We are delighted to announce that Phantom Chips, Lady Vendredi and Nathaniel Mann are the three artists selected for the first Musicians in Residence, Brazil programme with PRS Foundation. They will each travel to different parts of Brazil for up to six weeks to explore creative opportunities, engage with the local community and create new music.
"A fabulous way to understand another part of the world is through its music," explains Cathy Graham, Director Music at the British Council, "and Brazil offers up a wonderful variety for us to discover through our musicians in residence. From the rich and lively carnival heritage of Recife to the underground experimental scene of Rio de Janeiro to the music of the Xingu indigenous communities, there will be so much to enjoy over the next few months. In turn, each resident will take their own brand of UK music to South America so there are sure to be some fascinating collaborations.”
These residencies follow the success of the Musicians in Residence, China programme which began life in 2011 with Gareth Bonello, Imogen Heap, Jamie Woon and Matthew Bourne.
"Based on the very positive outcomes of previous residencies we’ve supported with British Council, I’m convinced that Phantom Chips, Lady Vendredi and Nathaniel Mann will benefit enormously from this unique opportunity," says Vanessa Reed, Executive Director of PRS Foundation. "I look forward to following the progress of their very different approaches to making music and to hearing about the relationship they build with local artists, communities and audiences. Congratulations on being selected."
Meet the musicians
Phantom Chips (Tara Pattenden)
“Like an electrocuted typewriter” – Radio Free Midwich
Tara Pattenden is a performer, improviser and instrument maker based in Glasgow. As Phantom Chips she performs with an array of home-made electronic instruments, samplers and wearable noisemakers that can be stretched and squeezed to create sound. Concocting rhythms from found and recorded sounds where playfulness and improvisation are never far away, she invites the audience to wear costumes and join in with the music making themselves.
Phantom Chips (Tara Pattenden) will collaborate with Novas Frequências Festival, the main international event of experimental music and sound explorations in South America, while staying in Rio de Janeiro. Her residency is supported by Creative Scotland.
“Making new work in Rio de Janeiro and performing at Novas Frequencias is a really exciting opportunity,” she says. “I'm looking forward to creating new instruments and collaborating with locals to make a new performance influenced by the energy of the city."
Lady Vendredi (Nwando Ebizie)
“Surely one of the most compelling stage performers out there, with a rich, worldly repertoire that means whatever she does next will surely be fascinating” – Upcoming
Nwando Ebizie is an experimental performance artist, musician, producer, DJ and dancer whose work eschews boundaries but incorporates her training in classical piano, electronic music production (British Academy of New Music), circus, aerial arts (Circomedia), physical theatre and various forms of dance. As Lady Vendredi, her EP The Passion of Lady Vendredi garnered the support of names including Emanative, Tom Robinson and Floating Points.
Lady Vendredi will travel to Recife and work closely with a local museum and cultural centre, Paço do Frevo, which presents the traditional northeast rhythms, such as Frevo and Maracatu, to the surrounding barrio. Her trip will also coincide with Rio Carnaval.
“MIR Brazil fulfils a dream of mine to explore Afro-brazilian ritual music in Recife,” she says. “Working with the musicians, dancers, learning more about Frevo all whilst being immersed in Carnaval is such a perfect opportunity to gain a real understanding of the music culture. This will enrich my research into Afro-diaspora syncretic ritual music and be an invaluable learning experience. I would like to thank British Council, PRSF and Paco de Frevo for this amazing opportunity.”
“Subverting the stolid conservatism that has come to be associated with much of today's folk music and reconstructing it from the ground up” – The Quietus
Nathaniel Mann is a sound artist, composer and folk singer but perhaps best known for his work with avant-folk ensemble Dead Rat Orchestra. His past work includes installations, site specific performances and electroacoustic work and he has written for Tate, BBC Scotland and London Contemporary Orchestra. He has had works performed by Ukraine's State Camera Orchestra (Kievskaya Kamerata) and was Sound and Music’s Embedded Composer in Residence at Oxford University's Pitt Rivers Museum and Oxford Contemporary Music for just under two years. He is also co-founder of the Nepali & English Joint Traditional Music Band.
Nathaniel will stay in Mato Grosso where he will work with the Mato Grosso State Orchestra, the Instituto Homem Brasileiro (Institute for the Brazilian Man) and the Wauja Tribe – an indigenous tribe of Xingu, for whom music plays an integral part of society and culture.
“It will be an extraordinary privilege to engage with the diverse musical cultures and histories of Brazil,” he says. “I hope to open a musical dialogue which assists in amplifying the voices of the Wauja community, and eventually widens that dialogue to reach entirely new audiences. The works we create will explore the interconnectedness of traditional rites, music and the natural environment, exploring both Wauja and British musical traditions; all interwoven with more pressing contemporary themes of power and agency.”
Explore the cities
Our residents will each travel to a different location in Brazil to immerse themselves in the local music and culture.
Rio de Janeiro
Phantom Chips travels to Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city in Brazil (the largest is São Paulo) and located on the South Atlantic coast. With a population of 6.3 million, Rio is the sixth most populous municipality in the Americas. The city is known for its beautiful landscape and iconic geographic features amongst sprawling favelas and the famous annual carnival.
While staying in Rio, Phantom Chips will collaborate with Novas Frequências Festival, the main international event of experimental music and sound explorations in South America.
Lady Vendredi travels to Recife, the capital of Brazil’s northeastern state of Pernambuco with a population of 1.5 million. The city stands out for its vibrant cultural and entertainment scene as well as its historical importance, dating back to both the Portuguese and the Dutch colonization of the region.
Lady Vendredi will partner with Paço do Frevo, a local museum and cultural centre in Recife which serves the surrounding ‘barrio’ with exhibitions, local radio and performances.
Nathaniel Mann travels to Mato Grosso, meaning “thick forest”. The inland state is situated in west-central Brazil, largely covered by the Amazon rainforest, whilst the Pantanal and Cerrado ecosystems also meet within its borders. The population of the state is 3.3 million.
In Mato Grosso, Nathaniel Mann will work with Mato Grosso State Orchestra, the Instituto Homem Brasileiro (Institute for the Brazilian Man) and the indigenous Wauja people in Xingu National Park.