Jardim de Verão
From 23 June to 20 July, open air concerts, films, staged readings, conversations and family focused activities, among other initiatives, are some the proposals for this second edition of Jardim de Verão.
Jane Birkin (singing Serge Gainsbourg), Roberta Sá, Mayra Andrade and Bonga are some of the artists highlighting the Jardim de Verão program for this year. Following the success of the first edition that in 2016 commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, a great diversity of initiatives shall again fill up the Garden and other Foundation venues for almost a month, with the programming stepped up for weekends. Concerts, films, conferences, exhibitions and guided tours, staged readings, conversations, workshops and other activities for families complete this program that manages to reflect the multifaceted interventions of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, not only in the field of the arts but also in science and in the community projects supported and promoted.
To kick off Jardim de Verão, we welcome one of the greatest talents of new Brazilian music: Roberta Sá. Frequently compared with Marisa Monte, she identifies her influences as figures such as Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Elis Regina and Chico Buarque. She returns to Portugal on 24 June for yet another of her captivating performances in the open air Amphitheatre. In her repertoire, she brings themes from the last album, Delírio, which also involved the participation of António Zambujo. The concert by Roberta Sá thus inaugurates this Jardim de Verão with a cycle of the great names in Portuguese language music, such as the Cape Verdean Mayra Andrade (25 June) and her tropical pop, the legendary Bonga (30 June) and his love of semba, a symbol of the Angolan identity and a clear precursor of kizomba, and as well as the Guinean Eneida Marta (15 July), who merges gumbé with jazz, to animate the evenings in the Gulbenkian Garden.
Making its premiere in Portugal, there is the performance by Birkin: Gainsbourg Symphonic (14 July), in which Jane Birkin adopts symphonic versions to revisit the classic songs of her former partner Serge Gainsbourg, who passed away in 1991. The repertoire for this concert features two dozen of songs including La Javanaise, Jane B, Babe Alone in Babylon, La Chanson de Prévert, Requiem pour un con, Initiales BB, My Lady Heroine and Lost Song, that the British artist is to perform in the company of the Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Nakajima and the Gulbenkian Orchestra, conducted by Jan Wierzba.
Another classic is the choice of the Gulbenkian Choir (1 July, 21:00) with a concert dedicated to Gershwin. In this program, the Choir, under the conducting of Paulo Lourenço, performs works from the opera Porgy & Bess, in the company of a jazz quartet made up of Francisco Sassetti on the piano, Esther Georgie on clarinet, Miguel Menezes on the double bass and Duarte Santos on percussion. However, prior to Gershwin, there are songs by Fernando Lopes-Graça and the voices of the Cantat Lisbon Chamber Choir (1 July, 18:00) and traditional songs from Armenia sung a cappella by the Zulal Trio (1 July, 19:00).
Sonorities of the Middle East
The Armenian cultural legacy, in memory of Calouste Gulbenkian, plays its own role in Jardim de Verão in various concerts and workshops as well as on the big screen with the showing of the documentary My Grandfather’s Music that explores the still surviving oral histories of masters of the oud, a traditional fig-shaped instrument that produces a sound different to any other stringed instrument and about which little is known in the West.
With its roots in Armenian music, but also drawing on Turkish, Rumanian and Macedonian style, The Secret Trio (7 July) brings to the Gulbenkian Garden; the microtonal modes of the Middle East, the dance beats of the Balkans and the improvisations and influences of jazz, rock and classical music. The intentional exclusion of any percussion enables the members of this trio to create the illusion of a lead rhythm section, inventing ways of percussively playing their musical instruments that are fundamentally melodic.
Percussion is certainly not missing from the Cairo Jazz Station project that brings together four young musicians from Egypt, Turkey, Portugal and Italy in search of a new and shared musical identity. Inspired by the oral and improvised musical traditions of Europe and the Middle East, mixing timbres and horizons to bring sonorous universes together. The music of the Cairo Jazz Station project draws upon the voyages of each one of its members, their artistic residencies and unprecedented encounters. They are playing in the Open Air Amphitheatre, on 29 June, and engage in an informal conversation on the following day in one of the Speaker’s Corner sessions that are going to enliven the afternoons in the Jardim de Verão in the shade of the trees.
While discrete, the Gulbenkian Foundation support for Portuguese cineastes has been attentive and regular. Demonstrating this, the Jardim de Verão includes a sample of films, especially from the last decade, that have counted upon this support and opening with Twenty-One-Twelve (2013), which Marco Martins created in collaboration with the artist Michelangelo Pistoletto in order to reflect on the recession and the transformative role of art in society. In June and July, we may also watch recent short and medium length works by Pedro Peralta, Tomás Baltazar, Filipa César, João Viana, Patrick Mendes, Gabriel Abrantes and Ben Rivers, Sérgio da Costa and Maya Koza, João Nisa and Susana Nobre. Various sessions draw upon the presence of the directors to stage a conversation.
One of the showings provides the opportunity to revisit two films by João Pedro Rodrigues: Esta é a minha casa (1997) and Viagem à Expo (1998). Another highlight is the short film by Leonor Teles that won a Golden Bear at the Berlin Festival, Balada de um Batráquio, and the films Altas Cidades de Ossadas, by João Salaviza, and Tudo o que Imagino, by Leonor Noivo, who also directed Cidade in conjunction with Pedro Pinho, Filipa Reis and João Miller Guerra, a film about the diversity and complexity of the population in the Greater Lisbon region. The directors and producers Filipa Reis and João Miller Guerra will also be making an appearance at Speaker’s Corner for a conversation around the theme “Art and Community”.
A Garden with many voices
Speaker’s Corner will also be talking science. With the researcher Moisés Mallo, we may get to know the latest about the genome modification techniques for living organisms that are revolutionising the genetic world, in the conversation “Genetic therapy: an ever closer reality?”, and, with the scientist Paula Duque, we get to understand better why the study of plants is every bit as important as research into human diseases.
Families with children may also participate in the workshop “To Grow or Not to Grow… That is the question!”, which takes place in the Wood under the supervision of the scientists Ana Confraria and Vera Nunes. In this activity, participants get to discover Arabidopsis thaliana, a plant widely used as a model for scientific research and find out all about how it grows.
Experimenting with alternative forms of recognition, organising and endowing meaning on short trajectories within the garden is the proposal of MEF – Expressive Photographic Movement in the activity “Images of Feeling”, also for families. The objective involves participants letting themselves be led by touch, by description, by sound, giving free rein to their creativity and emotions in order to capture mental images that may serve for contemplation at a later time.
Sounds in silence
At the beginning of July, a different kind of staged reading invites everybody into the Gulbenkian Garden glade to hear the words of Álvaro de Campos and Walt Whitman. The young finalists from the first edition of Giving Voice to Words – Maria Casquinha, Carolina Mourato, Rita Sousa, Matilde Anjos, João Teixeira and Pedro Freitas – are to read texts from Ode Triunfal and I sing the body electric, staged by Carlos Pimenta. Young voices and a complete commitment to words in the silence of the woody glade, stating at 16:00 and with free entrance.
The Jardim de Verão program continues throughout the month of July through to Calouste Gulbenkian Day, 20th, when Gisela João performs the closing concert.
See full programme