Performance and Visual Arts (Music) graduate Andre Luiz Cerqueira Borges was a triple prize winner at the 2011 University of Brighton Graduate Show (The Nagoya University prize, the Seoul National University prize and the Burt Brill and Cardens Award for outstanding artistic achievement). Here he talks about his musical background in Brazil and his time spent studying in Brighton.
I am a Brazilian saxophonist. As a musician my work was mostly related to live sound for circus, dance and theatre shows and the creation of microtonal music instruments from waste materials. In Brazil I am also known as ‘SAXCRETINO,’ which is the name of one of my microtonal instruments. My interest in experimentalism, sound sculpture and the interdisciplinary art practices attracted me to the BA hons in Music and Visual Art in the programme of Performance and Visual Art at the University of Brighton.
Previously I had graduated in Law at the Catholic University of Salvador (Brazil) in 1995. I also spent time studying Sociology at the Federal University of Bahia (Brazil). Music and Visual Art allowed me to develop my art practice as well as equiping me with the intellectual and thinking skills of academia. It was the best course I found which offered a really good balance between practical and thereotical workloads. Besides, I live in Brighton and as a proper South American guy it's one of the few places in the UK I can feel comfortable.
Andre Luiz Cerqueira Borges, 2011
Has the course met your expectations?
I came to the course with an open mind and ready to experiment and try out new things. We are dealing with creativity and contemporary art practice, which in the context of academia is demanding, challenging and rigorous. Nevertheless, the staff and course structure work well and give the necessary support for students to find their own style and develop their projects to a professional standard.
I’m very thankful for the spirit of the course, which is spearheaded by the energy and creativity of the tutors.
How would you describe a typical day on the course?
Full of surprises…
What was the highlight of the course?
I guess the final year was the best time for me. After experimenting with all the techniques, group work and technologies during the previous two years, the third year focuses on the development of each individual student, the fulfilment of their aspirations, and the preparation for entering into a professional world.
The Graduate Show is the ‘grand finale’ of the course and the real beginning of our journey as professional artists.
What would you say to individuals considering this course?
Make sure you are ready for heavy creative brainwork and lots of practice and that you are open to new experiences and ideas.
Make sure you are looking for something more than what you find in conventional music, dance and theatre academies.
What has been your greatest challenge?
Re-inventing myself as an artist/performer.
What are you doing now you have graduated?
I have just finished my course and already I am performing for the Soundwaves Festival 2011 in Brighton. In parallel I am continuing to collaborate with a former student from the same course (dance pathway) and playing in a few bands also with students from previous years.