it all in, a bit confused as to why three very non-Irish looking lads are playing some very Irish sounding music. You’re getting the MagMell experience.
MagMell emerged on the Lisbon folk scene in 2010, as a group of friends inspired by the musical traditions of Europe and beyond. They play music from Ireland, Scotland, Galicia, Sweden and Portugal, among other exotic melodies; you’ll be delighted to hear that they’re increasingly writing more originals inspired by these musical journeys.
They intend to excite the spirit into a dancing trance, and to transport the listeners to that “Plain of Joy” which in Celtic mythology gives name to the band.
Evening has handed the party over to Night. Sun has drifted to sleep and Moon is now rising above the warehouse of Arroz Estúdios. You don’t know where the night is about to go, and the energy of this uncertainty is rippling through the crowd as ActualAcid takes the stage.
ActualAcid is the creative moniker of Cork producer Jack Corrigan, facilitating the artist’s electronic ventures through a catalogue of influences from wonky psychedelic to hip hop, and lo-fi funk.
In a live setting, Corrigan breathes new life into his recordings via a chain of hostile analog synths and samplers.
He is joined onstage by Colm Cahalane who is providing a live-coded visual accompaniment, bouncing the audio cues through glitched-out sequences and patterns to create something entirely new with each performance. Both are part of the lovely Hausu familia, who are putting out some of the sweetest sounds and slickest visuals, be sure to check them out here.
Touching on the duo’s affinity for improvisation and Internet-age aesthetics, the resulting mesh of sound and vision serves to establish the Actualacid live show as a distinct, unique experience in its own right. Check this double video to delve right in:
Well, that was an experience. You feel like you’ve gone down the rabbit hole, took a shortcut through The Matrix and have entered The Void, all only to be spat back out again. ActualAcid and Colm are known to deliver a punchdrunk experience like this.
Dazed and confused you head over to the toilet, and on the way out you see there’s a group huddled in the corner of the warehouse. They’re looking 100% suspicious; like they’re hiding something, but at the same time, it’s apparent that they cannot contain their excitement about whatever it is. Curiosity gets the better of you, and you just have to find out what’s causing all this commotion! As you approach them you notice they’re passing something between the…
- Give me a sip biy!
- I brought it over in me carry on luggage, and then I snuck it in here down my jocks, I'll take a sip if I want to!
- Brí, go away, you've had loads already like
- Fair enough fair enough, just leave some for Sam will ya!
Too entranced by the passing of the can, they don’t even notice you there. Through the tangle of hands you catch sight of the label: ‘Beamish‘.
Suddenly a melody, 4/4 kick and a duo of voices draws your attention back to the main stage. Foggy have begun. They are half way through their incredibly infectious tune My Day, as it sucks you in; soon you’re back on the dancefloor, arms around friends, smiles, and waves of sound wash over you. Foggy carries you into the night.
Francesco Foggy Pintaudi is an Italian composer and musician based in Lisbon. His solo project comes in the form of a live electronic set combining delay and feedback, mixed with moments of improvisation using samples and drum machines.
Fun Fact: Foggy was inspired to write ‘My Day’ after his first night in the old Arroz Estúdios in Cacilhas.
The festival is drawing to a close now. You don’t want to say goodbye just yet, but you don’t need to worry. There’s one more surprise in store…
The horns, the sax, a cacophony of infinite tones
and this is your zone,
your feet cant stop moving
this band is simply groovin’
Joseph is howling at the moon
as he plucks booming big bass notes that shake your bones
and Bruno’s sax is wailing and you feel like your soul is sailing
right of into the night
when suddenly Chris From The Future and Chris From The Past
combine to bring you right back to the present now
you can taste Martin Loopdog’s sweet sultry guitar notes
like honey through the air they float
you take a sip
you cant stop moving your hips
and then Jay joins in spitting fire from his lips
and the hours go by
music in the air it simply flies
while friends say their goodbyes as they slip off into the night
which by now has become the morning
and you begin to feel like yawning
but at the same same time your mind is still soaring
up and up and up and up
sound and dance is healing you like flat 7up!
But all good things must come to an end.
And just before you fall asleep
You write out the message…
“I love you”
you click send.