Pontogor & Luísa Nóbrega#1

The performance “NÃO FAÇO IDEIA DE QUANTOS DEDOS TENHO” happened on the 23rd of March 2016 and had the participation of Pontogor and Luísa Nóbrega. The event happened at the Oficina Cultural Oswald de Andrade and was part of an exhibit/curatorial endeavour called “Criatura” that Pontogor created with Janaína Wagner.


Fig. 1 – performance poster

The performance was planned to last three hours. To document this work, we opted to use the binaural recording technique with portable recorders. In this case,  each performer would have a pair of binaural microphones. Discussing this with Pontogor, I realised that he was interested in exploring the possibility of having an audio documentation that would allow listeners to explore different ‘listening points’  and ‘bodies’ of the performance. In the end, we had a technical problem with one of the recorders and we ended having only available to us the track recorded by Luísa Nóbrega.

In the day of the performance, I meet up with Pontogor a few hours before the the work started. I give him the recording equipment and we try out the setup. At the venue, there are already two pianos spread out through the space and a record player. I talk to him about this setup and his reasoing regarding his strategies in organising a performance space, that tries to get away with the traditional separation between audience and performers. Pontogor is interested in breaking with this division, allowing the audience to experience his work in different forms. What follows is a report and documentation of this performance.


I enter the room, and I am immediately struck by the way bodies are spread in relation to the pianos. I remember Pontogor discussing the necessity of establishing a different relationship with the act of playing piano. 



Clearly, they are less interested in exploring conventional musical forms and are far more invested in the performative and ritualistic effects of ‘hitting’ the piano in a particular way; in the possibility of construting sonorities and textures that will echo through the performance venue. This is amplified by Luísa’s voice  — that in some moments directs her vocal production towards the piano strings — as if Luísa’s body wanted to blend with the wood of the baby grand. 



Fig. 3 – “NÃO FAÇO IDEIA DE QUANTOS DEDOS TENHO”. Image by Janaína Wagner

These elements and layout of bodies opens in me an observation of looking/listening to a sculpture; a dimension that is strengthen by a minimal vocabulary of gestures that are used in each moment of the performance. 

Fig. 4 – short video of “NÃO FAÇO IDEIA DE QUANTOS DEDOS TENHO”. vídeo de Pontogor (2’32”)

During these exploratory moments  — the above set of gestures — would be repeated through long periods of time until they ended in some form of sinchrony. After a while, they would repeate the same process.

Fig. 5 – audio excerpt of “NÃO FAÇO IDEIA DE QUANTOS DEDOS TENHO”. Binaural recording by Luísa Nóbrega (28’19”)