Portfolio: Art · Photos · Writing · Music

Mike de Sousa is an advocate and contributer of public art and uses words, music and light. His work in digital form is free for personal enjoyment, however it may not be used for commercial gain.

Background

Mike is indebted to the music scholarship system in England which awarded him one-to-one free piano tuition throughout his formative years. This together with the support of his aunts who brought him up and encouraged the development of his creativity, provide the foundation for his desire to ensure others are given free access to art in all its forms, and opportunities to cultivate their own interest and involvement in the arts.

Visit Think This Today to catch up with Mike's latest news and those things that currently inspire him.

Latest Music

Listen to my latest compositions using the player below:



All music composed, performed and recorded by Mike de Sousa.


Featured Websites


  • ·    The Rights of Living Things: a declaration that sets out the rights of living things, and in particular, sentient beings.
  • ·    Think This Today: one fresh thought each day - the best place to find out about Mike's news and newest work.
  • ·    The Profit of Art: the case for the importance of viewing art's purpose as essentially non-commercial.
  • ·    Active Pacifist: an exploration of pacifism and the need for non-violent resolution to conflict and war.
  • ·    Lunar Mission Gallery: Mike's artwork and thoughts about a space mission to the moon.

An Evolving Retrospective of Art, Music and Poetry

100 Artworks is an online publication of Mike's selected art, poetry and music.

Visit 100 Artworks

Visual Art

The Touch of Sea to Land

Notes

I have worked with a variety of visual media. All my published visual output can be enjoyed at EyeInvent, and a selection of my work in all media can be viewed at 100 Artworks.

My focus is on form, shape, and colour, and the interaction of images with words and music.

Photography

I began taking photos after a journey to the Welsh mountains in my mid teens. The landscape was so beautiful, so powerful, I knew I wanted something of the experience to remain.

I use a monopod rather than a tripod as I find the moment of best light moves so very quickly. You'll find my photos at EyeInvent.

Abstract ~ Architecture ~ Landscape ~ Urban

Temple of the Spirit

Writing

Commentary

The five projects above take you to places where I write about those things that are most important to me: love, compassion, and beauty.

I also publish critical reflections on art, culture and human nature.

 

Fiction

Bookcover Artwork

The Burial of Georgio Sánchez

The Burial of Georgio Sánchez

The actions of the inhabitants of a small town, Pueblo del Pocito, on the night preceding a funeral mass are inextricably linked to those of the passengers on a bus due to arrive in the town the following morning. The story explores the central themes of desire and deceit as the burial of a stranger, Georgio Sánchez, alters all their lives.

The chronologies of events, combined with the characters' recollections of past incidents, create a lyrical evocation of their passions, self-sacrifice, and necessary deceit...

"Highly individual and imaginative…" Michael Berkeley

"Wonderfully written and beautifully poetic…" Bloomsbury

"Written with sensitivity and delicacy…" Flambard Press

"Full of marvelous things…" Martin Secker and Warburg

"Bold and innovative…" Picador

The Burial of Georgio Sánchez is available as a free eBook.

Poetry

It has always been the same for me - I have a burning need to share, but perhaps at times I do so far too quickly, and with such intensity, I distance those I wish to be most close...

An example of my prose follow, but first, a picture and two poems...

 

Leap in Dark of Dream

In This Uncertain Land

This tree,
Alone,
In rippled water stands,
Under sky of blue,
Hold firm your ground on this uncertain land.

The lush of green and vibrant life,
In rain and shine, in sun and snow,
The rush of wind in dark and chill of night,
Under moonlit, pinprick starlight glow.

This tree,
Apart,
On borderland of brush and moss,
On forest edge where fawn and foal in friendship cross.

And then one evening as the ember of the sun departs,
At dusk, a bird unknown arrives,
Her song as sweetest music to the heart,
Her flight, a dance of beauty settles light,
Her soft and gentle wings to rest.

And from that moment on,
Each week,
When bird would come to sing and soar upon the wing,
The tree felt boundless happiness,
Quietly,
Deep and overwhelmingly within.

Under sky of blue,
With scent of pine cone fresh,
On softest breeze of landscape rare,
Bird sings upon a weightless branch,
Her songs fill far and wide this cherished air.

This place,
Once more alone,
In rippled water stand,
Under sky of vivid hue,
Hold close my life in this uncertain land.

 

Kite

By causeway ruffed with reeds
Below stone circle windowed space,
Sifting sights in syllables of touch you taste.
Your one hand to the other grasp
The weathered chair with wondered soul
In sight of sail
Across the inlet water fresh
In take of air
As red against the blue below
Shifts as one with swaying corn
On land that rises to the east,
That swells as to a single figure small
As speck upon a sea of ice,
As mizzenmast in ocean squall I stand,
Fists tight around the hilt,
Listing back against the wrench of wind,
Taut the tendril slices clean the air
As paper cuts the softened skin within
Sun strikes the canvas high
Whilst shadow on the earth dilates,
A pool of weighted soil dark,
The strand of fluid mooring brakes
Crisp upon the ears.

Music

I first started playing the piano when I was six. Every morning I walked to my school with my aunt who taught there. She encouraged me to practice and has continued to support me in my creative activites ever since. I compose for voice, piano, orchestral and ethnically diverse instruments.

My recent compositions presented at the top of this page are personal, intimate works full with fire, rhythm and emotion.

A taster of my work as a composer and musician is presented here. All music was recorded in my studio and is under copyright.

 

Music

Selected Music

Shine Far and Long

 

This short choral composition and poem was composed for my son's eighteenth birthday. I was present at his birth. My first memory of him was as he was held aloft in the operating theatre and he looked around in wonder with eyes wide open as he took in the world for the first time. During his infant years he was often known as sunshine...

Shine Far and Long

On early morn,
This day in winter born,
What beauty bathed with sun shine far and long,
Wide eyed your life in watchful sight of dawn,
As days grow light,
As sweetest bird sing on.

And now as time pass rich in thought we play,
As man step out upon this world anew,
With boundless love face strength,
Good fortune, sadness, grace and joy,
Our son: be loved, be fruitful,
Your path: be sure and true.

 

Our Town

 

The composition Our Town is an audio recording of music, speech, and ambient sounds forming an integrated whole and where all elements are treated musically. The extract above is from the opening movement, and the baby you hear is Gabriel, my son. The final movement begins with the first word he spoke: bubble.

The Our Town Transcript and Composer Notes provide more details about this work.

 

The Journey Home

 

I try to compose music that invites those who may not usually listen to contemporary music. The Journey Home begins without a centre with seemingly random notes but this abstraction soon dissipates and the music begins to settle on a tonal centre before its final resolution. This short piano piece is by way of a compressed summary of a life that begins chaotically, then reaches a point of equilibrium.

 

With Softest Touch

 

This three minute composition intones a series of beautiful vocalized legato sound-phrases and evolves into a lyrical melody full with tenderness and romance. Although the voices convey no explicit meaning, they carry an intense emotive power.

 

A Silent Movie

 

Composed and Performed by Mike de Sousa, Tenor Sax: Mick Perry.

A Silent Movie, a complex and personal work, was composed between 1986 and 1988, runs to forty minutes, and is read and heard concurrently.

My creative development by 1987 had led me to increasingly include written text as an integral part of my musical output. In 1988 I decided to embark on a work which would be ambitious in both content and style.

A Silent Movie contains a broad range of musical forms from acapello singing, jazz, classical, and spoken word, to the musical use of ambient sounds. A Silent Movie was to become the first 'audiotexs', and was technically very demanding as the advent of affordable digital audio had not yet arrived (all sound material was cut and pasted using traditional magnetic media technology).

A Silent Movie runs to forty minutes and is read and heard concurrently. Below is a short extract from the text of A Silent Movie, which appears towards the final stages of the work. A number of themes appear in this extract that are developed throughout the work: the life cycle, human cloning, and aesthetics.

"I like the style of your writing, it is unlike anything I have ever read..." Alan Bennett

"Good luck, I hope this work gets the wide exposure it deserves..." Malcolm Bradbury

Poetic Extract from A Silent Movie

A nail lies rusting by a sea red with sunset, In quick corrosion it grasps a last gasp of life, A brittle end to one so firmly struck.

Growing close to this infectious ruin Red mangrove swells the brackish borderland, An arc of tangled fingers clinging to the sodden sand.

Caught between arthritic joints A bed of leaf, grass and shells, And on this nest, remote decay, A pure glass marble lay.

Soft and fixed Peering through this fish eye lens of crystal, An infant's iris flexed to breaking point, Guzzles all sight of misproportioned image, Hauled into a black hole of sensation. A small newborn hand reaches down And from a woollen pocket pulls A single seedless grape.

 

Our Town

 

Full Circle ~ extract. Composed by Mike de Sousa - Full Credits. Listen to the full length piece presented in the player at the top of this page.

I began work Our Town in December 1997. Over the following two years I interviewed hundreds of people for the project, and made thousands of ambient sound recordings. Our Town is a four movement work which runs to seventy minutes and was completed in the year 2000.

From infancy to old age, bankers and beekepers, mothers and fathers, rich, poor, happy, angry, sad. All are part of Our Town. Some tell of their passions, of those who have left and indelible mark on their lives, others of their journey as it nears its end. From morning to night, through sun, wind and rain, through every season of the year, you will hear sounds from familiar and unexplored places.