Alfredo Costa Monteiro

 / A Halo of Light Surrounded by Darkness – nocturnal concert – Kinoteatr –  19.20  00:00 /

/ Fragments of an Unfinished Tale (A Cinematic Story)  – Kinoteart 19-20.08 12:00 /



When I was invited to perform at Sanatorum Dźwięku, I immediately thought that, due to the nature of the place, a different format of concert could be worth to try, not only in terms of configuration, but also in terms of duration.
In fact, it seemed to me that a way to really occupy such a space would need a stretching of time, in order to achieve a better sonic presence. As the number eight has always been quite important in my work, it appeared to me that a whole night spent playing for an audience which perception would certainly be affected by length, somnolence or tiredness, exactly as mine, could be a fantastic experience to share.
Most of all, this performance doesn’t pretend to test any perceptual limit nor to be an exploit of any kind, but just to offer the possibility to endure how our physical state can affect our sensing and understanding; or how to be receptive to sound when our consciousness finds itself immersed in such a particular situation.

Barcelona, May 2017


Fragments of an Unfinished Tale (A Cinematic Story)   / Kinoteart – Saturday 19.08 12:00, Sunday 20.08 12:00  /

It starts with a jump. A man jumps from a moving train. This man is Zbigniew Cybulski, one of the fetish actors of the Polish New Wave. The film is Jump (Salto) by Tadeusz Konwicki.
The piece begins as a journey, but also as a tribute not only to Cybulski (who, ironically, was going to die a few years later by jumping from a train), but also to the Polish, Czech or Slovak New Waves, to a whole section of eastern european cinema pushed into the background or practically forgotten. A culturally different cinema, not only in its contents but also in its intentions.
Forgotten perhaps for political reasons, or simply because it risked to do much harm to the authors of our Western World, who seemed to carry the highest spiritual and visual values of cinema. A question of geography? Culturocentrism? Problems of circulation due to the Iron Curtain ?
But how strange it is to think that even today, most of these films and authors are almost completely unknown, or maybe known just by a bunch of connoisseurs…An unfair situation, especially when we know how much many of our western filmmakers owe to the early soviet autheurs, just to take an obvious example.
By discovering some of these wonders, we realize how much our cinematic knowledge was limited to a geographical zone, to some ways of doing things that, nevertheless, seemed to have reached the highest degree of what could be expressed on a screen.
Recovering these films, some of which are incontestable masterpieces, plunges us into other models, other ways of doing things where what seemed to be an exception here became the norm there, where formal innovations and concepts of an extraordinary richness and beauty get along with political stakes and brilliant visual experiments.
All in all, another dimension that pushes further the desire for cinema, the desire in cinema. And it is this desire that carries this work.
It is a different cinematic story that I propose; that, less obvious, built thanks to authors who won’t have had the visibility and recognition they deserved.
The sound fragments were used such as they are, without modifications or electronic manipulations, almost always by maintaining the actual durations of each scene from which they were extracted. They have often been chosen for their use and role in a key scene, or because they work in resonance with what was being composed, or simply because what is heard makes sense.
My interventions were stimulated from a given impulse, and most of the time took place in the background, almost never on a foreground. It was not for me to become a protagonist as a composer and a musician, but simply to help these fragments coexist, as if the soundtrack of a new film was being created.
The last fragment is taken from Pociag (Night Train) by Jerzy Kawalerowicz, where the same Cybulski, six years younger, gets on a train. Time seems to have gone backwards, and the loop is thus closed… but not completely closed, because the sound of a train also refers to the departure for a new journey.

Barcelona, February 2017



Alfredo Costa Monteiro is a sound artist, improviser and composer born in Portugal in 1964. He’s lived and worked in Barcelona since 1992, the year he obtained a diploma in sculpture / multimedia at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris with Christian Boltanski.

Since then, his work stands somewhere between sound, visual arts and visual/sound poetry. His installations and sound pieces, all of a low-fi character, have in common an interest for unstable processes, raw materials and conceptual restrictions, where the manipulation of objects as instruments or instruments as objects has a strong phenomenological aspect.

Accustomed to work in the extremes of sound, ranging from acoustic solos for paper, to concerts where the volume acquires a literally physical presence, he has been working since 2001 in various projects of improvised and experimental music, using each time a different instrumentation such as accordion, turntable, prepared guitar, various electro-acoustic devices or resonant objects, in order to give these projects multiple identities and directions.

In sound poetry, his work focuses on the musicality of language and its phonetic content, always trying to maintain a balance with semantics. His poems are generally noisy and polyglot (mainly Spanish, Portuguese and French) and use combinatorial systems based on common sounds to these languages, to create multiple meanings that often lead to confusion and defy understanding.

He has given workshops at Hangar (Barcelona, Spain), ESDI (Barcelona, Spain), Janácek Academy of Music and Performing Arts (Brno, Czech Republic), Arteleku (San Sebastián, Spain), Facultad de Bellas Artes, (Pontevedra, Spain), Trashvortex (Paris), ESAD (Caldas da Rainha, Portugal), Crossroads during John Cage’s Year, (Lublin, Poland), ENSEMS (Valencia), EUFÒNIC (Valencia) among many others.

He has collaborated with many musicians, filmmakers, choreographers and video artists, and showed his work throughout Europe, Canada, the USA and Japan.

He has an extensive discography on labels such as Antifrost, Rossbin, Absurd, Etude Records, Monotype, Another Timbre, Creative Sources, Potlatch, Cathnor, Confront recordings, among many others, in solo and in different formations.