Art & Birds
"I was impressed with MiratecArts’ initiative in developing interactions with various age levels, from the lowest ages, in the school context, to seniors who attended the workshop Initiation to Scientific Illustration," said illustrator and biologist João T. Tavares, Gobius Company. "Throughout the island, the cultural and artistic manifestations led by MiratecArts are present and visible to those who visit. There is no doubt that this is a different Pico than the one I visited 13 years ago; it is now more dynamic and livelier, more open to artistic expression, and the association contributes to it. I hope we can develop new activities that bring appreciation of the natural heritage of Pico and the islands through this great event," Tavares added.
Thus ended the first edition of the Azores Birdwatching Arts Festival. Among the many artistic activities held during the week-long festival was the exhibition BIRDS by Pedro Silva, the film “The Ornithologist” by João Pedro Rodrigues and the book “Birds in the Azores” with co-author Nuno Fonseca. Presentations with MiratecArt’s artistic director Terry Costa showcased new ideas from various parts of the world, and projects from the association’s partners were presented, including a range of more adventurous activities such as trails, expeditions and field trips. Raising the bar for birdwatching through the arts was an objective achieved, and one that will continue to be developed in future editions of the festival.
It is not every day that one sees a rare bird like Socó-mirim (Butorides virescens), here photographed by Nuno Gonçalves, an avid birdwatcher, photographer and artist already invited to participate in the 2018 festival.
Azores on the map from Poland to the Canaries
WOMEX is the largest and most important music fair in the world. The 2017 edition took place in Katowice, Poland and MiratecArts participated, spreading the name of the Azores, the island of Pico, Madalena and Cordas World Music Festival to thousands of music and festival representatives from around the world. Through the conference, participation in workshops and concerts, more than 3,000 people from 90 countries interacted in the central city of Europe.
Terry Costa, of MiratecArts, took the chance not only to promote Cordas but also to give interviews with media from several countries, who showed interest in promoting the projects and opportunities that MiratecArts provides in the middle of the Atlantic. He was also on hand to announce a new promotional tool for Azorean musicians, the CD "Hoje Açores Today", a project that will compile music being produced in the archipelago of the Azores. Plans for its launch and presentation worldwide to producers, presenters and artistic directors of music seasons and festivals is already in the works, including next year in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where the next edition of WOMEX will take place. Azorean musicians can participate in the project through the platform www.discoverazores.eu
Annual musical events with local string group
Ilha Negra String Group (Grupo de Cordas Ilha Negra), the musical string group from Candelária’s Casa da Música, continues to participate in special events on the island of Pico, while building its own traditions with annual concerts. After premiering a rhapsody of the songs of Azorean composer Luís Alberto Bettencourt at the second edition of Cordas World Music Festival this past September, the group began preparing for another special celebration. The centenary of José da Rosa de Lemos saw the Ilha Negra String Group present musical pieces written by the noted local from the parish of Candelária, in Candelária’s own House of the People, where the groups of yesteryear used to make the walls shake with their music.
Also in November, the group returned to the iconic Auditorium of the Whalers Museum in Lajes do Pico, holding performances that will now become a regular part of the Museum’s music season. On December 17, the island of Faial will have the opportunity to see, for the second time, these Pico musicians at Casa Manuel de Arriaga (Horta Museum). Last year´s concert was a great success, and the event now joins the annual calendar. The afternoon concert will present a new repertoire, besides the traditional and much requested Azorean rhapsodies the group is known for.
Montanha takes Pico island to the world
Montanha Pico Festival takes place in the month of January, with the program schedule presented at a special event on December 11, this year taking place at Madalena Port to mark International Mountain Day. This annual event, in partnership with the Regional Directorate for the Environment and in cooperation with the United Nations Mountain Partnership, takes Pico mountain, through the Montanha Festival, to the world. And the world responds, participating with artists who shape the program of the festival, now celebrating its fourth edition.
"Pico, as a mountain island, will always be the focus," says MiratecArts artistic director Terry Costa, who continues to spread the idea that we can better promote what is ours through the arts and artists. "After Pico, we can welcome the rest of the world, thus giving visibility to our mountain in several areas of the world, and encourage artists from other parts of the planet to create with our mountain in mind." From photos of the mountains of Iraq to music from the Scottish Highlands, a journey through Tibet in images, to a film that takes us to the mountains of the Amazon, the eclectic festival embraces the varied tastes of the island´s people. The December 11 presentation includes the opening of an exhibition by Nelson Silva, winner of the Mountain Photography Contest, which saw his image become an official stamp of the Portuguese Republic, placing Pico mountain in all CTT (Postal Services of Portugal) posts in the country.