The pandemic brought great challenges to CMT’s artistic and educational work, both during the first lockdown (March-June, 2020) and in the following months. Finding new approaches that would allow us to continue creating and making music, connecting with audiences and educators was, and still is, a challenge to creativity and resilience. The Poemário constellation gathers a set of initiatives that arose in response to the impossibility of carrying out several projects planned for 2020.

The first reaction to the restrictions imposed by the lockdown took the form of an appeal to “carry on flying” and led us to imagine what it would be like if the word poetry gained wings. If images, sounds, gestures could be the raw material with which we could play and dream, the “new words” for the creation of audiovisual poems tailored to our need to be together. These questions gave rise to Poemário: a series of audiovisual poems, which resulted from the work of a group of artists who participated in collaborative processes, working from their homes during confinement.

Departing from Poemário, we later arrived at Poemário Vivo. We realized very quickly that the poetic territory explored in the form of videos in Poemário could give rise to a live performance, which for obvious reasons dictated by the lockdown, should happen through a video-conference platform. Thus Poemário Vivo was born, a music-theatre performance that uses the Zoom platform to bring together two artists playing in different cities and to explore ways of developing a sense of sharing time and space involving the audience in an atmosphere of complicity.

The experience acquired with Poemário and Poemário Vivo and the need to continue the training work previously started in Loulé led us to develop ZygZag&Zoom, a one week “immersive training” initiative that combined the artistic nature of CMT’s work with the need to explore / question / discover / reinvent the use of the Zoom platform, in order to allow collective artistic interaction in real time. ZygZag&Zoom helped us to expand our creativity and brought inspiration to develop projects that are now part of other constellations, namely O Céu por Cima de Cá and PaPI – Opus 8.z.

Sharing reflections, difficulties and discoveries that emerged during all these processes is at the origin of the conference Creativity and resilience: tales of artistic overcoming during pandemics. We have certainly found new ways to use our creativity but the most important aspect of this journey might be a reflection about the roots of musicality and the importance of “bringing people together”.