Musical creation based on images of the composer-performers on ‘El ojo de la mujer’, for singer and saxophonist

Fernando dos Santos1, Guilherme Ribeiro2, Laiana Oliveira3

1Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil





The sound-musical and performance creation of ‘El ojo de la mujer’ proposes a creative model: the composer-image-performer-image. Created and awarded in 2018 in the city of São Paulo (Brazil), ‘El ojo de la mujer’ was conceived from the book of the same name (1991) by the Nicaraguan poet Gioconda Belli (b. 1948) and was composed by Guilherme Ribeiro (b.1994) in a collaborative creation process with the singer Laiana Oliveira (b. 1987), and the saxophonist Fernando dos Santos (b. 1993).

Starting from the notion of image proposed by Gilbert Simondon (1965-66), in his book Imagination et invention, the piece ‘El ojo de la mujer’ was in all its levels of creation, development, and realization, conceived from images: the image of the composer in the poet’s text and the image of the performers in the composer’s sound-musical and performative ideas, which results in the possible images formed by the spectators from the performance created by the group (composer-performers).

As far as images are concerned, some stretches poems from Belli’s book are chosen to integrate the piece and contribute to its central proposal: the body as a structural and sound part of the work. In this sense, the piece is divided into sections whose sound-musical and performative structures are created from the corporealities imagined in the reading of Gioconda Belli’s poems. There are four sections: i. Diafragma, o respirar; ii. Mão-na-boca, o calar-se; iii. Boca chiusa, o contemplar-se; iv. Percutir do corpo, o exprimir-se. For each of these sections, there are sonorous and performative gestures that embody sound, which give the bodies of the performers not only the visuality of the gestures but also their sound and their integration as a structural part of the musical creation and performance.

The composer-performer-image model is conceived in this creative process as a structure that takes into consideration how composer-performer collaborations can influence and contribute to the construction of creation in the context of contemporary concert music. From this perspective, this piece, which is based on different image proposals has provided us different creative possibilities, as well as new ways of listening, interacting, and reacting to the fruition of a musical performance. As a result, ‘El ojo de la mujer’ in a performance that – conceived from the image cycle of its creator-performers – shows itself as new with each realization, since the images created are hardly repeated, but on the contrary, are renewed.

Keywords: El ojo de la mujer, Collaborative creation, Performative gestures


Guilherme Ribeiro, 1994, is a Brazilian composer and a master student at the University of São Paulo. His compositions have been presented in places such as Sala Cecília Meireles, Theatro São Pedro, CCSP, USP, Unesp, and have won awards such as: USP “Programa Nascente”, “III Festival Música Estranha”, “XXVIII Panorama da Música Brasileira Atual” of UFRJ, “XXII Bienal de Música Brasileira Contemporânea” of FUNARTE and “Atemporánea Festival” in Argentina. Since 2016, Guilherme has been a FAPESP fellow and, under the guidance of Silvio Ferraz, develops his research about extended techniques and published an article in Vórtex magazine about “Guero”, by Helmut Lachenmann, and held a research exchange at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal), where had a presentation at the III International Symposium CESEM and was mentored by the composer and teacher Isabel Pires. Currently, his master’s research investigates the cultural hybridization in contemporary music based on extended instrumental techniques.


The saxophonist, educator, and researcher Fernando dos Santos (1993) is currently working on his Master in Music at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ, Brazil). His research explores the contemporary music performance from 20th to 21st century, focuses on the performance of Ibero-American contemporary music ensembles, and collaboration with composers. As a performer, he is invited to premiere pieces in collaboration with Brazilian and international composers. He participated in concerts of the XXIX Panaroma de Música Brasileira Atual (Rio de Janeiro), Série de Concertos do studio PANaroma com PUTS (São Paulo), Festival Música Estranha (São Paulo), and others. He has also a member founder of In ensemble and has been contributing with Ateliê Contemporâneo (São Paulo) and UFRJ sax ensemble (Rio de Janeiro) for interpretations (also with electronic) of 20th- and 21st-centuries repertoire.


Laiana Oliveira, is a Brazilian singer and composer. She holds a degree in Musical Composition from Goiás Federal University – UFG (2010), Master’s degree (2014) and PhD (2018) in Musical Composition from University of Campinas – Unicamp, having Prof. Denise Garcia as advisor. She was one of the winners of the 15th Brazilian Singing Contest Maria Callas and sang with the Coral Paulistano Mário de Andrade between 2016-2017. His repertoire includes premieres of works by Brazilian composers, and works by Arnold Schoenberg, Luciano Berio, Stravinsky, John Cage, Lukas Foss, and Kate Soper. Since 2017, she has dedicated herself to the creation and teaching of the “Solfejo sem Medo” (Sight singing without fear) method for singers. She is currently a researcher in the group “Auralidade e Visualidade nas Artes” – AV: A at São Paulo State University (UNESP), and has been dedicated to the study and performance of Unaccompanied Vocal Music.