Independently of dimensions, wideness and duration of each PLACE initiative, the working methodology will generally always respect the following principles:
SELECTION OF TEXTS
Each PLACE initiative starts with a team of creators and researchers who select poetic texts, which belong to the contemporary literary and cultural systems of the cities and/or countries involved. This selection is oriented by the following criteria: (1) reflection on the concept of place and cultural identity in urban spaces; (2) explicit or implicit relation with the geographies of the cities and countries involved; (3) recognised literary quality, even when the selected texts remain to the margins of the national and international canons; (4) potential for recreation, transformation and remediation into other means which are not words in verbal language.
SCIENTIFIC ACCOMPANIMENT OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS
Along a series of meetings (online or live) the composers/performance designers share and discuss with a team of researchers the artistic approaches, creative strategies and sociological and political positions they are thinking of taking in regards to the selected texts and their sociocultural contexts. These meetings will always count with the presence of the artistic director who accompanies the whole process, framing it within the project’s core artistic visions.
In the meanwhile, the composers/performance designers continue their own investigation individually, whilst they start to idealise their pieces, creating sketches and first structures
INTENSIVE REHEARSALS WEEK
The highest amount of work towards the preparation of the new artistic works is developed in a short period (with or without residency) of a week, between seven and ten days. During that period, both artistic and scientific teams, along with involved public members, take part in an intensive and concentrated collaborative regime, which includes two rehearsals and two workshop sessions per day. The creative results are publicly presented and documented in between one and four consecutive performances.
In a lifestyle methodology, art-making and life itself become indissoluble. The participants (resident or not) live and work together during an intensive period of working time and the creators are systematically encouraged to understand group’s personality and its particular cultural traits, as so much as seriously pondering the incorporation of these traits as aesthetic objects in the composition of their pieces. We believe that with this process we can generate cultural products which carry with them a special glow coming from the problems and purposes, motivations and genuine manifestations of life itself, both at community and individual levels.
In a open doors policy, anyone can publicly visit and take part in a variety of different artistic, cultural and scientific activities. Every person can come and actively observe rehearsals, signup for workshops, participate in pos-rehearsal discussion sessions with the artists, and accompany the special meetings with the production team in round table conversations covering daily criticism and planning the following days .
SPACE | PLACE
Being that place is the very core concept we work with, the careful selection of the places where each PLACE initiative is to take place is for us of the highest importance. Therefore that space ideally has to (1) be of historical, architectural, sociocultural and economic contextual relevance to the area (street, neighbourhood, city, country) where the activity are to be developed; (2) be reasonably protected from persistent noise sources (such as construction sites, or constant traffic); (3) be relatively central to the city in which the activity takes place; (4) be safe, accessible, and have basic conditions being: electricity, water, bathrooms and stable/sound temperatures for people and their working instruments.
The premieres of new artistic work are always preceded by a major public talk in which a selection of members from each team comprehensibly present the experiences they might have taken from a PLACE initiative. Within the speakers panel, the artistic director, the composers/performance designers, some performers and other participant artists, the executive producer, the general administrator and the core researchers should always be found.
Additionally, it is possible that some members of the public sphere, who had gained a good internal knowledge of the project, also testify, for their vision is invaluable to us.
FEED BACK & SOCIAL
On the day after the talk and performances, all of those who directly or indirectly were involved with a given PLACE initiative should take part in a roundtable discussion and a feedback session about the project, in which opinions, suggestions and criticism are systematically received and a questionnaire is distributed between all. After this, all members are invited to a social gathering with food and drinks, ideal to relax and discuss next projects.
NEUTRAL SPACES VERSIONS
During a certain period of time after the project’s intensive implementation phase, the composers/peformance designers are to adapt their pieces in order to create versions of those works for neutral spaces (such as concert halls of white/black box galleries/rooms). These versions are then sent to the promotion team which disseminates them through our partners’ new music/performance art programming circuits.
EDITION, POST-PRODUCTION AND PUBLISHING OF DIGITAL MEDIA
The media products are edited and produced sequentially, so that each piece of content is published in planned intervals. Apart from the official videos of the premieres of each of the new pieces, a selection of workshops and talks is also published and an incisive, short documentary about any given initiative is normally produced. All contents are made available to the highest professional standards free of charge in all of our relevant partners’ communication channels.
After the neutral space versions become ready, WAMAE conjointly with other partners organises the promotion plan for both the project (as a replicable cultural production model) and its products. This is done in several ways: disseminating the scores/scripts and other generative paper/digital documents between other ensembles of new music/performance art; creating opportunities for reproduction (in festivals of singular performances), adaptations and/or integral replications of the initiative within potential investors and consequential partnerships.
The evaluation of each PLACE initiative is done in three parts: (1) focusing in the direct participation of every individual involved in the activities taking place during intensive implementation phases; (2) analysing the project’s online presence and public reception of digital media products; (3) concentrating on the impacts caused by the initiative in the sociocultural and artistic spheres of the city/region/country it took place.