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by RHO

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song: ...and of the sons my father had, of the sons my father had, I was the wildest my only sorrow, my only sorrow, it not having my child by my side... telephone call: so, these days loads are still carried, they're still carried, for example sugarcane... we, we have rum production in Madeira and we also export, we export rum so you see around May the amount of trucks loaded with sugarcane sugarcane? towards Calheta it has to be in warmer regions and one of the sugar mills that produces the most, that, say, transforms the sugarcane and makes rum and those types of things, is in Porto da Cruz but there is a time of year where you see loads of trucks passing by with sugarcane song: ...when I was a young man (and everybody would repeat: aan) I sang and all things trembled when I was a young man I sang and all things trembled I sang in Caniçal Santa Cruz shook I sang in Caniçal Santa Cruz shook telephone call: I know there is a sugar factory here, no, two which is mostly used to make local products, I imagine hum, I'm here beside The People's Bazar and behind me is that place, I mean, Santo António's Factory that makes cookies, exactly, they produce with, with sugar from Madeira if I'm not mistaken but it might be that that's the lowest percentage and the rest comes from abroad like, in Brisa, our famous Passionfruit Brisa it's all passionfuits from Brasil, yeah no passionfruit is from here, from Madeira many, many years ago it was like that for a while but then it got to a level of production that was so big, that there was no one that was able to produce so many passionfruits so they started a business with Brasil.
song: you called me black oh black if I’m black of that I know but the black bottle also serves ‘wheaty’ serves at the king’s table telephone call: the seeds issue is a worry of that department which is, if there is a crises and we don’t have products, is one thing but if we don’t have products and we have seeds, is another the issue is that the entities, in a way, try to safeguard stocks but they forget that stocks run out and if there are seeds we always have the possibility of… it’s something else, it’s a weapon that is more… sensible the question of food security is that, in fact, it’s the seed bank song: we’re gonna harvest the wheat that is lying on the ground it was with that rain that came in the morning of St. John telephone call: there were these locals here that told me that they will be opening here in Santana, in the center, like, a bread house, a cereal house, which is to incentivise the locals to replant, to cultivate, and the people here have spoken a little about this and I’ve been incentivising, ‘look’ ‘if you do it I have people in the south to buy that’ to start creating a buzz, you know what I mean? so people go ‘ah, something…’ song: we’re gonna harvest the wheat we’re gonna choose the rust the wheat goes to the cellar the rust stays on the ground telephone call: customs, good afternoon it’s about food? hum, that, therefore… it would be advisable, and it really has to be, it’s not by telephone, because that isn’t available you have to, if you make an email and explain for what purpose you wish to know that information the director can give you some hint, ok? afunchal@at.gov.pt
Erva / Hay 05:00
telephone call: I can tell you that, every week, I send berries and Vitacress salads, of Vitacress, every week, I can reach… 4, 8, 12, in this calmer period, it’s one-thousand two-hundred kilograms every week, to Madeira song: if my father gave me schooling (…) if my father gave me schooling (…) telephone call: ah, a lot of people will have to return to the fields, to plough don’t you see sometimes, when things start getting tighter, there is something that happens in Madeira, where to cease to see abandoned lots? suddenly it starts to become, it all starts to… even people our age, you know? that never gave a crap about school and stuff they see everything tightening up, then they discover their dad’s hoe, or their grandad’s, file, start to plough and say: ‘damn, the land is giving things!’ ‘the land is growing!’ and then, and then that’s when they start becoming enlightened! song: the schooling my dad gives is the grass sickle on the hand and the schooling my dad gives is the grass sickle on the hand
song: from the sea doesn’t go to the wood to cook lunch telephone call: and through boat also arrive the fossil fuels the energy dependency of the island Madeira’s electricity, you go to the website and there it tells you the percentage of electricity produced in the island, and I think it is 3% oh yeah, what is your other option? song: my mom sent me to the wood during the time there was none I brought her dried thatch what else could my mom want telephone call: how much time did we have of food? how much time did we have of electricity? man, it’s daunting… of food you have about a month, and that’s already stretching it song: oh, I went to the wind’s ridge and the wind wanted to take me I went to the wind’s ridge and the wind wanted to take me no wind that can take before my love arrives telephone call: man, are you understanding? if this type of information gets out there… can you imagine the drama this might cause? you see? because already at the start of this pandemic there was the toilet paper situation people started panicking, and we’re talking about toilet paper.. song: and my mom sent me to the woods and I brought her a bunch of broom and she is pretty happy she is pretty happy to now knead for Christmas eve telephone call: what we export is… look, a lot, is wood of eucalyptus, bananas, we also export some garbage, right? things to then be treated, right? metals and hum… paper, I think paper also goes abroad
Peixe / Fish 05:00
song: oh my love is from the sea, from the sea, walks on sand oh my love is from the sea, from the sea, walks on sand earning for me shoes and nice socks earning for me shoes and nice socks telephone call: you know that not long ago, a company, well... not a company, the Azorean fisherman, the local fisherman themselves, made a protest (slash strike), with a company that was facilitating the sale of fish to other fisherman from Madeira. They were fishing in the Azores territory because here they weren't finding any, and the local fisherman didn't have anywhere to send their stuff, and because the company was bigger and they made more money that the ones from Madeira, they were really struggling there. So not even in the sea we have a sustainable environment... song: oh I went to the bottom of the sea for I was the wildest oh I went to the bottom of the sea for I was the wildest and there came the sea to toss me on land there came the sea to toss me on land half dead half alive there came the sea to toss me on land half dead half alive telephone call: if there happens a catastrophe in Caniçal, we're gonna starve for sure or we'll start eating grass we'll eat grass song: I crossed the long-one, the worst is the big-mouth I crossed the long-one, the worst is the big-mouth and you know well that the north sea brings our hands rashes and you know well that the north sea brings our hands rashes telephone call: and I'm not even speaking about the quantity of fish, or of sea bream that leave Madeira man we, every day; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we send everyday three-thousand five-hundred, four-thousand kilograms of fish here [continental Portugal], of sea bream. No, it's from those fish farms the carnivorous sea bream, I'm calling it carnivorous because, as everybody knows, a lot of fish in aquaculture, they start eating each other song: oh whoever finds me here singing will think I'm lighthearted My heart is sadder that the ink one writes with I will find another life because the sea doesn't suit me
Vinho / Wine 05:00
front man push ahead this feels like a fest it's because of our language that there is war in Portugal this is American wine in Madeira there is none alike telephone call: we also export Madeira wine, yes yes yes, we export Madeira wine and now table wine is already being produced in Madeira, there are some companies producing it but the quantities are not very big, right? and the price... it makes the price not very... I mean, a bottle of table wine from Madeira is not so... you can't buy it in the supermarket for three euros. oh wines from Alentejo... forget it, forget it, no, no, ok? kisses, bye bye bye song: the boss meets the control how much will you pay us? careful with the end man the wine will spill telephone call: and then, there is a huge wine and rum business, which are the wine casks, of Madeira wine. a wine barrel that matures Madeira wine, you have no idea of that barrel's value... and if the barrel has like one-hundred or two-hundred years... man companies like Jack Daniels, the big whiskeys, the big whiskey brands, big whiskeys buy those for the price of gold and there was, for many years, a giant mafia in Madeira, selling those old barrels we had, it was so huge, that all of a sudden Madeira was almost at risk of not having any barrels song: I'm been working for so long and the boss has not paid me telephone call: and so, they started doing something else, which was, now they're renting the oak barrels, so these are rented for two-hundred years or one-hundred and fifty years song: how much will you pay me? if you don't pay me I'll sing no more


Things have always been carried. Firewood, hay, wheat, fish, sugarcane, wine... In the old days, loads were sung by the people. Today, there is no singing. Duties have passed from hand to hand, from hands to machines. The people are gone and there remain cargo containers full of silent products.

Where are these products? Who carries them? Where do they come from? Where are they going? What is left: elevator music. An elevator is a mechanical porter, just like a person, but without parents or children. It neither has learnt nor will it teach the music it is loaded with.


released December 12, 2021

Tracks produced after the installation with multi-channel sound piece commissioned by the electronic music festival Madeira DIG, on show at the elevator entrance of Estalagem da Ponta do Sol, Madeira Island, December 2021.

Sound materials: Recordings of traditional transportation songs from Madeira Island (1970-90) colleced by Xarabanda. Recordings of phone calls with organizations and individuals about the balance between imports and exports of food products from/to Madeira Island (2021). Extra voices by Sara Rodrigues and Rodrigo B. Camacho (2021).

For lyrics and texts please click on each individual track.


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Sara Rodrigues and Rodrigo Camacho work together in audio-visual composition, performance, installation and interventions. Sound reappears with a prominent role in all projects through the means of field recordings, interviews, vocal and instrumental material, historical and contemporary.

Here feature the sound pieces that appear in their work as larger projects.

Their sound duo is called RHO.
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