Intermezzo – Hugo Vasco Reis

Five Places About Fragility

"Five Places About Fragility” is a work by the composer Hugo Vasco Reis that results in the creation of five works of acousmatic music based on soundscapes from five countryside villages in the center of Portugal (Vila de Rei, Oleiros, Proença-a-Nova, Mação and Serta). The compositions are a symbiosis between the evolution of an ecosystem and the artistic practice, which include sounds that, due to their characteristics or location, do not receive due attention, being neglected, even by the people who inhabit these villages and live with these sounds daily.

Soundscape is a complex and very broad subject, where space represents an infinite exteriority. The seemingly simple act of listening to a soundscape often leads to unexpected complexity of thought, perception and memory. The amount of detail involved even in simple acoustic situations is very large, and the differences that the brain can detect are often very small, using, for example, the memory of past experiences as a reference.

As Murray Schafer refers in his book "Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World", it is important to distinguish sounds and use them in musical creation, increasing awareness of the sounds around us, and the use of ambient sound in music is potentially disruptive and even subversive of established norms in the artistic field.

This project was commissioned by the Academia de Produtores Culturais, with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Portugal, European Union Grants and the five municipalities involved."

Internal Supervisors and External Advisors: Gerhard Eckel (KUG), Isabel Mundry (ZHdK).

Hugo Vasco Reis


Hugo Vasco Reis (Lisbon, 1981) is a composer, based in Zurich and Porto.

His catalog includes works for orchestra, chamber music, solo music, electroacoustic, sound installations and collaborations with fine and visual artists, which are regularly performed throughout Europe. He has edited six monographic albums which have been nominated by SPA and GDA for best work in classical music. His pieces have been awarded or selected in several national and international competitions. His recent compositions include a neglected sounds research approaching the sonic realism and sonic de-concretization in a soundscape.

He is currently a doctoral candidate at the Kunstuniversität Graz (Austria). He studied composition with Isabel Mundry at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (Zurich, Switzerland), with a scholarship from the Fondation Nicati-de Luze, with Mark André and Stefan Prins at the Hochschule für Musik Dresden (Dresden, Germany) and with António Pinho Vargas, Luís Tinoco and Sérgio Azevedo at the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa (Lisbon). He had private classes and masterclasses with composers Toshio Hosokawa, Chaya Czernowin, Hans Tutschku, Dieter Ammann, Franck Bedrossian, Zigmunt Krauze, Åke Parmerud, Carola Bauckholt, Klaus Lang, Peter Ablinger, among others.

His works have been supported by the Ministry of Culture of Portugal, DGArtes, Antena 2, ESML, ZHdK, SPAutores, Coro Setúbal Voz, Síntese GMC, Musicamera, Borealis Ensemble, Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, Momento Foundation, Graf-Fonds and Gaudeamus. His scores are edited by the MIC.PT – Portuguese Music Research & Information Center.

He also studied Portuguese guitar at the Conservatory of Music in Porto and in the private class of Pedro Caldeira Cabral. He is a civil engineer, although he does not currently practice this profession.