The Squid's Ear Magazine

Yannatou, Savina / Joana Sa: Ways of Not Seeing (Clean Feed)

A gorgeous and sinuous album of piano and voice from Portuguese pianist Joana Sá, using preparations and props to accompany the incredibly illustrative voice of Greek vocalist Savina Yannatou, whose profound skills create a sense of mystery and narrative that surpasses language and intent, creating something uniquely fragile yet fiercely alluring.

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product information:

UPC: 5609063005639

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF562
Squidco Product Code: 29794

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Namouche Studios, in Lisbon, Portugal, by Joaquim Monte.


Savina Yannatou-voice

Joana Sa-piano, prepared piano, props

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Sample The Album:

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"When Joana Sa told me about a duo recording she made with the great Savina Yannatou in a Lisbon studio I could only imagine the greatness of it but hardly I was prepared for the actual music. It's simply untouched beauty by two originals uncompromissing their art. This is uncharted territory, put the record to play and just close your eyes it will take you there."-Clean Feed

"a. In Athens, after a concert at the Big Bang Festival at the Onassis Foundation, I was approached by a mysterious and friendly woman. She introduced herself as a singer and proposed to collaborate with me. I did not know who she was. She wrote her name and e-mail on a little piece of paper.

b. At the hotel, I checked the name that I had not understood before: Savina Yannatou... was asking me (?!) to play.

(on the one hand, I was dying of embarrassment... on the other, I was so happy and excited I could barely sleep).

c. In the following months we wrote each other e-mails, and exchanged CDs & DVDs. I wanted to book a concert venue in Lisbon as a way of starting to work together. Savina decided to come to Lisbon before a concert was even booked.

d. There are once in a lifetime meetings and events that seem beyond explanation. The experience of playing with Savina is one of those: two faraway women come together and, making music, there is a strange feeling of 'knowing' each other for ages: before, after, beyond...

e. What is special about these kinds of meetings is not finding a 'musical something' that is familiar to you, that you can somehow already recognize and easily integrate in your x -y musical coordinates of rational thought, and playing. What is special and overwhelming in these rare occasions is sensing an unfamiliar as being intimately close, sensing an unfamiliar as if it had always been part of you. You don't just discover 'a strange other' as most 'familiar', you discover your intimate 'self' as a stranger to yourself.

f. Ways of notseeing is a collection of quasi-songs, never to be songs, songs that strange themselves in their own process of becoming, songs undone... that paradoxically seem to use different alienating processes of estranging themselves as ways of developing a most intimate and singular sound imagery.

g. Touching John Berger's Ways of seeing from very far away, this collection of ways of notseeing defies the still prevailing logic of perceiving and deconstructing the world (and even music) mostly through the visual sense,

(although acknowledging that sometimes there isn't a way to escape it completely... and that this should also be okay).

h. Notseeing: the shaping of the resonant space of music inflates through the intensification of other senses, through the activation of out of mind processes and, who knows, the creation of extra-senses, phantom limbs urging in divergent directions - other bodies inside-out our bodies creating, performing music.

i. There is no text, nor script. In Savina's words:

sounds, non-existing words, melodic lines...

a musical phrase, I don't know where it leads me

a non-existing language, a narration of a story that nobody can understand, but anybody can imagine their own.

j. A story that, again, does not tell something

(to integrate in one's own x-y coordinates)

Sharing becomes something itself,

- ondulating thing

empathy as resonance: before, after, beyond...

k. Through this resonant process of touching and being touched at a distance, the sound imagery stretches, shapes and unshapes new resonant cavities, poetic bulges of voice with a prepared-percuted-bowed-water-piano-non-piano.

l.Playing with Savina, the ultimate sorceress making magic with the real

(sounds, bodies, materiality and immateriality):

the acute assurance of my gesture, detached from my self

but precisely attuned

reminds me that the most difficult

is to acknowledge,

(as resonance before, after,


we all are lost

(a lullaby)"-Joana Sá

Artist Biographies

"Savina Yannatou (Greek: , Sav’na Yann‡tou; born March 16, 1959, Athens) is a Greek singer.

After taking classical guitar lessons and participating in the children's choir of Yannis Nousias for some years, she studied singing with Gogo Georgilopoulou and Spiros Sakkas in Athens, and later attended postgraduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. In 1979 she began working as a professional and two years later participated in the recording of the critically acclaimed album ¹ ¹ ("Lilipoupolis here", that is, "We are broadcasting from Lilipoupolis"); following that, her career took off and has since released numerous albums, collaborating with many Greek composers. In the mid-1990s, she joined forces with select jazz / traditional musicians forming a band known as Primavera en Salonico, which started by interpreting Sephardic and Mediterranean songs, but later expanded to music from various areas of the world. Gradually, she has extended her vocal techniques to include throat singing, glossolalia and ululations among others.

Besides that, her repertoire consists mainly of Greek music, although she has been a founding member of an Early music ensemble ( ), and has always displayed a keen interest in exploring free jazz and avant-garde music. Said explorations have led her to on- and off-stage collaborations and sessions with international musicians such as Barry Guy, Peter Kowald, Floros Floridis, GŸnther Pitscheider, Gerald Preinfalk of the band BPM, Ken Vandermark, Sussan Deyhim, Damo Suzuki of the krautrock group Can, and Kiya Tabassian of the Ensemble Constantinople.

Yannatou is also a songwriter ("Dreams of the mermaid. Is king Alexander alive?", "Rosa das Rosas", "Musique Des Chambres"), as well as a composer for theater, dance theater and video art. She occasionally participates in select workshops, teaching vocal improvisations to actors and musicians. She is currently an ECM artist."

-Wikipedia (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Born in Lisbon in 1979, pianist, composer and improviser Joana Sá works in the field of new music/contemporary classical music. She is currently enrolled in a doctoral program in music (performance) at the University of Aveiro, as an FCT (Fundação para Ciência e Tecnologia) fellow. She holds an undergraduate degree in piano, having studied under Caio Pagano and Paulo Álvares, in Lisbon, Paris, Castelo Branco and Köln. She received an INOV-ART grant in 2009 and, in 2010, was distinguished with a honourable mention from the Ernesto de Sousa Scholarship program.

Joana Sá is particularly interested in incorporating other means and artistic areas in her works. Her first solo work, through this looking glass, shot by filmmaker and cinematographer Daniel Costa Neves, was released as a dvd+cd by the German label blinker - Marke für Rezentes in 2011. Her current work, IN PRAISE OF DISORDER, integrating texts by Gonçalo M. Tavares as read by Rosinda Tavares, was just released by Shhpuma, an imprint of Clean Feed Records.

Joana Sá has performed in several festivals and as part of season programs of renowned institutions both in Portugal and abroad, such as Teatro Maria Matos, Gulbenkian Foundation, CCB, Casa da Música, Culturgest, Serralves, Kunst Station Sankt Peter (DE), Studium MusikFabrik (DE), Festival Música Viva (PT), Forum Neue Musik (DE), Ring Ring Festival (SER), Festival Jazz Cerkno (SL). She is one half of the duo of Almost a Song (with Luís José Martins), with whom she recorded the album Almost a Song, in 2013, and one third of POWERTRIO (with Luís José Martins and Eduardo Raon). She collaborates frequently with visual artist Rita Sá. Highlights of the collaboration between the two include installations at Gallery of Visual Arts, 255 Canal (New York) and Siggraph Asia (Yokohama). Joana Sá has made music for films, including Tabu, by Miguel Gomes, which was nominated for best music at the 2013 Sophia awards. She has collaborated with artists and projects in a number of musical genres (Deolinda, Simão Costa, Marco Franco, Nuno Aroso, Drumming GP and Peixe, among others).

As co-coordinator (with Luís José Martins) of the music department at CENTA, Centro de Estudos de Novas Tendências Artísticas, at Vila Velha de Ródão (2007/08), she worked with the community (‘Sons do Salgueiral’, ‘Concertos Improváveis’), as well as developing personal projects (‘50 anos - Cage, Concert for piano’ e ‘POWERTRIO - ensemble residente do CENTA’). In this condition, she took part in ‘rExistir’, a project with inmates from the Instituto Prisional de Castelo Branco and accompanied artistic residencies, seminars and concerts held at CENTA.

Joana Sá has recorded for radio stations such as Deutschland Funk and SWR2, in Germany, and Antena 2, in Portugal, and has released music through blinker, Shhpuma, Creative Sources and Centa.

Between 1993 and 2000 she played bass in Pinhead Society, a band with which she performed more than a hundred shows, including concerts at the main stages at festivals such as Sudoeste, Vilar de Mouros and Paredes de Coura as well as the Coliseu dos Recreios. With Pinhead Society she shared line-ups with bands such as Sonic Youth and Morphine and recorded for Música Alternativa and Bee Keeper."

-Joana Sa Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. I 2:41

2. II 7:30

3. Resonance 1 0:55

4. III 6:17

5. IV 6:54

6. V 8:23

7. Resonance 2 1:23

8. VI 5:57

9. Resonance 3 0:56

10. VII 4:37

Related Categories of Interest:

Clean Feed
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Unusual Vocal Forms
Piano & Keyboards
Instruments with Preparations
Duo Recordings

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