Phantom Chips, Lady Vendredi and Nathaniel Mann are the first UK musicians to take part in the new international residency
The British Council and PRS Foundation have announced the inaugural Musicians in Residence, Brazil. Each artist will immerse themselves for a month in Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Cuiabá (Mato Grosso) respectively. The residencies offer an opportunity to create original work, build networks, reach new audiences and explore the different cultural influences in Brazil. The residencies will take place from December 2017 until March 2018.
The residents will collaborate with local artists, write new material and explore new creative and professional opportunities. They have each submitted plans for a creative outcome to the residency that will be further shaped by the experiences and collaborations they form while in Brazil.
Sound artist, composer and folk singer Nathaniel Mann, who will spend time in Mato Grosso, working with the indigenous Wauja people in Xingu National Park, said: “It will be an extraordinary privilege to engage with the diverse musical cultures and histories of Brazil, and specifically those of the Wauja community of Xingu, in Mato Grosso. I hope to open a musical dialogue which assists in amplifying the voices of the Wauja community, and eventually widens that dialogue to reach entirely new audiences. The works we create will explore the interconnectedness of traditional rites, music and the natural environment, exploring both Wauja and British musical traditions; all interwoven with more pressing contemporary themes of power and agency.”
- Phantom Chips (Tara Pattenden) will collaborate with Novas Frequências Festival, the main international event of experimental music and sound explorations in South America, while staying in Rio de Janeiro. Australian-born Phantom Chips makes wearable synthesizers that can be stretched and squeezed to create sound, concocting rhythms from an array of homemade electronic instruments, samplers and wearable noisemakers.
Phantom Chips’ residency is supported by Creative Scotland.
- Lady Vendredi (Nwando Ebizie) will travel to Recife and work closely with a local museum and cultural centre, Paço do Frevo, which serves the surrounding ‘barrio’ with exhibitions, local radio and performances. Nwando Ebizie is an experimental performance artist, musician, producer, DJ and dancer from Nigeria, whose work eschews boundaries but incorporates her training in classical piano, electronic music production (British Academy of New Music), circus, aerial arts (Circomedia), physical theatre, and various forms of dance.
- Nathaniel Mann is a sound artist, composer and folk singer whose past works have incorporated site specific performances, interventions and installations. Nathaniel’s electroacoustic works often incorporate multi- channel diffusion, including Ambisonics. He will stay in Mato Grosso where he will work with the Mato Grosso State Orchestra, the Instituto Homem Brasileiro (Institute for the Brazilian Man) and the Wauju Tribe – an indigenous tribe of Xingu, for whom music plays an integral part of society and culture.
The Musicians in Residence programme was launched by the British Council and PRS Foundation in September 2011, with Gareth Bonello, Imogen Heap, Jamie Woon and Matthew Bourne relocating in 2011 and early 2012 to three cities in China.
The 2014 residencies saw Oliver Coates, Sam Genders, Arun Ghosh, Anna Meredith and Sid Peacock travel to China. From January to March 2016 Mira Calix, Kerry Andrew and Bella Hardy took part. David Lyttle, Emmy the Great and Quinta are the most recent musicians to spend time in China, with Sarathy Korwar participating in the one-off Musician in Residence, UAE.
The residencies have inspired each artist differently. Imogen Heap included the track XiZi She Knows, composed during her time in Hangzhou, on her 2014 album Sparks. In 2013 Gareth Bonello released the album Y Bardd Anfarwol, combining Welsh and Chinese folk music to tell the life story of the Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai, which won Welsh Album of the Year at the 2014 National Eisteddfod, and was nominated for the 2014 Welsh Music Prize. The track “Little Wonder”, on Jamie Woon’s Mercury nominated album Making Time (2016), was inspired by his time in China on the residency.
Vanessa Reed, Chief Executive, PRS Foundation: “Based on the very positive outcomes of previous residencies we’ve supported with British Council, I’m convinced that Phantom Chips, Lady Vendredi and Nathaniel Mann will benefit enormously from this unique opportunity. I look forward to following the progress of their very different approaches to making music and to hearing about the relationship they build with local artists, communities and audiences. Congratulations on being selected for this important and popular programme.”
Cathy Graham, British Council Director Music, said: “What a fantastic trio of musicians to kick start our MIR Brazil programme. I look forward to watching these residencies develop and hearing the music that emerges. A fabulous way to understand another part of the world is through its music and Brazil offers up a wonderful variety for us to discover through our musicians in residence. From the rich and lively carnival heritage of Recife to the underground experimental scene of Rio de Janeiro to the music of the Xingu indigenous communities, there will be so much to enjoy over the next few months. In turn, each resident will take their own brand of UK music to South America so there are sure to be some fascinating collaborations.”