CD and Concert

And Other Socially Contagious, Involuntary Behaviors
CD Shhpuma 007 2013
By now, violins and cellos may be emancipated from its classical connotations, considering its use in jazz and even rock situations, but not the harp. The weird-looking instrument continues to have a symphonic status, despite the efforts in contrary by the likes of Zeena Parkins and Rhodri Davies, both responsible for giving it other vocabularies and purposes. In that short list of transformative harpists you should add the name of Eduardo Raon, Portuguese musician living in Ljubljana. Either in the circuits of free and experimental music with Powertrio or playing in a jazz context with singer Maria João and pianist Mário Laginha, Raon’s contributions for a new understanding of that musical tool gained a wider projection.
Now he has his first solo album, and everything we heard from him seems clearer, brighter and more accomplished than ever. If it’s your first contact with his music, prepare yourself for a surprise: the classical background is there, of course, but the applied extended techniques, the real-time electronic processing of its sounds and the adoption of improvisational methods brings the harp to other and very different pathways – the concept chosen for the recording relates the apparent impulsive behavior of insects with human irrationality and its tendency to be viral. That common characteristic, of bugs and humans, is translated to specific sonic situations. And if you question yourself about how he manages to do what you hear, there’s the images revealing the close truth of every gesture and every act. This is a real treat, not to be missed.
Track List:
1 - Intro K (constant)
2 - Impulses connect and interact
3 - I hear voices in my head
4 - "Hey!" and other everyday melodies
5 - Reflexive or impulsive behavior?
6 - "Sorry for the bullet. I'm a very impulsive person..."
7 - Hyperventilation
8 - Sighing makes breathing rhythm regular
9 - Aptitude for the truculent
10 - "Do I bore you? Why is everyone yawning?"
11 - The drive for impulsive actions
12 - Laughter is slightly contagious
Eduardo Raon:
Harp, Daxophone, Electronics, Voice, Percussion
Anonymous But Happy
Screaming cicadas:
Cicada orni
Recorded, mixed, mastered and produced by Eduardo Raon in Ljubljana in 2012/13, except cicadas, recorded in Bairro do Alvito, Lisboa in 2010.

Eduardo Raon plays a Daxophone made by Chloé Pais | Atelier São Vicente.
Thank you very much:
Gorgulho I (Scarites cyclops), Joana Sá, Luís Martins, Paulo Álvares, Petra Slatinšek, Ângelo Lourenço, Lourenço Raon, Jorge Travassos, Chloé Pais, Clotilde Rosa, Andrea Marques, Eurico Carrapatoso, Jorge Travassos, Tiago Lopes Gomes, Pedro Santos, Joaquim de Brito, Bruno Coelho, Tom Weissman, Nicole Sánchez, Miguel Menezes, Bogdan Benigar, Álvaro Garcia de Zúñiga & Teresa Albuquerque, Manuel Schwiertz, Bruno Canas, Sergue, Wolfgang Schloegl and family and friends.
On the drive for impulsive actions and other socially contagious behaviors
Insects are a source of both fascination and playtime for children. They are sometimes an opportunity to observe unknown behaviors and logics, or to watch animated narratives in which we can dare to interfere. Sometimes they are a sort of laboratory for experiments that range from playful to sadistic. With no major consequences. With no problems. Ripping off wings from flies, snail racing, playing marbles with woodlice, flooding ant farms or broiling ants are only but a few of possible examples. Besides the scale, usually harmless, and the fact that insects come in abundant numbers, there is also the apparent intellectual inferiority, which frees us from the consequences of these games (quite frequently disastrous for the little performers). This inferiority in which a lack of individual consciousness is implicit, seems to strengthen the difference betweens us and them. Us being thinking, self-conscious, reflective individuals. Capable of anticipating and planing events and also able to reflect over past occurrences. Capable of elaborating and linking thoughts. And capable of not being merely reactive as we consider our fellow childhood opposite numbers. But there are however human actions that don/t quite fit the "rational" concept that we have of our kind. Mental illnesses, yes, but also other actions that are not necessarily exceptional. Both in frequency and importance. Laughter, smiling, sighing, crying, yawning are some of the examples. Fighting or even killing would belong to a more extreme kind. And a kind of action in which intentionality may be present in different intensities. But there is something else that somehow defeats the notion of human being rational beings. The potentially socially contagious nature of most of these actions. Depending on which context, how they happen, sometimes with positive outcome, some other times negative and another times nor good nor bad. But still contagious. Not because of any kind of conscious agreement, neither consequence of contentment since so many of these activities depend on spontaneity to happen. In some cases with a more obvious social function while others simple mysterious (i.e. yawning). I am sure that several other examples could be found but these are enough for us to discuss, enjoy, laugh of our rationality or its absence, individual and collective. And to do the same towards our ability to be uncontrolled or contradictory. And we do it simultaneously in a empathic, mimic, social way.
Laughter is a part of human behavior that is deeply contradictory. Because it can happen in both positive and negative situations. It may stem from a physical stimulus, a story, a situation, an anecdote, but also from an embarrassing situation or even be caused by the imposition of inhibition of laughter. Also because it suits both awol moored gathering as well as conflict mitigation.  It can also allow the articulation of the role each individual plays in a certain context. Laughter is also inevitably a spontaneous phenomenon. An attempted or forced laugh offers little doubt as to if its genuine to the one who performs it. The very fact of being socially contagious may have the function of empathy through a "mirrored" behavior in which one responds to an external stimulus, acting accordingly. This type of behavioral response is also found in other actions such as crying and smiling. 
Sighing appears connected in both common sense and scientific literature with relief. Relief of tension both physical and psychological. And even if it does not have the contagious nature of laughter, smile, cry or yawn, it is an event that informs of the mood of those who sigh and affects the context in which it is produced. According to clinical trials, spontaneous sigh is preceded by an irregular respiratory and followed by a regular respiratory activity, somehow restoring an order that was lost. The voluntary sigh though has the opposite effect of the  spontaneous one causing breathing rate to become irregular.
Yawning is present in species from several families of the animal kingdom. From fish to reptiles such as turtles, water snakes or crocodiles, birds such as the ostrich, amphibians such as frogs and toads and also various mammals, with special emphasis on carnivorous mammals. Several hypotheses have been raised as to the function of yawning: changes in cerebral blood flow, increasing the level of oxygen in blood, pressure regulation in the inner ear, regulating the functioning of the tonsils, or, perhaps the theory most widely accepted today, as a means of keeping a minimum level of awareness. As to why yawning is obviously contagious, be it because we see, hear, read or just merely think of yawning, there are no scientific conclusions.
Panónska cesta, Bratislava Episode
A few years ago there was a news item that caught my attention. In Panónska cesta in Bratislava two drivers engage in an exchange of words around dinner time on a weekday . The reason for the altercation, traffic. The specific issue that led to the exchange of words is unimportant for what follows. Relevant is that , after a crescendo of dramatic discourse , one driver picks up a gun and shoots the other driver . What weapon it was and if it was in the car or carried around is irrelevant. Fact is that the shot driver died. And that the shooter holding the wounded in his arms regretted - "I didn't want to do this…" In addition to the feeling of vulnerability that struck me , because it was something that happened at a time of day and an unsuspected familiar place , the disproportion between what originated the incident and its consequences ... immense and definitive , seemed absurd . For those involved and to all those who were part of the context of both drivers. Families, perhaps even children, jobs, colleagues, friends. The level of premeditation that carrying a firearm implies by itself we don´t know. But the moment when you either follow or refrain the impulse of pulling the trigger existed; and so much depended on it that it does not cease to amaze me what followed it.
Scarites cyclops
Insect, beetle, predator; he inhabits Portugal, Spain and Morocco's sandy areas close to the sea. Lives up to five years. He digs galleries in which he seeks shelter and from which he comes out to feed. He uses his strong head to dig and shovel back sand and thus making his tunnels. Having a primitive set of eyes, he uses mainly his antennas and sensitive body hair to find his preys. He chases his prey and using his plier like mandibles he imobilizes and minces the victims' body feeding then on its' soft inside.

Cicada orni (cicada)
Adult cicadas can be encountered in summer feeding on sap from trees or shrubs, with their mouthparts well adapted for piercing and sucking.
Only males produce their well-known calling song, a clicking sound caused by the contraction and relaxation of abdominal membranes (tymbal). This song has the function of sexual attraction for females. Usually males sing in aggregations of many individuals on sunny tree branches. When the males are approached by the females, the courtship takes place, in which cicadas repeatedly hug and touch each other with their legs. At the end of this process they mate in the same place.
The adult cicadas lay their eggs in the summer, which will hatch in late summer or autumn. While their lifespan as adults lasts only about a month and a half for breeding, the larvae will live for several years underground, feeding on juices of plant roots.

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