Sound and Future – Four Tools to Unblock The Present: João Pimenta Gomes at Plataforma Revólver

Sound and Future – Four Tools to Unblock The Present is a live performance cycle at Plataforma Revólver. Last June 3 João Pimenta Gomes opened the cycle’s second session. The project is curated by Isabel Costa and Joana Krämer Horta; the first session had a performance by Aires. The following sessions will feature Diana Policarpo and Odete.

Plataforma Revólver’s doors open, the public enters, and the sound starts. The room has no artificial lighting. The only light is provided by streetlamps, coming in through the windows. In the centre of the room (with his back to the entrance and facing the windows) is João Pimenta Gomes, seated on the floor, and with his hands on the musical system he created which he named Matavox: a modular synthesizer that only plays samples of human voices. The audience spreads around him throughout the room, also sitting on the floor. At the same level as the artist, we see the progression of a shimmering sound and a human voice that only reproduces vowels. With an increasing number of layers, the echoes intensify. The sound becomes restless, and the artist’s body follows this movement. João Pimenta Gomes seems to search tirelessly for the rhythmic ideas he wants to transmit.

The room moves. The audience is fluid (as is the sound) and walks around the room with motivations alien to the performance, leaving and entering in sync with the flow of time. With more and more multiplications, a beat begins to emerge. The sequences seem like flashes, as if a spotlight were entering a hole in a dark room; a sound that is light and illuminating. In this room of Plataforma Revólver, we feel a cosmic aura. The sound seems to originate from an infinite, a future. In our body (if we allow the sound to pass through us), the noise felt is almost anaesthetic. The sound waves that spread through the room are felt in our body; the intuitive agreement we made with the artist at the performance’s beginning seems to have a purpose: the floor is the best place to physically feel what we hear.

After that, the sound sequence becomes less spatial and more terrestrial. The sound seems to land, as if it comes from a source underneath us. Unlike the performance’s first part, the vibration seems to come from the inside rather than the outside. If before there were flickers, the sound now comes from the earth. When we close our eyes, we can imagine the place where the sound originates.

At the fiftieth minute of the performance, the flickers reappear among the earthy sounds. Then the vocalisations enter progressively. As the journey through the performance comes to an end, the sound returns to its origins, to the first sound played at the opening of the doors of Plataforma Revólver.

Besides being a musician and producer, João Pimenta Gomes is a visual artist. He presents a performance where he uses sound as a vehicle, rhythm and melody as the engine. With the modular synthesizer, he takes us on an elemental journey between the ether and the earth.

Laurinda Marques (Portimão, 1996) has a degree in Multimedia Art - Audiovisuals from the Faculty of Fine Arts of Universidade de Lisboa. She did an internship in the Lisbon Municipal Archive Video Library, where she collaborated with the project TRAÇA in the digitization of family videos in film format. She recently finished her postgraduate degree in Art Curatorship at NOVA/FCSH, where she was part of the collective of curators responsible for the exhibition “Na margem da paisagem vem o mundo” and began collaborating with the Umbigo magazine.

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