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New European Bauhaus
11 April 18:45 - Park Stage- Performance

Threads (PT)

Threads -polyphonic singing while working on wool


THREADS is a performative installation exploring the intersection of Portuguese canto a vozes (traditional female polyphonic singing) and wool work, emphasizing their connection to womanhood throughout history, and the need of searching for decentralized, local-level alternatives to the current textile industrial paradigm.

Below the surface of artifacts we find a plurality of intricate crafts. Behind a woolen textile there is a weaver, a spinner, a herder and a sheep. A line – from source to wearer – is traced through its making. Many such crafts were shadowed by their encompassing term “women’s work”, rendering the history of wool work an expression of the history of womanhood and its place in society. In these dying crafts we observe a way of seeing and engaging with the world - animals, people, land, legacy. One that is communal, rather than extractive, and can inspire us to shape the paths we walk.

“What do walking, weaving, observing, singing, storytelling, drawing and writing all have in common? They all proceed along lines”. In Portuguese history, the line of textiles is intersected by another line - music. The universe of wool work is aplenty with melody, rhythm and lyric.

In the home, singing would lighten the burden of domestic work by bending the feeling of time; out in the fields, and at the hour of most physical strain, singing together would act as catalyst of collective effort.

Polyphonic singing in particular, where voices travel beyond mountains, finds a placement of the voice that feels to the singer like a release. In the lyrics of these songs, we find honest insight into the lives of women, one that is hard to come by.

THREADS breathes life into this fertile intersection as an archaeological exercise, where tools and gestures of times past are inhabited and embodied. A celebration of sorority, communal practices and grounded living where everyone is welcome to wander through the space and experience/interact with the performance from multiple perspectives. 

See Youtube video