Project Description

Rui Costa
Early Works 1998-2003
Chapter 2 : Early Field Recordings 2001-2003
Edições Nodar, nodar 007
Rui Costa’s biography available here

The artistic practice of Rui Costa, although it does not strictly fit the aesthetics of “field recordings”, which is centered on an inquiry of the subject’s relation to the surrounding acoustic space, often incorporates elements of recorded sound in various human and natural environments as part of the field work for projects that use sound in a decontextualized way from its original source. This collection contains field recordings made by Rui Costa between 2001 and 2003 for a number of performative and exhibition projects, either individually or in collaboration with other artists .

“Nodar: Matança/Matanza”, Dec. 2001

This project consists of a performance/installation premiered at the Musica Ex Machina 2002 Festival in Bilbao, Spain. It was based on an annual event (the traditional pig slaughter taking place in a village) and the space where it occurs (the inner courtyard of a rural house) and reflects on the ancestral circular conception of time that exists in the rural world, which depends on the seasons and agricultural cycles, and on the social dynamics associated with cyclic rituals. This project incorporates fragments of sound recordings made by Rui Costa during a pig slaughter in the village of Nodar (São Pedro do Sul, Portugal) in December 2001.

“hhhhhhhh (8 aitches: mute phoneme)”, Nov. 2002

This project was a multi-channel sound installation by Rui Costa and Iñaki Ríos in November 2002 at the Ler Devagar bookstore in Lisbon (Portugal), made from silences (understood as the sound of empty spaces); the residual sound, the sound whose source cannot be identified, and the muffled and almost imperceptible sound. By transposing the silences to a different space and time, they sought to question the very notion of silence. The recordings included in this collection were made by Rui Costa in several empty spaces in Lisbon, Portugal.

“Embalse de Guijo de Ávila”, Aug. 2003

On August 2003, Rui Costa organized a field recordings workshop during a summer camp on the banks of a dam in the province of Ávila in Spain. The piece included in this compilation is a recording that sought to capture the features that characterize the space, but which are not normally audible in a conscious way. To achieve that, a place and time where background sound prevailed was chosen.

“Sound Walk during “Coimbra Vibra!””, Oct. 2003

The event “Coimbra Vibra!”, coordinated by R. Murray Schafer, consisted of a soundscape of ambient sounds, musical performances and sound sculptures taking place throughout the city of Coimbra (Portugal) during the World Music Day of 2003. For this event, various sound artists were invited, including Rui Costa and Paulo Raposo, to work on this unrepeatable soundscape. Rui Costa walked around the city’s downtown with a pair of binaural microphones searching for a perspective that not only included the spaces where the musical and sonic actions were happening but also the surrounding spaces, creating a tension between the “inside” and the “outside” of this event.