Filipa Cordeiro: Leva-vaga


Presented in the context of Leva leva: Litany of Portuguese Fishermen, a project by FLEE

Leva leva aims to celebrate the memory of the Portuguese fishermen, their culture and their music by the means of a book as well as a music compilation. In this context, the LP includes original recordings of seamen’s chants recorded between the 1930’s and 1980’s, as well as inspired modern-day compositions by vanguard and electronic artists like João Pais Filipe, Romain Baudoin, Filipa Cordeiro, Nandele and s1m0nc3ll0. Invited to re-visit field recordings by various ethnomusicologists (Armando Leça, Michel Giacometti; José Sardinha), the creations of the above-mentioned artists capture the past essence and sufferance of the Portuguese coast’s population, while mixing these features with sonic sounds and textures. 

Founded by Alan Marzo, Olivier Duport and Carl Åhnebrink, FLEE is an independent interdisciplinary publisher, record label and curatorial platform dedicated to the documentation and enhancement of hybrid cultures. Creatively exploring and emphasising the outlines of globalisation from a historical and critical perspective, FLEE focuses on shedding light on subjectively selected cultural phenomena, while interacting with contemporary artistic approaches. Looking at a range of topics and disciplines, from music to architecture, FLEE follows an inclusive work method that favours a diverse range of viewpoints.


With all the restrictions that come with a theoretical and artistic approach, Leva leva: Litany of Portuguese Fishermen sets out to pay homage to the men and women who, despite difficult living conditions, managed to create an extremely rich social, poetic and musical tradition thanks to their indisputable courage and wisdom. Viewing that culture through the lens of the chants intoned at work rapidly became a self-evident choice in the context of this project. Not because school, festive or religious songs do not reveal the true nature of a community, but because it is at, and through, work and the interaction it induced among companions that man becomes what he is meant to be and remains closer to his own soul. For, whilst it is true that the exploitation and alienation that are so often inherent to it make the life of a worker and that of the rural labourer and fisherman more difficult, it is no less true that “the work of man is always a mirror in which the conscience recognises its own reflection”.



For her collaboration with FLEE on Leva leva: Litany of Portuguese Fishermen, Filipa Cordeiro creates a deep and dark atmospheric melody inspired by the fishermen’ songs that seems to mimic the singing of the boat-crew, slowing down the rhythm and emphasising the chants’ melancholia. The result is a pleasant dark and mellow electronic lamentation, challenging the original used ethnographic material recorded by Michel Giacometti in 1961.

Transdisciplinary artist Filipa Cordeiro (aka Riva Mut) lives and works in Lisbon, where she co-founded the experimental music label Urubu Tapes. She plays as a member of Grupo Excursionista Amigos de Cronos and solo, exploring anonymous repertoire, the voice, and electroacoustics. At maat, she will use these media to construct a sonic journey influenced by both industrial and early music, including a reinterpretation of the old fishermen work song.


Artwork by Non-verbal Club.