Geralda with Tato Taborda (Rio/Brasil)

(built by Alexandre Boratto of AVLTech)

Geralda is a multi-instrumental structure, an “one-man-band”, constructed by the composer Tato Taborda and Alexandre Boratto. It’s origin was a project supported by a grant from the Vitae Foundation, which included both the construction of the instrument and the composition of Canções de Musgo e Pó, inspired on writings of the brazilian poet Manoel de Barros.
Since then, like a living being, Geralda has evolved under the influences of the different projects that took part. In each new piece, instruments are added, taken, processed, deconstructed, fragmented, in a dynamic process toward a experimental territory that could be called “pointless technology”. In fact, although the orchestra exists since 1993, it was just “baptized” in 2002, by a female friend who discovered that not just that instrument was a female entity, Geralda, but that it was also pregnant. From this bombastic revelation on, my interaction with the instrument dramatically changed, and I turned to a more delicate and sweet stile of playing. As a result, a whole different set of sonorities emerged. Sonorities that her old identity (or no identity) had kept in secret, women’s secret.
In it’s present state, Geralda is equipped with approximately 70 different sound sources, among acoustical, electro-acoustical and electronic sources, comprising several species of formal and not formal wind, strings and percussion instruments. All these sources are amplified and can be recorded in real time by a loop generator developed by the swiss engineer Matthias Grob. Among these instruments, an adapted old typewriting machine keyboard, in which each key is connected to a different percussion instrument, a vertical acordeon controlled by foot, a mechanic rhythmic machine that triggers several instruments in different parts of the structure, in a mechanism that remind us that of the music box, and a metallic plate suspended by coils in the roof of Geralda, that serves as vibrating field for small circular metallic pieces, producing different frequencies, buzzings and feedbacks. Besides, Geralda has it’s own amplification and diffusion system, which allows her to move graciously with the aid of wheels.