This Azores arts and music festival might make your head spin – SURFACE


Tremor, a music and arts festival in the remote Portuguese archipelago, is elevating this long-neglected destination into a new benchmark for contemporary creativity.

Author: Ross Balfour

March 15, 2024

Photography: Ines Subtil

Close your eyes and imagine a volcanic island (or a collection of nine volcanic islands) in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, trapped between North America and Portugal. What did I think of? The ambitious music and art festival organized by friends from different parts of Portugal and the Azores may come last, but that exactly explains the charm of Tremo.

Tremor, held every March, was born in 2013 by a group of friends – Joaquim Durães and Márcio Laranejeira, the creators of Tremor. Lovers and Lollipops Record company, Luis Banrezes Face and gun brandand artistic director Antonio Pedro Lopez—Inspired by the island’s psychedelic landscape, underutilized venues and culture-hungry residents, they created a festival that transcends and elevates all who come to experience it.

In a world filled with contrived mass festivals, Tremor is rewriting the script on how music, art and nature can come together to draw new audiences into culturally uncharted territory.

For many young creatives living in Lisbon and Porto, the Azores are a long trip away from home, even though it is a Portuguese territory. Flights to and from São Miguel, the main and largest island in the archipelago, are infrequent and expensive, limiting the majority of the domestic population from enjoying a peaceful lifestyle.

Driven by investment in infrastructure, new routes and economic growth measures enacted by local governments, festival founders found all the right reasons to create an extraordinary experience that they, too, enjoyed.

Photography by Vera Mamelo

surface Contributor Ross Belfer first visited the Azores in 2014, during Tremor’s early years, and has been in dazzling form ever since. Ahead of this year’s festival (March 19-23), he sat down with Duranges to learn more about the festival and its importance as a cultural movement in the Western Hemisphere.

What drives tremors?

The festival was originally created to address the need for something new to happen on the island, but due to its location and cost, this was not an easy thing to do. But as creatives from Porto, we’re super excited about this “our” place, even though we’ve never been.

Our vision is to empower local communities and indigenous artists, while inviting Portuguese and international artists and musicians to perform for the Azorean people, creating a real cultural exchange at a random and unique meeting point. More than ten years ago, Luis Kitas enjoyed a brief vacation on the island and was immediately enchanted by its powerful energy. Since then, he has been living full-time in the Azores, and every year we work together to nurture and nurture our beloved son.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen shows take place in atypical venues, such as at the foot of thermal pools on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, in pristine forests with secret waterfalls, in delicatessens selling salted fish, or underground Islands—Art Center. What performances should readers know about to pique their interest?

Each year, we host our beloved Tremor Todo-o-Terreno concept (“Tremor All-Terrain”), which invites artists to create a new soundtrack for the trail using natural field recordings, man-made soundscapes, recorded instruments and other “noise.” ”. Todo-o-Terreno is a guided walk that allows guests to immerse themselves in otherworldly scenery and truly enjoy a deep listening experience away from the constant buzz of digital devices, smartphones and technology.This year, Todo-o-Terreno will be scored by the Portuguese duo Lavoisierwe are very excited about it.

Photography by Vera Mamelo

How does Tremor respond to today’s overly commercialized music festival industry?

In a world of commercial entertainment and massive festivals, Tremor feels more like a community and uplifting experience than just a week of music and partying with friends. Essentially, we are the antithesis of these types of festivals. Tremor was built with our hands, DIY spirit and determination to bring something new to an island that lacks international culture and influence.

Tremor advocates sustainability and respect for the landscape, and our partners and supporters share this sentiment. Our musical leanings span Electronic, Ambient, Progressive/Noise, Indie Rock, Dance, Hip-Hop, Folk and Classical and we do our best to ensure the show excites the tastes of all attendees.

Photography by Vera Mamelo

Photography by Ross Balfour.

For those of you who know your topography, São Miguel has epic hot springs scattered throughout the island. What hot spring is best to soak in after staying up late?

Poça da Dona Beija, a small village in the middle of the island and a hangout for our friends; or Terra Nostra, a botanical garden and natural hot spring with a bronze color from ionized geothermal water. The swimming pool overlooks a sprawling villa that was the former home of the American consul to the Azores. This is a must visit for all tourists.

Food is always a highlight during the holidays, especially by the sea. What are the best dishes and places on the island?

this page— At A Tasca restaurant in the main town of Ponta Delgada, local razor clams are served on a hot frying pan with olive oil and garlic.

Photography by Ross Balfour.

The next edition of Tremors will be held in the Azores on December 12, 2019 March 19-23.

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