Adeus, Epic Audio Failures


Small failures are part of our quotidian existence, but when they happen in music, they immediately assume a different meaning. In his “Adeus” installation, Joao Costa uses two metal plates, one made out of brass, the made out of other of copper, with musical notation expressed as etched dashes. The represented song is “Valsa de Eurídice” (Eurydice’s Waltz) by the famous Brazilian poet and musician Vinicius de Moraes. An array of electronic sensors scan the plates, reading them and playing the song. When they reach the end, they move backwards and then back again. At some point the sensors begin to fail; however, these gradually fall back into sync after a while, creating a long, less predictable loop. The whole mechanism paraphrases the failures and culminating moments of the original story of Orpheus and Eurydice, but it also formulates a system whose failures and self-repairing beauty can be understood to be as universal as the story that inspires it.


Adeus – from João Costa