© Mar Merino & Chez Raton

ZA! / EDUARD POU and PAU RODRÍGUEZ – Impossible Work Songs

Teatro das Figuras, Faro / Sat 20 NOV 21h00

FREE ADMISSION upon prior reservation
Performance tour / 60' - 90' / M6
40% Music / 30% Walking / 30% Fun

The transformations that have taken place over the last 60 years in the Algarve and in Costa Brava, or in Barcelona, where ZA! come from, have at least one thing in common: the economic activity has become so centered on tourism and hospitality services that the natural environment suffered a sustainability crisis with overexploitation of resources.

This radical transformation is one of the central themes of this project by Eduard Pou and Pau Rodríguez (ZA!). In Cantos de Trabalho Impossíveis (Impossible Work Songs), the Catalan duo proposes a musical performance-tour that updates the repertoire of Algarve traditional work songs centered on agriculture and fishing, adapting them for today’s occupations.

From the traditional songs’ structures, usually rhythm-based and sung a cappella during physical and repetitive tasks – either to synchronize the movements, to fight boredom, lift the morale or simply to feel the company of others –, ZA! risk to create new melodies and rhythms to match – in a parallel dimension – new workplaces, new movements, new occupations and social realities. The result is an ethno-musicological piece made of experimentation, humor and folk culture, elements that have been present in many facets of the Catalan duo’s works.

If, in their latest work, ZA! & la TransMegaCobla created an imaginary retro-futuristic traditional Mediterranean music repertoire to reclaim the Mediterranean as a cluster and a meeting point, rather than a (political / cultural / economic) border, now they launch themselves into the creation of these new retro-futuristic work songs. In this process, ZA! used a variety of methods: they researched the experiences of contemporary workers and explored their connections with music, their everyday movements, and their imagination; they analyzed both structure and function. After having worked with the Rancho Folclórico de Ramalde, with the fishermen’s union and the music school of Rabo de Peixe (Azores), or with folk bands from Lagos, Faro and São Miguel, now, as part of their residency at Verão Azul, they include local singers and improvisers in the show, that are now part of these new Cantos de Trabalho Impossíveis (Impossible Work Songs).

In Faro, they are now presented in a performance-tour that invites the public to walk through different places around and inside Teatro das Figuras, in a sort of guided visit to our contemporary workplaces, approaching our past with humor and confronting it with our current daily life

Concept: ZA!
Performance: ZA! and local performers with special participation by Grupo Folclórico de Faro and Nuno Murta, Edgar Valente, Filipe Valentim, Diana Livre, Kush Lescrooge e Ricardo Lopes
Commissioned by: Festival Verão Azul
Co-Production: Teatro das Figuras
Support: Acción Cultural Española (AC/E): Programa para a Internacionalização da Cultura Espanhola (PICE) / Mobilidade

Eduard Pou is a musician, journalist and screenwriter. Pau Rodríguez is a psychologist, psychotherapist and musician. Together they are ZA!, a Catalan duo doing experimental and community music, musical education and underground activism since 2004. They have performed in more than 700 shows on all continents, either as a duo or in collaboration with artists from multiple areas. Pou & Rodríguez are the founders of the improvisation collective El Caballo Ganador and teach improvisation for children and amateur and professionals performers.

ZA! have been self-releasing their music through Gandula, a community of independent European bands under the Do-It-Together spirit. They received the Premi Ciutat de Barcelona – Music in 2015, for their educational work and DIY spirit, and the Premi Ciutat de Barcelona – Dance, in 2016, for their multidisciplinary show Afasians, with LosCorderos-sc.