Divina Sonus Ruris

The Sound of the Sacred in Rural Communities
Program of Creative Labs in Sound Art and Experimental Research for 2013

Call Open until September 30th, 2012

“We were always friends. But as happens with between family members or between friends, our relationship was getting worn out.

[…] We didn’t explain you our things. […] We didn’t have you as students, friends, and talkers. […] And we also went through dubious paths, where art and beauty, and – what is worse to us – the worship of God – weren’t always served well. Let’s remake the peace? ”

(Pope Paul VI, Speech to Artists, 10-12).

1. Creative proposal

The sacred is a central element of the rural communities of the Gralheira mountain range, São Pedro do Sul (PT). The relationship between rural daily life and sacred practices is so close and real that it is impossible to think about these communities apart from the religious themes. Despite the accelerated transformation of these rural areas, there remains a strong support by the inhabitants towards religion, not only the older but also the younger ones, which may surprise many people given the increasing secularism of contemporary societies. It is therefore useful to analyze the particular aspects of religion in these rural communities and the reasons why it continues to deserve such high levels of adherence.

Religion is clearly a major element of social cohesion in rural mountain communities, where ancient ways of living and feeling remain vivid, which are passed on from parents to children, thus ensuring a very genuine balance, anthropologically interesting, between a contemporary way of life and the permanence of a set of ancient beliefs and practices that give a sense of continuity over time (historical, familiar, personal) and reinforce the sense of belonging to a place. In particular, religion intertwines their lives (the masses, the social work, catechesis, religious heritage, the festivals that mark the seasonal cycles, celebrations of life and death, etc..) that it becomes a crucial element for the study of the rural communities of the Gralheira mountain range.

As the religious subject is very contaminated by simplistic debates and irreducible positions, it seems to us that it’s necessary to convoke free-spirited and multi-faceted visions about it. On the other hand, being the opening to the “other”, to the “unknown” one of the primary focuses of Binaural/Nodar’s, activities in order to build bridges between the world of globalized contemporary art and contexts that are not normally dealt with through a first-hand experience, we believe it’s very relevant the inclusion of this subject in the artistic research to be developed in our region.

The program of creative labs in sound art and experimental research for 2013 will precisely have as theme the rich religious phonosphere found in the rural villages of the Gralheira mountain range, within a framework of promoting an open and frank dialogue with local religious institutions and in line with the theological, liturgical and cultural changes initiated after World War II with the Second Vatican Council and more recently addressed by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI through regular dialogues with artists and composers.

2. Open Call

a) The following are the specific themes that may be the subject of artistic projects and experimental researches:

  1. Rural hagiography: Legends of local saints and miracles.
  2. Parish Stories: Memory of the local historical relationship with religion.
  3. Religion, gender and generational issues.
  4. Built Religious Heritage: Churches, chapels, sanctuaries, shrines and cemeteries.
  5. Object religious heritage: garments, crosses, litters, chalices, books, etc..
  6. Local religious musical heritage.
  7. Sacred rites: Celebrations, Masses, weddings, baptisms and funerals.
  8. Religious phonosphere in the landscape: Bell tolls, chants, processions, fireworks.
  9. The sacred in the private sphere: Prayers and rosaries, religious iconography in the rural house.
  10. Religion and the agricultural cycles.

b) In the selection process the following types of artistic works and scientific researches will be privileged:

  1. Electroacoustic / vocal / sound art compositions of religious nature that may include specific elements such as local instruments, voices or church organs and may be broadcast via the audio systems of the local churches, during masses, etc.
  2. Permanent sound sculptures for churches, chapels and other religious spaces.
  3. Radio works from elements of the local religious and anthropological history.
  4. Free improvisation and performance works for/from the local religious phonosphere.
  5. Experimental researches in anthropology, theology, history, architecture, philosophy, etc.

c) The artistic creation and experimental research labs will be developed in two phases, in April and October 2013 (each artist will develop his/her project during three weeks in only one of the mentioned periods).

d) Applications are accepted only if sent by September 30th, 2012, exclusively using the online application form:
http://www.binauralmedia.org/news/en/artist-residency/application-form

The document to attach to the application (one .zip, .pdf or .doc file) must include the following information:

  1. Proposed art project to be developed (including details on the methodology and work chronology);
  2. Artistic biography and Curriculum Vitae;
  3. Website links to past works by the artist;
  4. Technical and material needs of the project;
  5. Proposal for the time period of the artist residency.

e) For additional inquiries, please write to Manuela Barile (manuela-binauralmedia.org) or Rui Costa (rui-binauralmedia.org).

f) For additional information on the conditions of the residency, please refer to Binaural/Nodar’s website:

http://www.binauralmedia.org/news/en/artist-residency/the-residency.