My solo project is about impressionistic and experimental songs, aligned by the hypnotic cello. They are revealed in layers of light upon which a dreamy voice suspends, as was established in Cavalos Vapor, my second solo album edited by Revolve, in November 2016. I released, very recently, my third solo album, OsSo, which is a composition that I performed for a choreographic installation.
Selected press considerations:
“How many possibilities are there for this instrument associated with classical music? As many as they are and can be explored by this Lisbon cellist edited by Revolve. Joana Guerra uses the instrument as a vehicle for experimentation. It is a sound experience that gains added value with visual performance. (…) She uses a kazoo, fused with the sound of strings, using voice lines in Portuguese, sometimes in French or English, and with a remarkable vocal amplitude, transporting us to a universe guarded by geniuses such as Diamanda Galás or even a Jarboe.” André Vieira in Publico, 15.04.2018
“… Joana Guerra’s approach to the cello ranges from greater experimentalism (sometimes rougher – visceral, chthonic –, sometimes centered on delicate debtor notes to contemporary written music) to an avowedly groovy facet (somewhere between rock, pop and folk), not forgetting the classic technique; additionally, she often uses loops and some additional electronics to superimpose multiple layers of sound (for example, introducing a certain repetitive motif in pizzicato, which she then recorded and left to sound, complementing it with the bow and her voice). The songs that followed, based on this type of resources, varied between introspection (mysterious, intimate) and expansiveness (when it did, Joana Guerra was able to truly fill the stage with the force of her presence). Ending with a kind of intense mantra, this excellent performance made very clear the potential of an artist we can’t ‘lose ear of’.” João Esteves da Silva in Jazz.pt
Joana Guerra & Gil Dionísio
Joana Guerra – Cello & Voice, Gil Dionísio – Violin & Voice
From experimental lyrism to an unarmed folk without any formalities.
Improvisation is free, uninhabited of creases and vices. As a kind of ritual, improvisation is also, if not primarily, the starting point. When two worlds, with both distinct and common grounds find each other, tales and confessions come alive and give to the simplest song a larger narrative. Classical poetics moving forward with no fear of its own history.
Debut album, Alarming Kids, was released in September 2019.
Bande à Part
Joana Guerra – Cello, Carlos Godinho – Objects and Percussion, Ricardo Ribeiro – Soprano and Bass Clarinet
Bande à Part, from Lisbon, was born in 2013. After numerous live experiences, the first album, Caixa-Prego, was released in November 2014 through the label Creative Sources. With recognized critics in the jazz and improvised music scenes, this album was considered a “beautiful surprise”. The result is an intimate and quiet music being at the same time intense and surprising. The group’s interaction explores the territories of texture and ambience, thus creating free compositions with elegance.
“Mutual knowledge, complex and changing roles, clearly defined between the three musicians, making this one of the most solid and interesting projects of the current portuguese scene of improvised music.” Bernardo Álvares in Jazz.pt
Carlos Ferreira – Guitar & Voice, João Arsénio – Drums, Rodrigo Vaz – Bass, Joana Guerra – Cello, Peter Wood – Guitar
Asimov is an heavy psych band from Lisbon. For some special concerts, the core trio (Carlos Ferreira, João Arsénio and Rodrigo Vaz) is complemented by myself on cello and Peter Wood on guitar. As a quintet we have played in numerous venues, including Festival Reverence and Sabotage in Lisbon. We are now preparing a new album to be released early in 2019!
Cornelius Cardew Treatise
The Cornelius Cardew inspired ensemble “Tratado de Cardew”: Bernardo Álvares – doublebass, Aude Barrio – electric doublebass, Joana Guerra – cello, Miguel Mira – cello, Nuno Morão – percussion, Carlos Godinho – percussion, João Silva – percussion, electronic, Paulo Raposo – electronic, monotron, “accordion”, Meste André – electronic, Rui Miguel – electronic, synthetizer, Daniela Silvestre – electro-acoustic set, Yaw Tembe – trumpet, Nuno Torres – alto sax
Treatise by Cornelius Cardew, considered the “Mount Everest” of graphic scores, is an inspiring landmark in demand for new forms and sound languages. It consists of 193 pages combining a huge set of graphic elements that form a long visual composition.
Cardew doesn’t give specifications or definite instructions on how to implement the Treatise. It’s set up as an open landscape to any number of musicians and instruments (acoustic, analog or digital). Encouraging improvisation, it suggests that the interpreters themselves define a priori their own game rules.
This ensemble has performed at National Pantheon in Lisbon, Galeria Zé dos Bois, Salão Brazil, CRA, Casa dos Amigos do Minho, St. George’s Church, Sociedade Guilherme Cossoul.
Dance / Performance/ Theater
I have worked with other artistic fields, as composer and as a performer, in the following shows:
— 2019, Eva Poro, music composition for a new creation for dance/music show with choreographer Madalena Victorino, in the landscape of Aljezur and Monchique
— 2018, Parece
— 2017, Na Ausência do Meu Corpo, original music for a choreographic installation by Marina Nabais, debut at Mostra de Teatro de Almada
— 2017, Project Miragem! (Odemira’s Town Hall): educational and artistical project for which we created a dance/music performance with a class from a preparatory school in Colos (small village in Alentejo). In co-creation with Ricardo Machado, professional contemporary dancer. Developed between March and May
— 2017/2016, original music with
— 2016, Estação Terminal, Companhia Limitada III (relating to the creation of artistic projects based on the binomial Art and Social Intervention, dedicated to solitude in private or public space, deviation and madness), artistic direction by the renown choreographer Madalena Victorino and musician Pedro Salvador, at Lisbon’s main theater venue, Teatro D. Maria II
— 2016, Performance Andro Gyny, with the choreographer, dancer and singer Filipe Moreira, presentations at Maus Hábitos and Seeralves Foundation, Porto. Tour in São Paulo, Brazil
— 2015/2014, Lis+Bú (itinerant show with dance, music and theater) Companhia Limitada II, artistic direction by the renown choreographer Madalena Victorino and musician Pedro Salvador, presentations at Bairro Intendente, Festival Todos, São Teotónio and Almograve
Nós Matámos o Cão Tinhoso