Tokafi: Interview with Luís Antero

Tokafi has published a great interview with composer and recordist Luís Antero.

Globalism is often an illusion, with most of the traveling done on laptops. Within the field recording scene, on the other hand, there is a definite trend towards distant places – street scenes from Mumbai, ice-plate tectonics on Antarctica, tempel gardens in Beijing. Within this community, the work of Luís Antero must seem extraordinary in its territorial restraint. For the past three years, Antero has roamed and recorded nothing but the Beira Serra – an area he was born in and which has remained his home for his entire life. Within this remarkably restricted territory, however, he has found inspiration in the most diverse corners and objects: Water mills and villages, the stories of the elders and the chant of children, a stream of memories running through a land torn between tradition and modernity. He has documented this astounding richness on a quickly proliferating amount of releases – twenty-one in total since 2008 and counting – and the reason why his oeuvre has lost none of its allure is precisely that the artist is not an intruder – or, as Schrödinger would have put it, a distraction to the experiment – but a natural part of the environment here: Antero intimately knows almost all of the people and places he is taping and has their full support in preserving their stories for posterity. The latter is turning more and more into a guiding theme of his documentary work, as the notion of oral tradition and folklore, as defining the relationship between a region and its inhabitants, is turning into the pivotal point of a work dealing exclusively with „pure field recordings“. Fascinatingly, this most local music imaginable has exercised a remarkably international pull: Today, pieces like his Watermill EP or the six episodes of his sound narratives – hypnotic and threedimensional radio plays all – are released on labels from China to Ireland. That, of course, is another aspect of globalism: It makes the most local phenomena seem as though they were right around the corner.

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