Music is not just another art. It's language, it´s energy and it touches people's hearts. So deeply that it ends up being “heard” even in the silence of people who don't know what a chord, a beat or a voice sounds like. You can´t hear it, but you can feel it. “I never thought I would feel this when I played, it's like an earthquake”, explains the artist Romana Valéria, gesturing expressively in the Portuguese sign language in which she communicates.
This is what the documentary published here shows us in part and, since 2019, the Tremor Festival. The stage was set from April 05 to 09 this year and the magic of the music proliferated throughout the island of São Miguel in the Azores. In addition to the numerous concerts, the programme included a cycle of artistic creation residencies. One of these spectacles involved the group Ondamarela, featuring guest musicians, the São José Choir and the São Miguel Island Deaf Association (ASISM) thrilling the audience at the School Church, a very different venue to those used in previous editions. More “silent”, or in other words, with less fun and excitement, it posed added challenges for the deaf participants performing alongside the São José Choir group. The sounds of the hearing blended in with those of the deaf, thereby creating an enriching experience for everyone and which the public adored.
SOCIAL INCLUSION PROJECT
Tremor, created in 2014, has proven to be far more than a mere festival. Ondamarela has been a part of it for four years, an artistic group that, in partnership with the Rabo de Peixe School of Music and ASISM, developed a pioneering social inclusion project designed to explore the relationship of the deaf with sound and space. The initiative also aims to raise awareness of the social problem of deafness, in addition to demystifying the world of these people that live surrounded by silence, but who are able to visualise and feel music just as well as those with sound hearing. An extraordinary project that the Galp Foundation has joined and has been promoting for the third consecutive year, not least due to the fact, says Sandra Aparício, head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Galp, that it shows we can “use our talent and dedication to empower both ourselves and the community and to generate a transformative effect”.
Tremor bade farewell with a date scheduled for 2023 (March 28 to April 01) on the usual Azorean island, but Ondamarela will cross the Atlantic on June 25. The meeting with other audiences will be held on a Galp stage at the Rock in Rio Festival in Lisbon, and promises to amaze and thrill Parque da Bela Vista.
Meanwhile, watch the documentary with backstage footage of the group´s participation at the Tremor 2022 Festival and travel to the world of São Miguel´s deaf community and their relationship with the music promoted by the artistic group, against a backdrop of the stories, experiences and feelings of their participants and promoters.