Black Truffle is pleased to present Realejo, the first vinyl release from Brazilian sound artist and composer Manuel Pessoa de Lima. Having composed works for diverse contexts including cinema, contemporary dance, theatre and television, Lima’s live appearances often take the form of self-reflexive lecture performances that combine electro-acoustic sound, red light, video and spoken text, moving unpredictably from the hilarious to the distressing.
Realejo consists of two side-long pieces of highly idiosyncratic electro-acoustic collage, beginning with recordings Lima made of himself playing the organ in the Schloss Solitude Chapel in Stuttgart. Exploring the peculiarities of the instrument’s mechanics, Lima made hours of recordings with the organ stops half-way open, moving from haunting gliding tones to oddly tuned fair-ground melodies reminiscent of the record’s namesake realejo, a hand-cranked organ traditionally found in Brazil as the musical accompaniment to the work of fortune-telling parrots.
To these organ sounds, Lima added recordings of a security guard made in São Paulo: ‘Just before coming to Stuttgart, I started making field recordings of a security guard in São Paulo. It's something pretty common in residential areas: they sit in a chair with a whistle, and use that to signal when people arrive, leave or pass by in the street. This particular security guard, Miguel Viana, works on the same street my parents live, and where I had my childhood, and he has worked there since I was a small child. He has watched the street at night, from 8PM to 6AM, every single day, except Sundays, for over 30 years’.
The poignant sounds of the security guard’s whistles punctuate Lima’s electro-acoustic environment, which also includes raw digital synthesis, recordings of his friends’ infant child, audio lifted from Youtube, and, on the LP’s second side, elements taken from an earlier work, ‘36 English to Portuguese Lessons’. Finely chiselled from dozens of hours of source material into a detail-rich, mercurial structure, Realejo is alternately jarring and seductive, introducing listeners to a young composer with a powerfully individual voice.
Manuel Lima is a composer-performer from Brazil. His diverse work includes lecture-performances, sound and light installations and endurance performance pieces (‘The Cube’ - a ten-day work living inside a self-built structure with a piano). He also works in cross-disciplinary platforms such as theater, dance, and video. Manuel has recently appeared at Ilan Volkov’s Athen’s version of Tectonics.
In 2017, Manuel has developed the work ‘36 lessons’. Every day from March 1 to April 5, Lima followed the randomly generated instructions dictated to him from a Python script to create sound collages from a mixture of analogue synthesizer, cassette recorder, and found audio from YouTube videos. Each collage also incorporates an English to Portuguese translation, configuring them as ‘lessons’ inviting new meaning alongside the soundscape. His current performances develop this process where simple translations evolve within sound collages.
Manuel holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the California Institute of the Arts.