clube mediterrâneo

(2022) 12′
SSAATTBB choir a cappella


Program Notes

While composing an earlier choral work, estava mãe (stabat mater), for one of its sections I chose a text by the author João Pedro Mésseder, an excerpt from the book Clube Mediterrâneo (Club Med). When I finished the composition of that section I realised that the musical material could be expanded into a larger work of its own. That expanded version became the second movement of clube mediterrâneo and I composed a new opening section for the work. Although clube mediterrâneo, has a two movement format, it is to be performed with a break between the movements.


The theme of clube mediterrâneo is the refugies that cross the Mediterranean Ocean in search of a better life, often risking their own lives in overcrowded boats unfit to sail such waters. They are running away from poverty, from violence. They pursue freedom, peace, their dreams, a better life. On their journey they are often exploited by human traffickers on land and sea.


During the dictatorship regime in Portugal, which lasted till 1974, many Portuguese also fled the country and made the voyage across the Mediterranean, in simular boat conditions but in the opposite direction. They too were running away from poverty, from violence. They too were pursuing freedom, peace, their dreams, a better life.


The first movement was commissioned by Municipality of Lousã for the concert MAS O TOQUE that premiered on April 22, 2022 at the Lousã Church by the Nova Era Vocal Ensemble, João Barros director, as part of the program Sons do Sagrado of the Rede Cultural Terras da Chanfana. The second movement was made possible with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Portugal though the program for music creation 2020 by the DGARTES.


(Portuguese original)
No cume da madrugada lua e medo guiam um barco a transbordar.
Oh as férteis searas de água e a ceifeira que não pára de segar dia e noite não pára de segar.
Na carne das mãos, do peito, rasgões, cicratizes, sal marinho.
Cruzam desertos, mares, florestas, não poucas vezes a vida, de um lado ao outro, a vida.
E o mar depôs um menino na areia... inerte, deitado de bruços...

(English translation by the composer)
At the hight of dawn, moon and fear guide an overcrowded boat.
Oh the fertile fields of water and the reaper that doesn't stop reaping, day and night doesn't stop reaping.
On the flesh of the hands, of the chest, tears, scars, sea salt.

They cross deserts, seas, forests, more than a few times, life itself. From one side to the other, life. 

And the ocean deposed a child onto the beach... inert, lying on his stomach...


Excerpt from the poem: “Clube Mediterrâneo, doze fotogramas e uma devoração”

João Pedro Mésseder (in the book: “Clube Mediterrâneo, doze fotogramas e uma devoração”, Editora dos Tipos Xerefé)

Score Excerpts