O rio / The river Vol.2

Within the first volume of O rio / The river, a special relevance has been given to the water as a primer element linking the coastal habitants of the Alvoco valley river. In the second volume, their long lost sonic memories and identities are recovered. This project began grounded in the testimonies of José Borges, an old river-keeper, and three habitants of the Barriosa village (Seia, Portugal), D. Leonor and her husband António Pereira, and a neighbour António Freire, who narrates the ancient habits regarding corn and rye grinding of the previously existing mills located in the village and along the shores of the river Alvoco. These testimonies, although seen as belonging to the collective memory of the Barriosa village, are common to the remaining coastal areas and act as archives of their aural identity. Nowadays the mills are barely used, and the river-keeper, who once watched over the water that made them move, no longer exists. Some mills were recovered, inspired by the will of persons dedicated to the long-standing heritage. The mills no longer functioned as they once did, but a community who drew their livelihood from them continually shares the memories associated with them. There is a complete aural identity at risk. The ‘passing’ of these sounds, once characteristic of the river and the villages growing on its shores, seem to walk hand in hand with the extinction of the professions that once encouraged them; river-keepers and millers from the Alvoco river valley. Is this ‘passing’ as permanent as the ones announced by the bells played by the calloused hands of Serafim, a habitant of Alvoco das Várzeas? (Oliveira do Hospital, Portugal). For sure these villages are not dead, but their lives are not the same as in days gone by. The mills no longer rotate and the river-keeper has long stopped protecting the crystal clear waters of the river. Is there a way for all these life experiences and intricately detailed ways of life to be saved from oblivion? The heritage of these village people must be sought after, their memories and identity, preserved; carefully listen to the whispers of the river. It is from this aural experience that one can perceive, protect and preserve the history of these villages. Death may be an unavoidable reality, in both the natural and human dimensions; sounds can vanish if nothing is done to protect them. The first step on this journey has been completed, through the collection of the sounds, preserving them for generations to come.
-Luís Antero*

Special thanks: Matilde Meireles
*revision: João Orlindo

Watch the video 'O rio' (short version) by Luís Antero e Tiago Cerveira, here

01. Memória e identidade / Memory and identity
(36:16) 178Mb DOWNLOAD

00. Artwork (ZIP) 1,59Mb DOWNLOAD
00. Complete package (Artwork + Mp3 Sound files) (ZIP) 66,2Mb DOWNLOAD
00. Complete package (Artwork + FLAC Sound files) (ZIP) 179Mb DOWNLOAD




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artwork/cover design:
©2013 Luís Antero
©2013 David Vélez
©2013 Luís Antero
©2013 Impulsive Habitat

This work is licensed under a BY-NC-SA 3.0
Creative Commons License.

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