Joana Gama (Braga, 1983) is a Portuguese pianist who is involved in multiple projects, both solo and in collaborations in the areas of cinema, dance, theatre, photography and music. In 2010, in the class of António Rosado, she completed her Master in Performance, with a study on Alberto Ginastera, at the University of Évora, where she completed, in 2017, her doctoral thesis “Interpretative studies on contemporary Portuguese piano music: the particular case of music evocative of Portuguese cultural elements”, as a grant holder of the FCT. Today she continues her research as a member of CESEM / NOVA FCSH. Since 2010 she is dedicated to disseminating the work of the French composer Erik Satie: in 2016, with the support of Antena 2, she marked the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth with the tour “SATIE.150 – A celebration in the shape of an umbrella” and the launch of the book “Embryons desséchés”. In recent years she has presented recitals for adults and children around the music of Erik Satie and also released the albums SATIE.150, HARMONIES and ARCUEIL. He has played Erik Satie’s piece “Vexations” on four occasions: Serralves em Festa, 2016; Jardins Efémeros Festival, 2016; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 2018; Atelier Real with João Fiadeiro, 2019, in performances lasting forty minutes, fifteen hours, fourteen hours and seven hours, respectively. In 2018 she played John Cage’s 4’33” in the National Pantheon, part of the Rescaldo Festival, and in 2019 he played Federico Mompou’s “Musica Callada” in the Grand Auditorium of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. In October 2020, in a concert at Culturgest, she premiered, in Portugal, the piano cycle “The Book of Sounds” by Hans Otte. This was the first action to promote Hans Otte’s work in our country, part of the Festival Hans Otte : Sound of Sounds – whose curatorship he shared with Ingo Ahmels, researcher and Hans Otte’s former assistant – which, with the support of the Goethe Institut and several Portuguese and German institutions, took the multiform work of Hans Otte to Lisbon, Évora, Guimarães and Viseu. Also in 2020 she premiered the show “Trees have no legs to walk” that has already surpassed one hundred and fifty performances and that, in 2022, was presented at Palacete de São Bento, part of the April 25th Commemorations. For younger audiences she has also created “Nocturne” (2017), with Victor Hugo Pontes, “I like Monsieur Satie very much” (2018) and “Birds & Mushrooms” (2022). She is the author of the music of the podcast “A drop in the rain. A flower in the garden”, launched by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in the centenary of the birth of Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles. January 2022 marked the release of the fifth album of the piano and electronics duo she has been keeping with Luís Fernandes since 2014. “There’s no knowing” is the result of an invitation by Nuno M. Cardoso to create the soundtrack for the television series “Cassandra”, which will air on RTP2 soon. Joana Gama’s eclectic discography is available on the Portuguese labels Shhpuma, mpmp, Pianola, Boca/Douda Correria and Holuzam, on the Australian Room40 and on Grand Piano (Naxos group).
Gama, Joana. (2013). Como o “fogo de artifício” presente na música de Liszt inspirou a peça para piano Fogo Posto de João Godinho. Pensar a Música – GuimaraMUS 2012. Guimarães: Fundação Cidade de Guimarães.
Gama, Joana. (2013). The Role of Inspiration in the Performance of Programme Music: The Case of “Viagens na minha Terra” by Fernando Lopes-Graça em Geoff Luck & Olivier Brabant (Eds.). Actas do 3rd International Conference on Music & Emotion (ICME3). ISBN 978-951-39-5250-1. Disponível em: https://jyx.jyu.fi/dspace/handle/123456789/41595.
Gama, Joana. (2012). Absence d’une mémoire présente” — O Estudo I de Jorge Peixinho e o Étude d’ut de [Ka’mi] em AA. VV., Assis, Paulo (coord.). Mémoires… Miroirs. Conferências do Simpósio Internacional Jorge Peixinho. Lisboa: Colibri, 159-172.
Gama, Joana. (2012). Lisztomania – o poder atractivo de Franz Liszt, em AA. VV., Música Discurso Poder. Braga: Húmus / Universidade do Minho – Centro de Estudos Humanísticos,317-329.
The constructive process of the interpretation of ten Portuguese contemporary piano pieces that evoke extra-musical aspects of the Portuguese culture is the core of this research. Its body of work corpus consists of Lume de Chão (2003 – 2004) by Amílcar Vasques-Dias, terras por detrás dos montes (2011) by Carlos Marecos, l’aire de l campo (2003) by Eurico Carrapatoso, Variações sobre o Coro da Primavera (2000) by Fernando Lapa, Viagens na Minha Terra (1953-1954) by Fernando Lopes-Graça, Fogo Posto (2011) John Godinho, Para EBowed-Piano, Melódica e Field Recordings (2015) by Tiago Cutileiro and by versions for piano of the fado songs Um Homem na Cidade, Barco Negro and Talvez se chame saudade authored, respectively, by Vasco Mendonça, João Madureira and Pedro Faria Gomes, composed in 2007. The methodology, based on the identification, analysis and comparison of the extra-musical elements with music inspired by them, show, firstly, how composers have incorporated these references in their works, and then find out how the contact with the original sources influences the musical interpretation. Although there are different degrees of reference and impact on the interpretation, it is stated that the establishment of bridges with the Portuguese cultural elements that inspired the creation of these works is a distinctive element in the interpretation at the piano.