“Uma Campanologia de Viseu” (“A Viseu Campanology”) is a sound composition by Binaural/Nodar’s Luís Costa performed exclusively by bells of seven churches and chapels from the city of Viseu, Portugal that were activated by dozens of 12 to 15 years old volunteers who followed a visual based score with instructions related both to the Portuguese bell ringing tradition and to the sound perception of the city itself, creating a specific and unrepeatable phonosphere of one of the iconic cities in the religious history of Portugal. Two routes were proposed to the audience to be followed simultaneously along with the interpretation of the work, both culminating in Largo da Sé, the main cathedral square.
“A Viseu Campanology” was drawn from various sources and influences that contributed to a narrative that acted on the emotional activation of the work, which tried to escape the condition of a purely sonic event: First, the symbolic and liberating aspect of youths to access bell towers, considered hard to reach places, but also the narrative connection to the theological significance of Matthew, a saint who’s name is associated with the longstanding fair city of Viseu. The Matthew of the Gospel that condemns ostentation in the practice of three fundamental Jewish virtues: almsgiving, fasting and prayer, an absolutely contemporary idea, in times where solidarity is becoming an instrument for social promotion and legitimization.
“A Viseu Campanology” invited the public to follow a listening guide to enable concentration, meditation and intensity in the reception of a work that unequivocally assumed its condition of sacred contemporary art, thus imbued of an evangelising spirit in parallel with its purely aesthetic aspects.
To listen to the sound piece, edited from to parallel field recordings made in Viseu historic center:
Title: “Uma Campanologia de Viseu” (“A Viseu Campanology”)
Author: Luís Costa
Co-production: Binaural/Nodar and Viriato Theatre
Artistic collaboration: Rui Costa
Field recordings: Luís Costa and Nely Ferreira
Collaboration: youths from Saint Anthony’s House, Viseu
Partnerships: Cultural Heritage Department at the Diocese of Viseu, Chapter of Viseu Cathedral, Third Order of St. Francis, Saint Anthony’s House
Public presentation: 31 May 2014 at 8.30 pm
Locations: seven church towers in Viseu historic centre.
Duration: 55.57 minutes