Antonio's musical background originates from playing piano and wind instruments. Here he talks about his decision to perform with eigenharps
“Music for me was like, Love at first sight, it's my deepest passion, since a tender age. To be able to fill the silence with sound... sculpt something in the air... with the help of instruments made by man, adding volatile electricity... With all my performances and musical compositions throughout the years, what stays imprinted in me is how music can touch people at a level so deep and so beautiful”.
In January 2010, Antonio was creating the 5th show of music and dance for babies – Ti-Tó-Tis.
“I was looking for an electronic instrument combining demanding and diverse capabilities; something small, lightweight, attractive, expressive, that had breath control. I bought the Eigenharp Pico and was dazzled by the range of features, looks and playability. I was already dreaming of the possibilities that it offered right out of the box, be it the physical form or the accompanying software (EigenD). Together they form the ultimate expressive, electronic instrument. There's nothing around like it... period!”
After two intense weeks, between finishing the musical composition and rehearsals, Antonio went straight to performing live with the pico and was soon tempted by bigger things!
“The idea of playing with an instrument like the Eigenharp Tau ( the Alpha was really millions of miles away back then) was overwhelming. I had to eventually 'fight' for it, as there are times that a real big change must happen. Breaking away from years of keyboards technique and the Boehm-system fingering was easier to say then do but In the end, with some sacrifices and family support, I decided to go all the way for an Eigenharp alpha.
It arrived while I was touring Ti-Tó-Tis around Portugal and preparing to go abroad. What a feast for all the senses. I remember twittering about it and saying …simply beautiful - astonishing sleek!
The craftsmanship, quality materials and not forgetting the keys, and more keys, everything combined... what better description than, the most expressive instrument ever made! Am I exaggerating? - hardly. One has to see and listen to believe and understand.
Like the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa said: 'Primeiro estranha-se, depois entranha-se' - First you find it strange, then you reach deep inside -”
We asked Antonio about his 'In Castelo' performance featured here on the video clip.
“I compose music and take care of sound design for most of the dance shows from DançArte and we were in the two final shows of the cycle 'In/Out' focusing on local architecture and their surroundings. The 'In' part in August, outdoors and the 'Out' part inside a traditional theatre.
Planning ten months ahead, August 2011 would bring us to Palmela´s medieval Castle built c1150, to get inspired by and ultimately create “In Castelo”. Again the choice of performing with the Alpha suited me perfectly. It is visually stunning, so I was able to connect with the audience through the lights, using the "Arranger" and was free to interact with the surroundings, the dancers and their choreography. I have a very high degree of control over each sound/sample/AU or iVST and effects used, right from the instrument, so I don't need to look at the computer screen while performing”.
Finally, we asked Antonio what he has planned next:
“No secrets here to reveal, only hard work, hopefully a comeback to solo performances with the Alpha and the ongoing commitment to the public of all ages, with original musical pieces for dance shows. January 2012 will see the start of a new show for babies on tour to many more cities, with a Pico in my backpack.
May will bring back all scents, memories and feelings left behind from 'In Castelo' and we will construct a new show inside the theatre, of course with the Alpha leading the way.
I would like to finish by saying, I'm in no way related to Eigenlabs, only in the passion that making music and performing with these expressive instruments is simply out of this world".