A Presença das Formigas

A Presença das Formigas is a Portuguese band, whose compositions blend elements of traditional and popular Portuguese music with influences from jazz, classical and world music.

It all started in 2009 when A Presença das Formigas received the Zeca Afonso Award at Festival Cantar Abril, with the original song “O Rei (A Morna Indiferença)”.

The debut album was released in 2011. Enthusiastically received by reviewers and audience alike, Ciclorama features Portuguese Singer-songwriter Amélia Muge, and Scottish multi-instrumentalist Fraser Fifield.

In 2012 A Presença das Formigas played at Gouveia Art Rock Festival, with the likes of The Strawbs and Focus, to great acclaim. Following their concert they received an excellent review in UK’s Prog Magazine.

In 2013 the band was selected for an artistic residency at Musibéria Center in Portugal, where they crafted what would become their second CD.

Pé de Vento was released in April 2014. Featuring several guest musicians, the new album explores the theme of “departure”, its motivations and consequences, reflecting on current events, human relations, the return to nature, dreams and aspirations…

In 2015 the band was named by Music Resource Group (MRG) as a Nominee of The 14th Independent Music Awards (The IMAs), the influential awards program for independent artists and releases in two categories: World Beat Album with “Pé de Vento” and Instrumental Song with “Planície”. The latter won the Vox Pop award. In September they perform in Bulgaria at the invitation of WithoutBorders Art Forum.

2016 sees a new release of Pé de Vento by German label CPL Music, with international distribution.

André Cardoso guitars
Miguel Cardoso bass
Manuel Maio violin, mandolin
Rui Ferreira (Caps) keyboard, accordion
Rui Lúcio drums
Sara Vidal lead vocal

A surprise hit at portugal’s 2012 Gouveia Festival, The Presence of the Ants (as their name translates into English) take Portuguese traditional music and infuse it with a muscular hint of prog and folk-rock. The instrumentation’s largely acoustic, with plenty of intricate dovetailing and forceful dynamics. Harnessing sparkling melodies and drum-driven marches, the septet’s tunes are laced with ravishing flourishes of recorder, accordion and horns. With a tone occasionally reminiscent of the rustic escapades of gentle Giant or PFM’s bucolic seasonings, the band demonstrate a feather-light, capricious interplay that employs exotic tonal colourings from electric piano, intriguing percussive accents, and truly radiant vocal harmonies. Complex harmonic shifts within tricky time signatures are negotiated with graceful musicianship

Sid Smith