Ashbel comes from Australia and manages to incorporate a range of heavy influences that can be old school or experimental. Their debut...



Ashbel comes from Australia and manages to incorporate a range of heavy influences that can be old school or experimental. Their debut album Deluge is a colossal work that is inspired by the sonic experimentations of avant-garde Japanese bands and the result is a special kind of catharsis that is experienced through the unrelenting melodies.

This quintet, despite their influences, were able to create a sonic beats of its own, with a unique and captivating identity.

- How did Ashbel take form? Is there a meaning or story behind the name?
Khoa: Mutual friends who became good friends formed Ashbel. Ashbel is a corruption of Asbel, a Studio Ghibli character, although we do not put much further meaning behind the name.

- Your sound covers a lot of sonic territories and is richly textured. What projects/bands/artists can you cite as major influences?
Khoa: A lot of very innovative Japanese bands – mainly ENDON, SWARRRM, Stubborn Father, and early 2000s American hardcore bands like Jeromes Dream, Orchid, etc. but also the old masters like Marc Ribot, Link Wray, and Diamanda Galas.

Lulu: Thank you for picking up on those layers; seeing through the surface-level sonics really means a lot and frankly something we put a great deal of deliberateness into. More often I personally feel inspired by (and am forever in awe of) my friends and peers operating in the local experimental music scene who truly bleed and live their art: Diploid, Uboa, just to name a few… all these projects set out to setting out to push the(ir) envelope with how they communicate a most inner praxis, and I find all their determinations and aspirations nothing short of incredible.



- You were also responsible for the artwork, what concept(s) did you wish to express?
Khoa: Gargoyles and GODFLESH.

- The overall feeling in your sonic universe is one of emotional urgency. What themes do you feel more inclined to write and sing about?
Khoa: Postmodernism.

Lulu: It’s… difficult to pin down. All of the band’s lyrics and approaches to their delivery are entirely inside Jarvis’ realm who holds these song’s intentions and meanings tightly bound to their heart. Therefore I can only speak from where Khoa and I are coming from. I agree with Khoa that a great deal of Postmodernist thought plays a heavy role in Ashbel – after all, having complimentary worldviews is certainly where we get along. It’s only natural that commonality and shared ground bleeds into our creative process. Musical inspiration often feels more potent and fluid when things are going wrong, knowing that our listeners are not alone in their suffering and that we’re all connected to ideas of shared trauma in a very personal way, resultant growth together, and intrinsic values very much reflected in the realm of ‘head’ music with ideas posed by the Frankfurt school of theory, Alain Badiou, etc. amongst many others. Going back to that initial spark though, within all projects/collaborations I consciously choose to involve myself in, it’s a persistent mining for understanding the incomprehensible beasts that are anxiety and Bad Shit which reflects in any troubled mind. I operate and create soundscapes within this minefield because it’s the only thing that made any sort of sense over the years in an intimate kind of way? Forever in pursuit of unexplainable existentials, a je ne sais quoi that I think any interesting art worth a fuck should at least try striving towards reaching.

- How do you feel the reception to your debut album has been so far?
Khoa: Meh!

Lulu: It’s been quite fascinating to see how a spectrum of music listeners take to our particular sound; whether they’re willing to take a seat inside our vehicle re-evaluating what they hold dear to their heart, and to see what people -get- out of our music, ideally applied to understanding unaddressed parts of their selves better.


- What most fascinates in black metal?
Khoa: Good riffs.

Lulu: Introspective strands which could be explored further to a potential more fitting of where we are in today’s world, and where we’re headed. Not so much ‘forcing the obvious’ but illuminating said uncomfortable space into a blossom to celebrate in all its crying glory is what truly fascinates me. Riffs too, of course.

- How have you been surviving and working in these difficult times with the pandemic?
Khoa: Music has kept us sane and regular.

Lulu: Initially the pandemic fallout has been rough on our traction – we’ve had our first interstate run of live shows supporting Deluge thrown into utter disarray as a result. We were immensely crestfallen because we were looking so forward to presenting said material in a live setting to new audiences -- if you’re familiar with our improvisation-heavy arrangements to live shows with the barest skeleton of our songs gluing things together, it's pretty clear that the impression of Ashbel ‘on record’ is very different to our gigs. Getting our music out there at the unforgiving mercy of the live aspect meant a great deal to our ethos. So… having that taken away temporarily fucking sucked. Nevertheless, our various sideprojects have taken precedence helping tide, keeping our creative juices flowing, carving out new ways of working. And all of our genuine inabilities to be tied down plays a big part in it too – whether it be coping with ever-evolving life circumstances or transitioning towards a more consonant state of existing and co-existing amongst one other. No matter which way you slice it a matter of sheer survival is a pertinent one.

- What projects have you set up for 2020 that you wish to reveal and share with us?
Khoa: We would like to release another album and we will also try to make it relevant to the current difficult times, to further express our very human emotions such as anxieties, hope, disdain, apathy and love.

Lulu: We’re in the exciting process of transmogrifying Ashbel’s core into that of a five-piece. Both of us have already tracked new demos together before deciding to expand our canvas, so expect the unexpected.

Text and Interview: Cláudia Zafre
Interviewees: Khoa and Lulu (Ashbel)

Under the sun anything can happen. And everything seems out of control. We are still in the middle of 2020 but for some Israelis (and jew...

Under the sun anything can happen. And everything seems out of control. We are still in the middle of 2020 but for some Israelis (and jewish people) 2020 is done; so It couldn't be a question of a bad omen for the turning of the year. 

Covid-19, riots all over the world claiming justice for George Floyd and for all of those who have died by police brutality; all of that happens at the same time when the USA approaches presidential elections, the chinese government washes his hands of his responsibilities, Brazil, besides suffering with the rise of the pandemic, also deals with a political crisis, 20 thousand tons of petrol products from the thermoelectric central spread through the Ambarnaya river, from a small and remote russian town In the arctic called Norilsk. Everything seems twisted and like the gravity core has ceased to exist. It Is chaos and If we are not close to the end of the world, we are Indeed close to a new era. A better or worse one, we don't know, but, until then, while the world seems to crumble, may it be to the sound of a worthy soundtrack. 

Maybe to the sound of Crossbow, Tamar Aphek's theme, we listen to the beat that resonates through the snare drum like a machine gun evoking bass lines that beat In our chests. Recorded at Daptone Records In New York, the song relates (In ironic fashion) to the actual context, it approaches someone who incentives to act aggressively against other human beings, to the point where they have nowhere to run because there is no safe place under the sun. 

© Rotem Lebel

Classical music and piano are part of Tamar's childhood, but, during her 2 years military service, she engaged in nightshifts where she played jazz and rock 'n' roll. 

Since then, she has been active In Indie bands from Israel such as: ED, Carusella and Shoshana. Her first solo EP Collision was released in 2014 and enabled her to tour Europe and the USA. At the moment, Tamar is working on the record and Daniel Schlett (War on Drugs, DIIV, Yonathan Gat) was responsible for mixing it, the release date is set for the 28th of August of 2020 through the label EXAG

"Being raised as a child on the stories about baby Moses who was put in a big basket in the Nile river - it was very easy for me and all the other Israeli children in Egypt to relate to the Egyptian mythology. We all called the Nile River ‘yeor’ which is the biblical word for the Nile. But in parallel I became familiar with some popular Egyptian songs and famous singers like Farid Alatrash. This fascination with ancient and modern Egypt reminds me the stories of Brian Eno, especially the one about his ordeal in finding a specific song of Alatrash, because he barely remembered few tunes of the song and a sentence here and there. Eventually, when he strolled in one of the Egyptian markets, he met a young boy who succeeded to find the song for him. In my opinion this story can explain the feeling of belonging to global culture and civilization when you have the opportunity to live in different countries. Being surrounded by different sounds and rhymes makes you a more curious and eager person who wants to learn and absorb more experiences."


Hello Tamar, how have you been in these troubled times? Israel was one of the first countries to get out of confinement but a few days ago the government declared quarantine but this time only for teachers and students. How do you look at this state of Indecision and total uncertainty?
Until recently Israel took pride in its COVID-19 figures of less than 20,000 confirmed infections and about 300 deaths of nine million, low compared to countries in Europe and the Americas. But as Israel eased lockdown measures the numbers climbed...

According to Health minister Israel is now facing a second wave of coronavirus. I believe that deterioration started with the general state of mind that the pandemic was over. Some guys of my generation didn’t listen to the warnings that the danger was still there. They selfishly went to indoors parties, without wearing masks and keeping the social distances regulations, those who were wearing masks felt like suckers, and above all there was a celebration mood from above and the result is that Israel entered the dubious list of the red countries.

"Equalization for example lies somewhere between the realms of art and engineering. I sculpted the guitar sound myself in so many variations that by the time the mixing sessions with Daniel Schlett began there was no room for “second guessing” which can destroy the creative process sometimes. Eventually this resulted in a lot of editing job I did of the instruments, and by the time I arrived to the mixing sessions, I felt we can’t go wrong."


The sound you make is a fusion of several rhythms, dynamics and melodies. You lived your childhood in Egypt and those memories changed your perception of the world. In what way does that connection – that is geographically south of your country – has changed your cosmovision and influenced the way you create your songs?
Tamar Aphek - Being raised as a child on the stories about baby Moses who was put in a big basket in the Nile river - it was very easy for me and all the other Israeli children in Egypt to relate to the Egyptian mythology. We all called the Nile River ‘yeor’ which is the biblical word for the Nile. But in parallel I became familiar with some popular Egyptian songs and famous singers like Farid Alatrash. This fascination with ancient and modern Egypt reminds me the stories of Brian Eno, especially the one about his ordeal in finding a specific song of Alatrash, because he barely remembered few tunes of the song and a sentence here and there. Eventually, when he strolled in one of the Egyptian markets, he met a young boy who succeeded to find the song for him. In my opinion this story can explain the feeling of belonging to global culture and civilization when you have the opportunity to live in different countries. Being surrounded by different sounds and rhymes makes you a more curious and eager person who wants to learn and absorb more experiences. 

I can give 2 examples for this. The first is when I produced the video for my song Maintenance in the desert, which was my first experience to perform in an open-air desert area. It was the first time where I felt that the desert winds were another musical instrument that took part in the whole performance. I remember that it was totally a different feeling than performing in the best fashionable venue in Tel Aviv. And another experience is my musical piece Plaza in which I play the keyboards. In this piece, I integrated few musical elements inspired by some popular Arab songs which I often hear in my Jaffa neighborhood where I live. 
The album was recorded in New York, how was that experience? Can you also speak a bit about its concept?
TA - I recorded this single and most of my upcoming album at Daptone Studios in Brooklyn with engineer Wayne Gordon.

After it was recorded there was a long period of time in which I made plenty of rough mixes and overdubs myself. I felt I wanted to investigate and shape the sound design of the album before I enter the official mixing sessions in New York. By the time the official mixing sessions begun, I had a pretty wide perception of what each instrument in each song sounded like after I changed the volume on a specific range of frequencies, and what each song sounded like when the drums for example were much louder than the bass and vice versa. Equalization for example lies somewhere between the realms of art and engineering. I sculpted the guitar sound myself in so many variations that by the time the mixing sessions with Daniel Schlett began there was no room for “second guessing” which can destroy the creative process sometimes. Eventually this resulted in a lot of editing job I did of the instruments, and by the time I arrived to the mixing sessions, I felt we can’t go wrong. The songs were ready for Daniel Schlett to take the lead and follow his taste and interpretation.


Crossbow relates (ironically) to the actual context, it focuses on someone who incentives to act aggressively against other human beings to the point where they have nowhere to run or no safe place under the sun. Is that how you look at the present moment? 
TA - Picking the name ‘Crossbow’ meant to reflect the message I wanted to deliver through the visualization of the sound and movement of an automatic machine gun – the kind Al Pacino used in the last scene of ‘Scarface’ – represented by the bass line. But eventually I combined the sound of an old weapon (Crossbow) which was characterized by a raw bass sound, with the rhythm of an automatic weapon.

“Crossbow” is a sarcastic song describing the extremes violence and aggressive behavior can reach if there are no limits, until one has ‘nowhere to run’ or until ‘there is no place under the sun'.

At minute 2:00 the guitar enters the song for the first time and stays alone at 2:37, as a symbol to the “sun” – this is a short pure moment that doesn’t last too long before the killing and destruction return. Although I wrote this song before Corona crisis, I find that the song might be relevant in these days because it expresses the fragility and vulnerability of mankind against the violent virus. Original I was thinking about human cruelty between human beings in general.


You already stepped on big stages like SXSW, DunaJam and Fusion Festival, do you feel any sort of strong responsibility regarding this record, since your past was rooted quite strongly?
TA - Interesting question. I do feel a strong responsibility regarding this record. Not because of the stages I stepped or didn’t step on, but because of the stages of this record, the stages the listeners will go through as the album develops. This album is meant to feel like going on a rollercoaster of emotions, thoughts, ideas. I feel a responsibility of making it a safe ride, as well as a worth taken one. It reminds me of the famous opening of a Dr. Seuss book “Take it slowly, this book is dangerous”. So, I would say: “buckle up, this record is dangerous”. 

You have played in Portugal and we might say you have a close connection to the country, you have played in Milhões de Festa, Mucho Flow, Barreiro Rocks and you recorded Collision at the Sá da Bandeira studios. How were those experiences and what memories do you most cherish?
TA - A lot of wine! Recording at Sá da Bandeira was a magical experience. Yonatan Gat who also produced ‘Collision’, Igor Domingues who played drums in the album and I went on a 2 weeks’ tour together with songs I wrote about a week before that tour, and we ended up rehearsing in a deserted mall in Porto for a couple of days before we had our recording sessions. So our preparation for the recordings was mostly to hang out, drink and have fun. And we did have A LOT of fun. We went to parties and bars before, during and after our shows. Each day we spent in Porto, weather it was after a rehearsal or after a recording day we would find ourselves in Café au Lait – such a great bar.


Your songs are part of the soundtrack for One Week and a Day directed by Asaph Polonsky, that won the GAN foundation award at the Cannes film festival, like other awards at the Cinema Festival of Jerusalem. You don’t know the times I’ve listened to the song Star Quality, it captured my attention as soon as it was released. When you listen to a theme in a film it's different from when you play it live on stage. Can you talk a bit how you feel your songs in these different contexts? 
TA - Glad to hear you enjoyed it! When Asaf Polonsky showed me the movie for the first time, it included about 10 songs of mine. When I watched the film I felt we should only leave the songs that really felt right, so I reduced the amount of songs and left just the amount that I found really fit the film. So as opposed to creating let’s say a compilation of songs, the work on the film was very different in the sense that the film was the main important thing, and the songs had to support it. The songs which I felt didn’t support the scenes were cut out by me. For example, there was a song of mine which had this “Beatles” like comic opening which was originally supporting one of the scenes, but I felt that the main character Shay Avivi was funny enough and adding another comic layer would hurt that scene. The film moves quickly between very sad mourning scenes to scenes which have a comic effect to them, and I felt the need to be gentle with the use of the instrumental parts of my songs. It reminds me the process of mixing, sometimes a part can be compressed enough that adding another compressor would be too much. In that sense, it was like the film as another instrument in my music, the same way my music has been described as another character in the film.

"In my opinion music is an international language which can create a world where people can listen to each other and have a complete picture of a certain dispute without boycotting any side. I remember that after each concert many young people who came to listen to my music approached me and my band with many questions about the political situation between Israel and the Palestinians. After each encounter with the audience I realized how much we all need to talk and explain what is going on instead of shutting all doors and windows of communications."


The song Filling Spaces is a fine example of how a deconstructed theme can also be extremely melodic, have you ever thought about exploring that introspective side?
TA - Yeah definitely, I think ‘Filling spaces’ is a very good example for that. I feel all my songs are pretty introspective, but maybe the musical production feels more introspective in that song. The musical production was based on creating a ‘vibe’ and less about creating ‘energy’. Also, it is technically a quiet song. There are a couple of quiet songs in my upcoming album alongside the others. 

The indie, jazz, rock and stoner scenes are quite strong In Israel represented by bands such as The Great Machine, Tiny Fingers and Tatran from the alternative music scene In Israel. Is that community united or more scattered around? 
TA - Great bands. I think the Israeli bands are both scattered and united. Since the scene is pretty small, there is nowhere to scatter around too much. But there’s definitely a community that supports each other and influences each other, so I’d say more united than scattered.

© Tamar Aphek

It may be a sensitive topic… but I would like to know if you have ever felt any sort of rejection In tour dates on other countries because of the political affairs between Israel and Palestine and BDS?
TA - Well technically I had some shows cancelled in the past because of the BDS. I’m not sure if ‘Rejection’ is the word I would chose to describe my feeling at the time it happened. I was disappointed that people are willing to mix music with politics. In my opinion music is an international language which can create a world where people can listen to each other and have a complete picture of a certain dispute without boycotting any side. I remember that after each concert many young people who came to listen to my music approached me and my band with many questions about the political situation between Israel and the Palestinians. After each encounter with the audience I realized how much we all need to talk and explain what is going on instead of shutting all doors and windows of communications. 

Many people have preconceived notions and sometimes quite extreme that are based in not enough Information. The truth is that you live In a very different reality than that of Europe. You have done your military service in a young country that relies on its Internal protection and security to live a "possible" peace. On the other hand, you also live in an environment in which politics are part of the daily lives of the Israeli-arab Inhabitants. Are you concerned about expressing that inherent reality of the country in which you live through your music or are you more detached about it? 
TA - I believe that my songs reflect my personal feelings about life in general. I can’t describe my music and songs as political but we are all political creatures by nature, whether we admit it or not, so even if I write about a personal individualistic episode in my life it might include a subconscious agenda I am not necessarily aware of. In all my songs, you can find a certain wish to change life for the better and a quest for a better world, based on equality between people.

We live difficult times, of pure uncertainty, and extremist opinions arise, as well as social, political and even intellectual confusion, do you think music should be - besides its emotional power - an active agent In the awakening of consciousness? 
TA - History proves that music is an agent in the awakening of consciousness. If we look at Hip-Hop for example, as a genre that developed in the Bronx with the help of the Zulu Nation collective which sleeked to unite between gangs, through the form of music. Music has a uniting force; it can express what can’t be expressed. It creates a sense of understanding without having to explain. Its abstract quality creates a space for everyone, no matter what your race, gender, or economic situation is. 

What are your favorite spots In Israel. 
TA - Puaa and Shafa in Jaffa, K bar, Kuli Alma, Teder, Radio EPGB.

What have you been listening, reading and watching? 
TA - Lately I’ve been enjoying listening to Muhamad Ramadan, I really enjoy his fusion of Egyptian music into pop, Fela Kuti and Travis Scott. The last thing I watched was ‘Ozark’ and Polanski’s ‘Knife in the water’. I’m reading ‘Fateful Choices’, by Ian Kershaw, which tells the story of 10 decisions that changed the world in 1940-1941.

It's a common question... but would you like to leave a message to the readers?
TA - Heyyy, What’s up?

Text and Interview: Priscilla Fontoura
Interviewee: Tamar Aphek
Translation: Cláudia Zafre
Images: © Tamar Aphek, © Rotem Lebel

Por mais que o cinema seja ilusão, sente-se sinceridade no cinema de Cláudia Varejão assim que observamos os seus filmes. A ilusão nada t...

Por mais que o cinema seja ilusão, sente-se sinceridade no cinema de Cláudia Varejão assim que observamos os seus filmes. A ilusão nada tem a ver com a ideia de verdade ou mentira, mas com a magia que leva para uma dimensão que atravessa os limites da realidade. 

Cartaz Amu-San, de Cláudia Varejão; (2018)


AMA-SAN, (2018)
Tanto as longas Ama-San quanto No Escuro do Cinema Descalço os Sapatos são dois documentários que primam pela sensibilidade presente no lado observacional da cineasta Cláudia Varejão, que durante a rodagem de Ama-San não encontrou entrave na língua para produzir o filme, uma vez que estava acompanhada por uma equipa luso-japonesa que domina o português e o japonês. Durante a exibição do documentário luso-suíço-japonês, no cinema Trindade, no âmbito do festival Family Film Project, a cineasta fez referência aos detalhes da rodagem. Cláudia Varejão explicou que a comunicação não se manifesta apenas pela verbal e que a mesma pode ser exprimida sob variadas maneiras e formas, destacando a gestual. Viveu três semanas com as Ama-San que foi o tempo que teve para rodar o documentário. Antes da montagem, traduziram o material todo que coincidentemente batia certo com o que a cineasta intuía. 

A especificidade da história das Ama-San enaltece o facto de mergulharem em apneia, em contraste com os atletas de competição que vão perdendo a destreza física, enquanto que as Ama, quanto mais envelhecem, melhor se tornam no seu ofício, que é estar debaixo de água para pescar. A cineasta refere que a ilusão do cinema cria também ilusão física, por isso tudo o que acontece na tela parece possível. Durante o documentário é observado um pano de linho revestido pelas Ama, o pano remonta a dois mil anos, as Ama mais antigas usam o pano branco carimbados com símbolos vermelhos que simbolizam a protecção dos deuses – uma superstição ou valor espiritual - porque muitas morrem e ficam presas nas algas quando submergem em alto-mar. A realizadora não foi bem recebida nas aldeias que visitou aquando da sua pesquisa promovida por uma bolsa do oriente, os moradores olhavam-na com desconfiança. Na última aldeia que visitou, a aldeia de Wagu – uma pequena vila piscatória da Península de Ise, Matsumi, Mayumi e Masumi - foi muito bem recebida e foi a partir dessa localidade que construiu o seu documentário que acompanha os dias de três japonesas que mergulham em apneia sem recurso a qualquer material externo.


A cineasta afirmou que o cinema exige muita técnica, mas tem uma grande dose de acaso. Filmou com a Canon EOS 5D MARK II, por ser de fácil transporte, mas o trabalho de montagem exigiu muita dedicação. As filmagens subaquáticas foram realizadas por um especialista em imagens debaixo de água. No que respeita a ângulos, a cineasta influenciou-se em OZU e transferiu para a câmara o olhar do cineasta japonês que se adapta à baixa escala para destacar as personagens utilizando ângulos ascendentes. O cinema de Cláudia Varejão é marcado por uma grande sensibilidade, por um olhar que ressalta a essência humana. As Ama-San, quais caçadoras do mar, unem-se com o propósito de continuar uma tradição que existe há mais de 2000 anos, cujo ofício exige que consigam arrancar os abalones das rochas do fundo do Oceano Pacífico, sem auxílio de qualquer aparelho externo, tal como uma botija de ar, contam, apenas, com a saúde dos seus pulmões para que o trabalho possa ser executado com sucesso. 

No Escuro do Cinema descalço os Sapatos, de Cláudia Varejão; (2016)

NO ESCURO DO CINEMA DESCALÇO OS SAPATOS, (2016)
Em celebração a quatro anos de existência, a Companhia Nacional de Bailado de Portugal convida Cláudia Varejão a acompanhar o quotidiano de bailarinos, coreógrafos, músicos, ensaiadores, costureiras, técnicos de luz, som e toda uma alargada equipa que ocupa os corredores e salas de ensaio com danças e exercícios rigorosos. No Escuro do Cinema descalço os Sapatos acompanha as criações e estreias da companhia e também o trabalho silencioso de cada bailarino. 

Cláudia Varejão é originária do Porto e estudou cinema no Programa Gulbenkian Criatividade e Criação Artística da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian em parceria com a escola alemã Deutsche Film und Fernsehakademie Berlin, na Academia Internacional de Cinema (AIC) em São Paulo, Brasil e fotografia na AR.CO, em Lisboa. Tem alargado a sua obra, produzindo documentários de curta e longa duração. Falta-me, Fim-de-semana, Um Dia Frio e Luz da Manhã são trabalhos que têm conquistado vários prémios em festivais de importância internacional. Em 2016 estreou no Cinema du Réel a sua primeira longa metragem No Escuro do Cinema descalço os Sapatos, um filme sobre a Companhia Nacional de Bailado. Também em 2016, Cláudia Varejão estreia Ama-San no Visions du Réel, filme premiado com uma menção honrosa no Festival Internacional de Karlovy Vary.

Cláudia Varejão tornou-se cineasta de uma maneira menos ortodoxa, começou a estudar Educação Física, mas a sua grande paixão foi o cinema que, no seu caso, enobrece o elemento humano.


Texto: Priscilla Fontoura

Cartaz: Andrey Tarkovsky: A Cinema Prayer (2019); Imdb Qualquer referência a Andrey Tarkovsky nunca pode ser negativa, não fosse con...

Cartaz: Andrey Tarkovsky: A Cinema Prayer (2019); Imdb

Qualquer referência a Andrey Tarkovsky nunca pode ser negativa, não fosse considerado o mestre do cinema existencial. O cineasta russo ensinou-nos a espiritualidade da sétima arte e demonstrou também como as imagens não se ficam pelas meras imagens. Andrey Tarkovsky é quem comanda a oração feita através de gravações raras. Ao longo do documentário vamos ouvindo - em modo diarístico - as suas memórias de infância e da vida adulta, a sua percepção da arte e as suas reflexões em torno do destino do artista e do sentido da existência humana, que permitem ao espectador submergir no seu mundo misterioso pelas imagens dos seus filmes e registos pessoais. O modo reflexivo de representação cria uma espécie de metanarração que nos faz esquecer o realizador (filho) e nos aproxima do pai (do cinema poético).

Realizado pelo filho do cinesta Andrey A. Tarkovsky, o documentário é acompanhado por gravações inéditas de poemas do seu avô Arseny Tarkovsky e lidos pelo próprio.



O filme é composto por excertos dos filmes do cineasta-pai, fotografias e vídeos raros feitos nos lugares onde viveu e trabalhou, como a Rússia, a Suécia ou Itália, o seu lar adoptivo.

O documentário biográfico aborda a relação distante que Tarkovsky (1932-1986) teve com o seu pai, que cedo divorciou-se da sua mãe. O cineasta escolheu viver com a sua mãe e irmã e confessa que não sabe como a sua mãe foi tão forte, nem como conseguiu proporcionar-lhe uma educação artística com formação de piano e cinema. Ainda que distantes, é sentido em A Cinema Prayer o profundo vínculo cultural e espiritual entre pai e filho.

Se quisermos ir ao encontro da mesma densidade espiritual na arte, é provável encontrá-la nos últimos vultos artísticos. Arvo Pärt é um desses exemplos, poderia ser o Tarkovsky da música, que se contrapõe ao materialismo do mundo ocidental, vivendo à velocidade da promoção da materialidade e da exaltação do ego e que, por consequência, vai atropelando a espiritualidade que ganha menos vitalidade de dia para dia - é a humanidade que se auto-destrói continuamente. O documentário A Cinema Prayer vai além da simples leitura da imagem, é uma oração, uma chamada para o sentido da existência humana e para as interrogações que tocam o espírito.

Dividido em sete capítulos e um epílogo, o filme-documentário começa onde acaba, nas memórias de infância, que, para Tarkovsky, são essenciais para a compreensão do Eu na arte. O mestre do cinema dava liberdade total ao actor se o mesmo partilhasse da sua visão. Contrariamente à construção da mentalidade portuguesa, que no fundo nunca foi alicerçada nos valores espirituais mas no Catolicismo materialista e supersticioso romano, a russa, em meados do século XVII, teve como líder da Igreja Ortodoxa Russa o patriarca Nikon que introduziu reformas radicais na Rússia, "convidando", forçosamente, os chamados velhos cristãos ou os velhos ritualistas a fugir para outros pontos remotos do mundo para manterem as práticas litúrgicas e rituais da Igreja Ortodoxa Oriental. Em 1978, uma dessas famílias foi descoberta por um grupo de geólogos na remota República Russa da Cacássia, na Sibéria. Os Lykov pareciam pertencer a um século anterior: usavam roupas caseiras e utilizavam instrumentos primitivos na vida quotidiana, eram completamente auto-suficientes e altamente religiosos. A república é enraizada nesta construção histórico-religiosa, que dividiu puritanos e supersticiosos cuja influência continua, ainda hoje, presente no pensamento do povo que acabou por herdar este legado que traz consigo pegadas de várias cisões políticas, sociais e religiosas. 

O filho do mestre do cinema não se sente intimidado em iniciar o filme colocando a nu as fragilidades do seu pai: o cineasta relata que aos três anos foi parar ao hospital esfomeado alimentando-se das peles dos lábios por causa da fome causada pelo pós guerra, num desabafo diarístico que coloca a verdade acima da vergonha, assumindo que nasceu doente. 

Andrey Tarkovky; Imdb

O documentário é todo um desabafo puro do que o cineasta considera serem os alicerces mais importantes da vida, para o russo amor é sacrifício, no sentido em que é dar-se ao outro, é ir além dos valores materiais e não o "eterno" impossível viver romântico-superficial. Tarkovsky afirma que Larisa Tarkovskaya seria a sua única mulher por lhe ter sido leal e fiel, foi quem se sacrificou por ele. Todos os seus filmes interligam-se na mesma linguagem. Desvenda também que o livro da revelação, o Apocalipse, escrito na ilha de Patmos por João, é o seu preferido.

Filho do cineasta Andrey Tarkovsky, nasceu em Moscovo em 1970. De momento, vive entre Florença, Paris e Moscovo e trabalha para preservar e promover o trabalho do seu pai Andrey Tarkovky. Realizou em 1996 o documentário televisivo The Reminiscence, dirigiu a curta-metragem Bastignano (2006) e, além do cinema, dedica-se a organizar exposições de fotografias, concertos e publica livros.

Texto: Priscilla Fontoura
Imagens: Imdb

O actor embarca num movimento perpétuo de renascimentos. Habita sob várias peles, reveste-se de vários rostos e encarna vivências. É ...


O actor embarca num movimento perpétuo de renascimentos. Habita sob várias peles, reveste-se de vários rostos e encarna vivências. É uma criatura múltipla, vivaz e, por vezes, camaleónica. Desde os tempos primordiais que ser actor significava dar vida e voz a quem só existe quando por ele encarnado ou a quem já não está entre nós, veículo entre o mundo da fantasia e do real, o actor assume qualidades quase místicas e icónicas ao longo da civilização. 

Portugal está bem representado no que toca aos palcos, seja por quem os pisa e habita, como quem lhes dá vida atrás das cortinas. Tiago Mateus move-se pelo mundo do teatro, assumindo vários papéis, como actor, encenador e dramaturgo. 

Tiago frequentou a ESTC (Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema) no ramo de Actores e enquanto actor trabalhou sob a direcção de Carla Bolito, Cristina Carvalhal, David Pereira Bastos, João Brites, Jorge Silva Melo, Luca Aprea, Miguel Seabra, Mónica Calle, entre outros.


As suas peças de teatro são frequentemente introspectivas, existencialistas e criadoras de um espaço-tempo independente onde o palco é a única e presente realidade, como é o caso da peça que escreveu intitulada O Actor que pensava que o Teatro era a Vida. Além dessa peça, Tiago também escreveu O Faroleiro, Não estava à espera de Morrer, Milagre, Estamos Aqui, Já é amanhã e De Nascente a Poente.

As peças que encenou foram A Pomba de Guernica, Uma Faca nos Dentes (baseado nos poemas de António José Forte), Estado Zero e As histórias que os homens contam são frequentemente Tristes

Além dos seus trabalhos como actor, encenador e dramaturgo, Tiago é também presidente da associação Estado Zero.

Livros:
- Uma Faca nos Dentes, António José Forte
- Odisseia - tradução de Frederico Lourenço, Homero
- Van Gogh O Suicidado da Sociedade, Antonin Artaud
- Histórias de Cronópios e de Famas, Julio Cortázar
- A Erva Vermelha, Boris Vian

Discos:
- Só ao vivo, Jorge Palma
- Cambodian Rocks (Compilation), various artists
- TRON Legacy: Reconfigured, Daft Punk 
- Universi paralleli di Franco Battiato, Franco Battiato
- Sandbox: The Original Music of Mark Sandman, Mark Sandman

Filmes:
- Os Idiotas, Lars Von Trier
- Fanny and Alexander, Ingmar Bergman
- Recordações da Casa Amarela, João César Monteiro 
- As Crianças do Paraíso, Marcel Carné
- Pierrot le Fou, Jean Luc Godard

Texto: Cláudia Zafre
Escolhas: Tiago Mateus

Pálpebra inchada, nariz empinado, boca curta e meia cheia são traços que unem  Benicio del Toro a   Benjamin Biolay . Benicio del Toro ,...

Pálpebra inchada, nariz empinado, boca curta e meia cheia são traços que unem Benicio del Toro a Benjamin Biolay. Benicio del Toro, porto-riquenho de gema, tem marcado o seu portefólio com participações nos filmes Traffic, Snatch, 21 Gramas, Sin City, Che - longas que marcaram uma geração. É o segundo porto-riquenho a conquistar um Oscar na Academia de Artes e Ciências Cinematográficas de Hollywood. Muitas vezes comparado a Serge GainsbourgBenjamin Biolay é cantor, compositor, multi-instrumentista francês e é tido como um dos principais expoentes da nouvelle chanson

Benicio del Toro e Benjamin Biolay

Puzze: Benicio del Toro e Benjamin Biolay (Cláudia Zafre)
Texto, ideia, montagem: Priscilla Fontoura

Imagem por  Klaus Mitteldorf Kunumí MC é um jovem rapper de Krukutu, uma aldeia Guaraní, na zona sul de São Paulo. Habitada por u...

Imagem por Klaus Mitteldorf

Kunumí MC é um jovem rapper de Krukutu, uma aldeia Guaraní, na zona sul de São Paulo. Habitada por uma grande comunidade indígena, Krukutu é o berço e inspiração para Kunumí MC que dá a voz à sua comunidade através de versos de resistência e consciência.

Em 2017 editou o seu EP de estreia, My Blood is Red, composto por 6 temas que amplificam e humanizam as lutas da população indígena face à ameaça ao seu habitat e própria sobrevivência. Musicalmente, os beats e samples são carregados de uma forte influência jazz e um pouco reminiscentes de A Tribe Called Quest. São hinos de resistência e fortitude perante uma sociedade agressivamente tecnológica e industrializada.


My Blood is Red denuncia as injustiças e dificuldades que o povo Guaraní enfrenta quotidianamente. Kunumí MC exalta a resiliência e positividade da sua comunidade através de temas que impelem à resistência contra a ganância de proprietários rurais. Os samples e beats sublinham a fluidez liricamente comprometida de Kunumí, havendo confluência de passagens mais descontraídas com outras mais acesas e dinâmicas.

No ano seguinte, Kunumí MC lança Todo o dia é dia de Índio, o seu primeiro longa-duração que apresenta uma atmosfera um pouco mais festiva que o EP, mas igualmente combativo em termos de líricas.
Todo o dia é de Índio realça também o poder do rap para mudar e/ou transformar consciências, assim como um meio para a revolução e mudança social. O rap é libertador e como diz Kunumí "Rap é compromisso para quem quer os seus direitos". Além de odes ao espírito livre do rap, Kunumí também exalta o valor da educação e da preservação dos conhecimentos e sabedoria nativos. Humildade é um dos valores que Kunumí mais valoriza neste disco que apresenta letras mais introspectivas e que servem como a voz da sua mente num ritmo muito natural e de consciência em torrentes imparáveis. 

Este ano, Kunumí lançou no dia 29 de Maio, o teledisco realizado pela Angry Films, Gabe Maruyama e Bruno Silva, para o tema Guerreiro da Floresta (Forest Warrior) que na sua língua nativa se traduz como Xondaro Ka'aguy Reguá

Kunumí também colaborou com Criolo e dessa participação surgiu o mini-documentário Meu Sangue é Vermelho

A sua mais recente participação foi dia 21 de Junho no evento SOS Rainforest Live que contou também com a participação de Caetano Veloso, Sting, Gilberto Gil entre outros nomes.

Kunumí MC com o seu hip-hop de fortes raízes conscienciosas alerta e dá voz à sua comunidade com base em valores universais e com um elevado sentido humanitário.

Texto: Cláudia Zafre
Banda: Kunamí MC

Sismo en Bucarest is a one-man project from Lima in Peru. Using intricate sound collages with different textures, the project manages...



Sismo en Bucarest is a one-man project from Lima in Peru. Using intricate sound collages with different textures, the project manages to compel the listener to embark on a cinematic trip that can be chaotic and ultimately challenging.

With varied and eclectic influences, Sismo en Bucarest gives us a new narrative in the way we perceive and understand music. Harsh electronics, intriguing samples and haunting atmosphere provide a different but captivating dancefloor for our minds and/or bodies.

- What is the story behind Sismo en Bucarest? How did it start and what inspired you? 
Not an interesting one honestly. It was just me playing with music makers online until my interest got bigger and I got a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) to actually try and make some tunes. At the time, I went into music making wanting to convey some frenzy creativity with anything I could find in my music files or internet, pushed by heavy inspiration from bands and artists like Nigel Godrich, Burial, Oneohtrix Point Never, Jlin, Bjork, Nicolas Jaar, Amon Tobin and even The Mars Volta. Eventually I would spend a lot more time into this hobby as I found that using this medium for expression made me feel pretty great, so I keep doing it to this day. 

- Sismo en Bucarest is a peculiar and intriguing name for a project. How did it come up? 
I find cities’ names to sound cool. Also when I had to come up with a name for the project I was thinking about the bands Viva Belgrado or Nueva Vulcano of which I’m not a fan but I loved how their names sounded when pronounced so I tried to come up with something with a similar flow. There’s no other meaning beyond that. 

- Your music can be considered plunderphonics, a combination and collage of sounds. It is by reconstructing that you create something new and interesting. What inspires you the most in this type of composing? 
Primarily because I don’t have the resources to record, but I don’t think that traditional music recording is completely necessary for the music I actually wanted to make so I keep this style. What I love about making sound collage is that it gives me a wide range of possibilities from a lot of sources to make unique sounding loops or to corrupt the songs in a way that it transmits the feelings I want them to transmit. 


- In Indigentes, your latest release, there is a feeling of chaos that is somewhat organized and creates expansive melodies. How was the recording of the album? Was it home recorded and how did it happen? 
Probably the only thing that I recorded was my voice for a song, but other than that this album and everything that I released was made entirely with samples from packs, Youtube or even songs that already exist. All the chaos occurs on my laptop. 

- How is life in Lima and do you have contact with other musicians that have your musical affinities? 
Life in this capital is pretty melancholic and frenetic in some way. Routines accompanied by gray skies, traffic congestion, street vendors, fear of delinquents, insecure passers-by, comfy neighbourhoods, dangerous corners, nostalgic views and sudden chunks of tranquil joy. About other musicians, I do have contact with a small growing movement of experimental musicians that leans more into drone, dark ambient or noise (genres of which I am very interested in experimenting with). 

- The samples you use are very eclectic and surprising, they add elements to your music that makes it sound new and fresh. How is the foraging for samples? 
Usually it’s pretty random at the beginning. When making a song from the scratch I start toying with some aleatory samples I already have and if I’m not satisfied I go lurking through the internet for sounds depending of what I’m in the mood to express in that particular moment. Most of the times it is anxiety or hysteria, so I have in mind stuff like riots or busy streets but I don’t exactly go looking for these specific sounds, instead I search for sounds that I can mesh together to build the feeling of a riot or a busy street through these artificial bits of audio. I also give a lot of emphasis to the drums so I look for some nice sounding percussion I can exploit. 



- For me, your music is very visual as well, because of the layers and textures of the themes. Do you feel inspired by cinema at all? 
You got it right. One of my biggest inspirations in anything ever is the work of Emmanuel Lubezki, especially in Iñárritu and Cuarón films, as they also tend to express that latin-american feeling sometimes. What I love a lot about his style is how well it achieves immersion and that’s something I try to aim for in my music. I go for the immersive experience more than the “catchiness”. Also, I get inspiration from great maximalist movies where a lot of things happen. I get quite some cool abstract ideas from stuff like Why Don’t You Play In Hell? by Sion Sono or Southland Tales by Richard Kelly as well as movies from the Safdie Bros., Harmony Korine or those that contain the anxious camerawork of César Charlone like City of God and American Made. 

- How have you been living and working in this complicated situation with the pandemia? And how has been the general situation in your country? 
I think we are the 8th country with more covid cases so yeah, we are pretty screwed. I feel like most people are not taking this seriously enough and they are just waiting for the president to say when they can go out or do certain stuff as if he controlled the virus. Personally, I’ve been doing ok, I guess. I do graphic design, so I still get something to do for money without having to go out. As for the music, I wasn’t able to continue it as much as I wanted because some good earphones I used to have suddenly stopped working and the new ones I recently bought sound notably worse to the point of not trusting them at the moment of mixing my stuff. 

- How did you choose the cover art for Indigentes? Did you make it yourself and what did you wish to convey? 
It’s an edited pic of a tapada limeña. The tapadas were women from the viceroyal Lima that covered themselves with a big blanket and just left an eye uncovered. I think they used this fashion to anonymously induce desire and fascination as well as complement their act of seduction or gossip spreading. I had this picture saved for a long time with the plans of using it for an album cover some time. I used it for Indigentes because it represented pretty well what I wanted to achieve with the album which is giving a small peak into what Lima is about, just like how much the tapadas insinuated with only showing one eye. 

- Do you have any plans or projects set to 2020 that you want to share? 
I’m actually in the process of distributing a short EP and, if things go as expected, it should be coming out at the end of the month. Also, the new album is almost complete, I just need to finish mixing some things and hopefully I can release it sometime late this year.

Text & Interview: Cláudia Zafre
Band: Sismo en Bucarest

ORPHAN DONOR – Old Patterns Abrasive and complex are two watermarks for Orphan Donor ’s latest release called Old Patterns . The sou...

ORPHAN DONOR – Old Patterns


Abrasive and complex are two watermarks for Orphan Donor’s latest release called Old Patterns. The soundwaves reverberate in our brain in a state of chaos gestation. Confusion and aggressiveness maintain a wild balance that bind us into submission during the 9 themes of Old Patterns. As intense as it can be, the melodies delve into uncharted territories of the extreme. Ferocious vocals, abrasive drums and savagely creative and aggressive guitars are the mainstay for the album. 

Orphan Donor is the solo project by Jared Stimpfl (from Secret Cutter and ex-Oktober Skyline) and its patterns may be dubbed old but hits us with a new sort of ferocity and urgency. 

It kicks off with Hamsteria and never lets us go. Screamo, emo-violence and metalcore are mashed together in a symphony of chaos and disarray. It never quiets or pacifies, and it maintains a feral energy through the whole album that clocks at about 27 minutes. 

A must for fans of extreme and unrelenting sounds that make you quiver in the presence of sonic chaos.


IN WOLVES CLOTHING – It Eats Itself


In Wolves Clothing (Virginia, USA) loudly announce their return with an 8 track LP armed with new and old schoolings from the University of Screamo in Skramzville. The band generates a sonic playfield for our own twisted and uncovered emotions, blending aggression and emotion in a way that the genre seems to do best. 

Maniacal textures and dynamics intermingle with intimate and almost contemplative riffs that do not lose their edge or energy. In 25 minutes, the band manages to distil as much primal emotion as it can. 

It is hard to pinpoint highlights, but one can elect the serpentine and wild riffing in the track Sorry about your Friend, that is as contagious as is surprising. Different textures and directions take place in furious sonic bubbles of untainted emotion. 

Pure and undiluted screamo with emo-violence tinges for the bravest and most committed students in Skramzville.


STORMLIGHT – Natoma


An exclusive Zegema Beach Records release unites musicians from such bands as Loma Prieta, Lord Snow, Elle and Lautrec. Natoma is a delicate yet intense album that is infused with a high sense of melody and catchiness without losing its integrity and character. 

We may be instantly hooked by the melody that erupts in the first song, Farsick. A dynamic and captivating song that is a brilliant start to an album that seems simple but is quite complex. 

With short but effective songs, the album guides us through landscapes of emotional wandering, looking for fulfillment, the anxiety of longing and the inherent melancholy of existence. 

Vibrant and colorful, the sonic moods in Natoma are constantly changing and bringing new textures without ever sounding dull or generic.

Text: Cláudia Zafre