Dream & Drone Orchestra

photo 2(2) Dream & Drone Orchestra is the ‘musical’ dream of Michael Biberstein, great painter, musical lover and friend.

Mike loved music. Classical, blues, ethnic, rock, pop, reggae, but mostly jazz, music was essential to him and he always listened to it when painting, drawing, sketching or just day- dreaming. When going for a trip, the choice of what music to take along was a fundamental part of the general planning.

He often said how sorry he was that he never learnt how to play an instrument. He also said that, had he known how to play one, maybe he would be a musician rather than a painter. Or both. He used music – or rather ‘atmospheric

sounds’ – in several of his shows. Sometimes, when all was quiet, he would sit by the piano and play isolated notes. He made no attempt to link those sounds together in any melodious fashion, but was nevertheless music. I liked to call it ‘his inner compositions’.

He started collecting music at an early age – from vinyl to CDs and back again, he never stopped collecting. Sadly, weeks after his death small packages from Bensons World, Ayler Records, Amazon were still arriving. When we saw Fonte Santa for the first time, and even before it was clear that it would become our home, he looked at the ruined watermill and sensed that it could be turned into a fantastic music room. “It’ s a dream come true”, he said. “Musicians can practice, play, improvise jam sessions, do recordings… The sky is the limit.” I think Doubledog Productions were born that day, even though the dog, who would be called Doubledog, still hadn’ t seen the light of day.

Over more than a decade, many young (and some not so young) musicians came to stay in Fonte Santa because they liked it, liked us and felt welcome. While eating a plate of Menu N°1 (spaghetti al dente with Mike’ s famous tomato sauce), they relaxed, enjoyed the wine, the conversation, the music, the chess games. The concept of Dream & Drone Orchestra was born in one of those long nights and Mike’ s sketch of how he conceived it (a spiral representing the matrix of D&D – the instruments, the musicians and the way to improvise the orchestra) was followed by the musicians at Santa Isabel’ s Church, a concert both as an homage to Mike and as a fundraising event for the painting of the church’ s ceiling – a project that he was just about to start.

Ana Nobre de Gusmão, June 2014

Norberto Lobo; guitar

Joao Lobo: drums

Manuel Mesquita: yamaha an1x keyboard

Giovanni Di Domenico: fender rhodes & elec.

Daniele Martini: tenor saxophone

Alexandra Grimal: tenor saxophone

Gonçalo Almeida: double bass

Pak Yan Lau: sampler,  electronics, keyboards

Mariana Ricardo: ukelele

Ian Carlo Mendoza:darbuka, maracas,teponazli