Axel Dörner trumpet
Ernesto Rodrigues viola
Abdul Moimême prepared electric guitar
Ricardo Guerreiro computer






















It was Plato who wrote, “When the mode of the music changes, the walls of the city will
tremble,” but then, Plato lived, by our standards, in a very small city, one that — with its
distinguished plays, music and mysteries — we might readily confuse with a theatre,
a concert hall, a place of worship, a site less lived-in than designated for ritualized
performances, a place that might mark borderlines, whether between the old mode and
the new, the sacred and profane, the place before and after bells, a place isolated within
a larger building, like a minimalist’s large-scale appropriation of Russian nesting dolls,
like this performance in the town of Montemor-o-Novo some 300 miles south of
Montemor-o-Velho, that is, “the old main hill,” and some hundreds of miles north-west
from that other room in the midst of which has been placed (box-like) a cathedral, a kind
of Tennessee jar (“round it was, upon a hill”), but here in the Cine-Theatre
Curvo-Semedo the performance is so intimate the theatre itself must be excluded and
a new relationship installed, the audience instead gathered on stage with the musicians
and the curtain then drawn to create a “black box” effect, the ceiling exceedingly high,
the air cold, the bells distant, the fabula unfolding from the instruments in a way that
can be neither translated nor precisely misunderstood (various secret passages present
themselves; connections, routings are magnified: the trumpet’s brass tubes are moving
granaries; the wound wires of guitar and viola grow train-tracks in space; minutiae
mask themselves and slither seductively in computer circuitry), but later, when the
fabula reaches its inevitable conclusion, we all — audience, musicians, and shared air
alike — discover the black box and the folds of its cloth walls no longer there, and that
we can’t leave, that we can never find ourselves outside of them.

Stuart Broomer

March 2012