(ThS)inking Survival Kit

(ThS)inking Survival Kit results from a commission of the City of London Festival with the support of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in coproduction with the EGEAC. This work constitutes an original response to the festival's theme, that is biodiversity and climate change, including the problem of rising sea levels.

The piece is therefore developed within these environmental issues, where water and the sea, birds, marine animals, bees, as well as fantastic beings, assume an evident leading role in the construction of the work's formal programme.

The poems or fragments of poetry used in the piece also converge in the same sense, constituting the symbolic archetypes of a super narrative, even though abstract.
Consequently, seven authors of the poems appear in the work, in the following order:
William Shakespeare - fragment from The Tempest; James Joyce - fragment from Chamber Music; Paul Verlaine - Un grand sommeil noir; Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen - Fundo do Mar; Fernando Pessoa - fragment from Para Além Doutro Oceano de C. Pacheco; Luís de Camões - fragment from Canto V, Os Lusíadas; Herberto Helder - fragment from Photomaton e Vox.

From a formal point of view (ThS)inking Survival Kit consists of six parts, succeeding without interruption. They form a hexagon (as a honeycomb!), in a cycle repeating itself in cycles. The first part presents William Shakespeare and diverse symbols of biodiversity; in the second part these texts merge in the poem of James Joyce, which is then eroded until complete disappearance, giving place to the language of birds and cetaceans; the third part takes place underwater, at the bottom of the sea where time ceases, formulating the poems by Paul Verlaine and Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen; the fourth part employes short fragments of a poem by Fernando Pessoa, rereading and animating them within a return to the water surface; the fifth part is the "inevitable" meeting with the Adamastor and Luís de Camões, as well as the return of the tempest and the movement of life; and the sixth part completes the hexagon and the cycle, within the desire of perpetual renovation of nature, in the infinite multiplication of a mirror in front of a mirror, according to the poem by Herberto Helder.
Every text is associated to a sound object with particular timbral and harmonic features, which give origin both to the instrumental writing as well as to the prerecorded electronic part and the real-time transformations. The video connects the vision with the audition for a total "submersion".
(ThS)inking Survival Kit is composed for the Sond'Ar-te Electric Ensemble with the participation of two exceptional soloists: the soprano Frances M. Lynch and the percussionist Pedro Carneiro. It is also a result of a creative partnership with Paula Azguime, who is responsible for the image and dramaturgy, thus marking a 25-year-long career of collaboration within the Miso Ensemble. The creation of image for (ThS)inking Survival Kit also includes the work of Perseu Mandillo (3D creation), having support of the Portuguese Committee for the International Polar Year.

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