Grupo Anima - Divulgation
Photo: Daniel Bittar

to listen ]

GISELA NOGUEIRA – viola de arame (Brazilian Baroque steel string guitar)
LUIZ FIAMINGHI – rabecas Brasileiras, vielle (Brazilian fiddles and vielle)
MARLUI MIRANDA – voice and percussion (guest artist)
PAULO DIAS – percussion, organetto
SILVIA RICARDINO – medieval harp
VALERIA BITTAR – historical recorders and yãkwá recorder
CECILIA ARELLANO (Argentina) – soprano (guest artist)
HUGO PIERI – barítono

Researchers-collaborators of ANIMA:
Paulo Dias, Silvia Ricardino, Marlui Miranda,Valeria Bittar, Luiz Fiaminghi and Gisela Nogueira.
Researchers-collaborators invited by ANIMA to participate in the project “ENCANTARIA”:
Walnice Nogueira Galvão (São Paulo – USP) and Mundicarmo Ferretti (Maranhão – UFMA)

In their new musical spectacle, presented in concert format, ANIMA narrates the myth of the Enchanted King, the Hidden King, Don Sebastian of Portugal, who disappeared in the Battle of Alcácer Quibir in Morocco in 1578 and reappeared centuries ago in Brazilian oral tradition where he remains until today.

Beginning the celebration of its 25 years of activity (1988-2013), the Anima chamber music group presents the musical program “ENCANTARIA”. ANIMA has distinguished itself by placing the diversity of Brazilian music on the chamber music stage in innovative versions of medieval and Renaissance music, particularly from Iberia, and interpreting it through the lens of Brazilian oral tradition. Its work with chamber music is distinguished by the intersections of languages, epochs and artistic actions.

“ENCANTARIA” travels in the imaginary space between frontiers: that of myth and history; of Brazilian oral tradition and European medieval and Renaissance music and of the erudite and the popular. Through a musical dialog between cultures that are distant in time and space, this dramatic musical script uses musical references and graphic and literature allusions, to tell the story of Portuguese King Don Sebastian, who disappeared in the Battle of Alcácer Quibir in Morocco, in 1578. The program combines different musical traditions that refer to the historic and mythological figure of Don Sebastian, known as the “ENCHANTED King,” and weaves a dialog between the fields of music (direction: ANIMA), literature (orientation: Walnice Nogueira Galvão). The research conducted to develop the repertoire for this musical performance has brought to light important intersections between the myth of the Enchanted King and apparently disconnected cultures and epochs. In this way, ANIMA traces a mnemonic profile of the music of the Brazilian imaginary that has its roots in our multiple formative traditions: the indigenous, African, Islamic and Iberian. In this project, ANIMA emphasizes the same process as it conducted in its previous works; the importance of the encounter of the musical language with other fields, to trace a unique path.

To prepare the musical script for the spectacle “ENCANTARIA”, ANIMA began with a preliminary research process to establish the historical and cultural context of the myth of “Sebastianism”, based on the disappearance of King Sebastian in the Battle of Alcácer Quibir and the possibility of his resurgence on the “Ilha Encoberta” [Hidden Island], or in the “Ilhas Afortunadas” [Blessed Islands], ending the condition of “Enchantment” of being “Hidden” to be transformed to the condition of “Savior of the World and the Nation.” The myth of the Enchanted King – one of the most significant myths of the Portuguese nation – which is still manifest today in some regions of Brazil, is imprinted in Brazil’s musical, oral and poetic imaginary, having merged with messianic movements in Brazil over the years. The figure of Don Sebastian is allied to various archetypes of Portuguese and Brazilian culture, mainly the archetype of the millenary representation, that of the concept that redemption for the oppressed “is coming”; also as an archetype of mystery and enchantment. Upon investigating the historic reports of the battle of Alcácer Quibir in Morocco and the anti-Islamic movement found in the Iberian peninsula during the Renaissance, ANIMA weaves points of contact between the struggles between Christians and Moors found until today in embaixadas (which are traditional Brazilian dramatic dances), and millenary movements in Brazil, such as that which led to the Canudos War in the 19th century. These include reports of sacrifices at Pedra Bonita (known as The Tragedy of the Pedra Bonita, which took place in the Serra Formosa mountains in the municipality of São José do Belmonte, in the arid interior or sertão region of Pernambuco).

In particular, the toadas (verses) of the “Boi do Maranhão”, dramatic dance from Lençóis Island off the coast of northern Brazil, researched and studied by musician and ethnomusicologist Paulo Dias, which sing of the enchantment and the disenchantment of the Hidden King, provide ANIMA the central elements for the construction of the repertoire and selection of the music. From the interlinking of different times and places, a musical script arose in which the common lines and points of infection and friction between time, space, myth, history, imagination and cultures are woven through the arrangements prepared collectively by ANIMA.

Photos: Lucia Mindlin Loeb | Encantaria

More images | Flickr


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Composition for CD and Concert MAR ANTERIOR