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1. A Schist Story


Evan Parker . conduction and saxophone
Miguel Mira . cello
João Camões . viola
Angelica Salvi . harp
Luís Vicente . trumpet
Marcelo dos Reis . acoustic guitar
Hugo Antunes and José Miguel . double bass
Miguel Carvalhais and Travassos . electronics
Luis Lopes and Gonçalo Falcão . electric guitar
João Lobo, João Pais Filipe and Gabriel Ferrandini . drums
Rodrigo Amado, João Martins and Pedro Sousa . saxophones

Recorded live in concert by João P. Miranda on 18th August 2012 at Casa da Cultura da Sertã, as final result of a full week artistic residency at Schist Villages;
Mixed and Mastered by Rafa Silver;
Artword and Design by Joana Teles Monteiro;
Comics by André Coelho / Chili com Carne;
Photos by Nuno Martins;
Executive Production JACC Records;
JACC Records 2022.

Special thanks to ADXTUR, Pedrogão Grande Municipality, Hotel da Montanha, Pedro Rocha Santos, Pedro Costa, Marcos Farrajota, Chili com Carne, all the artists involved, all the audience and at last, but not least to Srª Maria for cooking us the most delicious and lovely meals at old little school during one all week.


An artistic residency of 15 Portuguese improvisers with Evan Parker was seen by antecipation, 10 years ago, as a historic event. Time proved so: that intense week of work in a schist village, with live presentations all nights in other villages around on the mountains, influenced decisevily the participants paths since then and until this day. And it was not only because of musical matters in the practice of improvisation as a language. Following the British saxophonist’s libertarian principles, it was also an experiment concerning social interactions ruled exclusevily by the values of equality and freedom. Those are the coordinates of a much desired future alternative society and were lived by this group of individuals as an inner change, even a micro-revolution, in terms of a way of being with others and of personnal, non-egotistic, behaviour.

Parker repeated his recommendations every day: don’t put yourself in front of your partners, play only when you have something important to add, give space to the other contributed sounds, don’t force anything, let it flow. Change directions only when things are getting undefined – this isn’t about you, but about the collective. Of course, the temptation was to do otherwise. Much of improvised music, in its evolution, turned a show of technical or expressive capacities, and those contradictions often emerged. When it happened, Parker stopped everything, to begin again, and again. Be subtle, give non-invasive lines that everybody can relate to intuitevily. Don’t think to much, be attentive, listen. Listening is a priority. If you’re a horn player, or a percussionist, put yourself at the level of the less vibrant instruments, strings for instance. Watch out the volumes and the dynamics. Use only the necessary notes, not more and not less – you’re a little part of a global construction, act in correspondance, but do it with the conscience that you’re a fundamental piece of the all.

Truth is that this community of equals and free spirits in music extended that other form of societal existence to the moments when they were not playing, and this was therapeutic. In those days it seemed that they were already functioning in a new world. That was, since the beginning, the dream of improvised music: to create a communal experience that can be translated to everyday life. It was done, and this album is the memory of that achievement.

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