The earliest memories I got. Landscapes in Portugal, passing by, at the window of cross country trains. My early words, written by my parents's hands, on the kitchen tiles. The mornings spent in the sunny kitchen, my Father making food, reading in French, and the green budgie I always loved so much. Recently I found a picture of that kitchen, two, not one, birds in a cage, the green male, and a blue female. And me as a child of utterly sad eyes. I understood, traumatic amnesia had hidden the blue lady bird. Because, neither my Father or me, enjoyed seeing Love trapped inside terrible architecture.
Many early mornings, my Father held me to the kitchen window, looking to the Lisnave ship workshop across the river. The siren calling the workers pierced through the sky. He imbued me with the sense that intellectuality is worthless when one uses 'culture' as a hurling weapon to insult others as ignorant. With the knowledge 1000 Ph.Ds won't make you a 'superior' being to any other being, but your own studies without an university may make you a very special human being. With the notion that if someone refuses to mention you as an artist through your decades of creation, refusing Light to your work and yourself, even if you had to take many proletary jobs that sucked your soul and wasted your body, even if your appearance has faded by being, like a Cinderella, relegated to factory and warehouse jobs when your artwork could be showcased and appreciated and known, the Art is valid and precious and still yours, because it lives inside your Soul.
And only the soulless enjoy envious attempts to destroy wholesome souls.
There was an inner balcony to the back of our kitchen in Lisbon, and my windowsill. At some point in my childhood, my Father was the first soul to tell me about Fulcanelli, the Great Master Alchemist of the 20th century. The little idea I had of Alchemy, the Ars Regia, by then, made me spend my days at the back balcony and my windowsill, creating with containers, paint, kids' chemistry sets, my own 'alchemical laboratory'.
My room's window was positioned facing a large building, that at the time, hosted the Portuguese Military Dept of Transmissions. I had a tiny radio I smuggled under my covers at night and listened to whatever music was broadcasted, without paying much attention. But switching from station to station, because of the very powerful Army radio transmitters, my radio caught often, vague and distant receptions, from North African radio stations, with their music which sounded eerie and mysterious, so different from the melodies I was used to. Those sounds and melodies, distorted by great geographical distances, caught by my simple lo fi radio, engaged me into the love of everything that makes sound, and music, be Strange in my own perspective.
grew up in my parent's film sets, among the film crews, in
the studios editing rooms, and later film festivals all over
Europe. The greatest wonder of my childhood was to fly above Europe with my Father and Mother.
At 10 years old I had visited most countries in Europe, East Berlin too.
During those years, I was raiding my parents' music collection. In the record player I played everything. At 7 years old I had listened from Bach to Mahler, Schonberg to Stockhausen, Erik Satie to Cesar Franck, Palestrina to Machaut, Louis Armstrong to Mahalia Jackson. My favourite book was a Music History compendium I devoured hundreds of times during those years.
I wasn't exposed to television and 'pop' culture, only minimally. I loved to see glimpses of Freddy Mercury, that was the only 'pop icon' I loved those days.
I had the honour of being inside the colourful sound installation by Stockhausen in the Lisbon Gulbenkian gardens, and very lucky, to have seen himself, as well as his sons Markus and Simon, perform at Gulbenkian, twice in my lifetime.
At 11 years old my parents took me along to see Pierre Boulez perform at Convento do Beato in Lisboa. That startled my fondness for the possibilities of my imagined Strange Music. Afterwards, as I entered highschool, I came across the music of Bauhaus and the Stranglers. Shortly after, I was 'adopted' by the local punk rockers, and my teenage years were a neverending carousel, of pirate tapes, mixtapes exchanged, all punk rock from English to European and beyond, also gothic rock, new wave and industrial. I did happened to have a mystery tape named 'Strange Music' from an old school punk rock friend. I haven't got a clue to this day, of what that was. With a third hand simple tape recorder, I started playing with tapes and recordings, cutting and taping and overlapping. I was doing 'Tape Music' and abstract sound collages more than a decade before I even knew what that was.
At 14 years old someone gave me a tape from their 'crazy uncle'. That was, Horse Rotorvator by Coil. The moment I listened, is where I drew the great line. I had finally found who I considered was doing the Strange Music I always longed to listen to so much. I was besotted and that moment changed my life. Ostia.
At the same time, the music newspaper BLITZ announced a Lisbon concert by Naked City. With great effort I got a friend of a friend to obtain me a tape. Hit me like nothing before. I was at the gates of Strange Music with those two.
Forward to 1999. I was 22 and at Film School. I was constructing soundtracks, experimenting with recordings, mine and from film sound banks/bruitage, and with my very incipient technical means - all my life I worked under the philosophy: minimum means and maximum effect - an old slow desktop, recording and mixing software, and my
Father's old Sennheiser mike, as well as DAT recorders borrowed at
And at a sound studio where I was a trainee back then, the machines in which I worked with video editing, I was assembling the test material which would become some of my earlier pieces. At that time I did field recordings of natural and man made sounds everywhere I could capture, my own voice as well, reading and reciting, texts and poetry of my liking as well as some of my writings. I called that early project Lepenski Vir, based on the researches of historian and archaeologist Marija Gimbutas in Eastern Europe.
Soon I changed the project name to Imbolc, which in the Celtic lore, corresponds to February 1, the rising of the sun, the melting of the winter ice, the birth of new vegetation. It was my idea to charge my sounds with intensity and deep spiritual meaning, I called it, Ritual Music.
progressed from Imbolc to, in 2002, start a project named ZLKNF. My
orientation then was different. I was keen on taking all kinds of
sounds, abstract, distorted, reconstructed, patterned, layered, absolute sound
collages. The closest I knew at that time, was that it was
definetly Noise Music. In those years, neither I knew, or any
record, of other woman in Portugal, creating Noise Music. Why I may
advance myself as pioneer of the genre in Portugal, corresponds to
truthful facts, although, I rather call my sound, Strange Music, not any other genre. ZLKNF meant Zero Lvx Krieg Nihil Fix, that is, If There Is No Light, Fight, Because Nothing is Stable.
ZLKNF I played various gigs, until 2005, when I gave the project
as finished. That same year, while visiting my Musicology teacher and
long time friend of my parents and me, composer/improviser Vitor Rua,
I was presented to a quiet gentleman full of character and charisma.
He was Professor Doctor Jorge Lima Barreto, who, along with Rua, were
the very pioneers of experimental and improvised music in Portugal,
with the long running duo Telectu.
With Jorge I had the utmost honour and privilege to be, his protege, apprentice, personal assistant and 'adopted daughter' as he told to people who I was.
He knew of my past projects, and coined the name I would use for the next years as a musician: Hyaena, because he made me laugh a lot with his incredible memories, clever jokes, and outlandish stories. Reich, for Wilhelm Reich (who has my massive respect as a soul healer) and Steve Reich - who, years later, I saw perform in Lisbon, and waited outside the venue, but 'Mr Reich's vehicle has already left'.
Fast forward to 2011. Jorge's loss left me grieving deeply. But he gave me so much kindness, understanding, respect and protection, I kept the name Reich, adding Fierling as second surname, in honour of Bertolt Brecht. Sometimes we make mistakes, I got no issues on admitting mine.
In 2012 I started living in England. Desposyni came to light, the joint work and soul's breath, of the amazingly rare and unique, composer and improviser, MUTATE, companion of my heart and soul, and me. With him and his music a very clear and very holy channeling of mutual imaginaries and sensibilities happens beautifully, in bright synergy.
In England, I met incredibly skilled and different musicians, such as highly reverential Tunnels of Ah, with whom I had the great joy of cooperating, Cities Prepare For Attack, honest experimentalism in its purest state, Cementimental and his noise's multiplicity of form.
In 2015, I started writing a narrative, presented as a series of short stories with constant interconnections and logical lines, based in my perspectives of the Alchemical Adventure. This book is now complete and is named BROTHERLY LIKE DOGS. Since 2015 I started dedicating more time to writing, and experimenting with sound in videoart short films, and less with music/sound art by itself.
2023 and the world is in the dregs. And now I know deep in my heart and soul, while some souls go out of their way to save the world...others just want to watch it burn. And some, the one you'd least expect.
I got plenty of dreams. I keep loving Strange Music. To listen to it. To construct it. Strange Music is what I work and create, no other genre. My music, within Sound Art, is Strange Music, I love it as it is, I'm happy with my Creation, benevolent Mother. Strange Music doesn't want to be named in any other way. Anyone can write 1000 'thesis', but verbolatry is obsolete, close to Art and the Ars Regia of Alchemy. I orient myself, to live up to the name which is Courage. I don't believe in any contrary. I love knowing and to know. I know nothing near the immensitude of what there is to know. There's everything to know.
Unpleasant events, deliberate and premeditated and most detrimental to my life as a human being and woman artist, from the one you'd least expect, have slowed down my creative process. I have C-PTSD and last 10/22 I came out of more than 3 decades of abuse against me from dysfunctional family.
I'm unafraid of speaking the Truth. I also recall my Father's tears in my arms. I will never forget or forgive, who made him perish so sadly, and almost murdered my soul and my God and salivated at the macabre idea of turning my dreams to dust.
...A reminder to all those who struggle in any cycle of abuse, to release themselves from every trap, whether emotional, mental, or otherwise. Run away. Get out. Turn your back on your deceiver.
A second book is being written slowly, and I'm active in videoart/short films, regaining my own self expression and gathering joyful rewards from the Universe, from my dedicated work experience.
As a bona fide woman pioneer, I'd like to give Courage to every girl and woman, doing serious Sound Art.
I'd like to be near them, quiet, but answering their doubts, providing knowledge, inciting ingenuity, giving guidance and good counsel, keeping the pure and naive integral and alive and alight. Protected.
like to extend all my Courage to my fellow men in sound art and
music. May your hands never hesitate, may your auras be aloud and
immense and resonate your integrity. Defended.
I give all my Courage, to my beloved, all my Life. Always sound precious and sublime in the highest, forever.
I like to do Art, write, study, tend a lovely alchemical garden, care for those I love and live for, and love Nature.
I dream of my art work finally coming to Light. My 25 years of music having proper edition. My book and writings being decently published. My filmography in retrospective, and my visual art exhibited.
For fairness and justice.
My heart desires magnificent desert landscapes of natural desolation, and I move, always with Love, farther on.
I'm infinitely grateful for Life, I have borne in my hands, in my heart, in my soul, the greatest and most sacred, holy, gifts. I thank dear Universe and dear God for letting me know the Truth.
Czerny / Ana Reis, .:A:..:H:..:S:.