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Monday, January 2, 2017

Mediumship and art: Florêncio Anton psychic paintings

Painter or drawer mediums are people who "paint or draw under the influence of the spirits" (1). They are rarer than other notable kinds of mediumship (as psychography, for example), however, their artistic works can be impressive, mainly if they paint or draw under very particular circumstances. We already presented here the mediumship of Luiz Antônio Gasparetto, however, other Brazilian mediums followed him and are presently active. An interesting case is Florêncio Anton (2).

Florencio Anton was born in November 1973 in the city of Salvador (Bahia). Since his first childhood, he was in contact with spirits. One of this entities used to warn him on his misdoings and helped him as a family guide. When he was 14 he was initiated to Spiritism after a battle to understand the many phenomena that took place at his presence. He looked for answers to clairvoyance, out of the body experiences, physical effects and other occurrences he was associated with, since they always happened around him. At the time, he participated in many activities of GFLM (Grupo da Fraternidade Leopoldo Machado) and was in contact with the thoughts of Allan Kardec, Leon Denis, Emmanuel and many other spiritist authors. 

His psychic gifts quickly arose at special seances of psychography, psychophony and clairvoyance. His first artistic manifestation occurred on December 21 1990 and was conducted by Manoel M. Canuto Oliveira, a civil engineer and expert in psychic phenomena. At night, the spirits invited him to concentrate and pray before several posters and pencils, which were used to produced good quality sketches. However, in the normal state, Florencio never shown any ability to draw. His mediumship then improved considerably and is today entirely dedicated to painting. His public demonstrations include special ‘painting seances’ performed not only in Brazil, but in many other countries such as Belgium, France, England, Italy, Spain, Germany and others. He often paints with closed eyes and, depending on the picture size, theme and author, Florencio finished a painting between 3 to 20 minutes. He also already painted using his feet, in darkness, with two hands at the same time and two canvas at inverted positions. More than 30000 paintings were produced by him since 1990 under the control of more than 110 disembodied authors of distinct nationalities.

The social purpose of Anton’s works

Florencio Anton supports charitable works at the city of Salvador using the income generated by the paintings. Grupo Espírita Scheilla (GES) is the spiritist foundation started by Florencio in 1999 (together with Sidney Rocha and Ana M. Lima) hosting a variety of pedagogical and psychological free services to help poor families and children of Salvador. Being a spiritist institution, GES manages Comunidade Maria de Nazaré (CMAN or Mary of Nazareth Community) whose site may be reached at (4). As remarked in (2), "it should be mentioned that Florencio support himself solely by his job as a teacher and Regression Therapist since he, as a spiritualist, is not able to use the money generated through the sale of the paintings for his own use." As a matter of fact, as a spiritist, he is not allowed to use the income generated by the paintings to himself, otherwise, spirits would quickly abandon him. His gift is dependent upon the good use he makes of it.

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Franklin Santana Santos for sending me some references about Florencio Antono works.

Gallery








This one is from my private collection...
More painting reproductions can be seen at (5).

References

1 - Kardec. A. "The book on mediums". 2nd Part - On spirit manifestation, Chapter XVI - On special mediums. Translated excerpt from a Portuguese version.
2 - http://af8366.wixsite.com/florencio (access December 2016)






Sunday, December 11, 2016

The musical mediumship of Jorge Rizzini

Jorge Rizzini (1924-2008).
The different varieties of mediums rest upon special faculties whose principle are still unknown to us. At first sight and to those who haven't made a systematic study of this science yet, it seems easier for a medium to write prose than verses. One would say - mainly if one deals with a mechanical medium - a spirit can both make the medium write in a foreign language and make him sketch or write music. However, that is not so. Although at every moment one can see sketches, verses and music made by mediums who, in the normal state, are not draftsmen, poets nor musicians, it is certain that not all them are able to produce such things. In spite of their lack of knowledge, they have an intuitive faculty and flexibility which transform them into gentle instruments. That is what Bernard Palissy said when he was asked about his choice of Mr. Victorien Sardou, who couldn't draw, to make his admirable sketches (Revue Spirit, April/August 1858). "It is because he is the most flexible one", he replied. The same happens with other skills. And - what an amazing thing! - we have seen spirits refused to write verses using mediums knowing poetry, while dictated lovely poems to others lacking the knowledge of poetic rules. This fact proves once again that spirits have free-will and that futile are our attempts to submit them to our whims. (A. Kardec (1859). Revue Spirit, March, "Study about mediums".)
Musical mediumship is the psychic capability of "execute, compose or write music, under the influence of the spirits." (1). One should however distinguish between "mediums of musical effects" who "obtain the playing of certain instruments without human contact" and musical mediums. The first ones are much rarer than musical mediums because the action of playing instruments requires "telekinetic" ability as displayed, for example, by the famous Scottish medium D. D. Home (1833-1886). The most extraordinary musical medium of modern times was Rosemary Brown (2) who produced musical pieces of nearly 400 spirit authors.

In Brazil, there are still some musical mediums, the most notorious one was surely Jorge Rizzini (1924-2008). Rizzini was born in São Paulo in a Spiritist family (3) and worked as writer, jornalist, radio broadcaster and advertiser. From 1950 on, Rizzini was actively involved with the Spiritist movement in Brazil, having helped to promote Spiritism alongside spiritist celebrities such as Chico Xavier, Herculano Pires, Yvonne Pereira and Deolindo Amorim. Rizzini launched the first Spiritist TV programm in the Brazil at TV Cultura channel. His greatest heritage is however his musics as a consequence of his ability to write music in trance while not knowing music at all.

Back cover of a rare EME album from 1995 containing psychic compositions by
 Jorge Rizzini after the first psychic music festival in São Paulo in 1982.
Rizzini was able to reproduce a wide repertoire of styles ranging from opera to samba as illustrated by two pieces presented below. His spirit contributors include names such as Lamartine Babo (1904-1963), Ataulfo Alves (1909-1969), Ary Barroso (1903-1964), Francisco Alves (1898-1952), Noel Rosa (1910-1937), Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), Carlos Gardel, (1890-1935) Duke Ellington (1899-1974) and John Philips Sousa (1854-1932).  As for his previous musical knowledge he said
"I never studied music; I don't play any instrument, not even by ear, I don't know to write music, I don't sing and worse of all, I'm tuneless!" (3)
Like Rosemary Brown, Rizzini was flexible enough to the spirits, in spite of lack of musical knowledge. As an communication man, Rizzini organized several musical festivals, inviting professional musicians to play his psychic works. These were known as "Spiritist music meetings" with the aim of spreading the truth of immortality as some of his music lyrics suggest:

Caminhar é uma opção. Walking is an option
De quem quer chegar. Of those wanting to come.
É falar ao coração It is speaking to the heart
De quem quer escutar...Of those who want to listen...

Vamos dar as boas vindas. Let's welcome
Pra quem vem nos assistir. The ones coming to watch us
E cantar com alegria! And sing with joy!
Porque estamos aqui,  Because we are here,
Fazendo o nosso show! To give the concert!

Cantando de verdade Really singing 
Que a vida continua. That life goes on.
Que felicidade! What a happiness!

E você que está me ouvindo, And you listening to me,
Caia na real! Get real!
Ninguém acaba com a morte Death destroys no one
Pois voltamos do astral. Because we are back from the astral
A nossa ponte é Our bridge is 
A mediunidade! Mediumship!
Abençoada oportunidade! Blessed opportunity!

Even so, Brazilian spiritists scarcely supported Rizzini efforts. There is a local tendency to hide prominent mediums fearing misinterpretations. As a consequence, music mediumship is rarely highlighted in spiritit art meetings. Many of Rizzini's works are not available in digital form; although part of the material has been reedited recently (5), past works survive today only through old vinyl records.  Overall even Rizzini's life poorly documented as compared to the richness of his mediumship, and Ref. (3) is surely the best source.

Some Examples of widely different styles


Ary Barroso.
1 - By the Brazilian composer Ary Barroso (who in life made musics to artists such as Carmen Miranda and is the author of "Aquarela do Brasil"), Rizzini-Barroso piece "Brasil luz" (1982) is an interesting reproduction of Barroso pre bossa nova style.

2 - By the famous Italian opera composer Giacomo Puccini, "Dolce Maria" with lyrics in Italian. I couldn't find any information about the composition year or further details on this piece, which is however quite beautiful as our readers can judge by themselves.
"Brasil Luz", by Ary Barroso, under Rizzini's mediumship (1982).

"Dolce Maria" by  G. Puccini under Rizzini's mediumship.

Final remark

It is important to study and monitor the work of past and future musical mediums for a variety of reasons, the most important one is to better understand the origin, nature and mechanism of pure mediumship. Musical mediumship hosts a special place in the pantheon of psychic abilities because, being a communication process by excellence, this kind of mediumship attains a high level of expression as derived by the character of music as an universal language. Also,  it seems fair to ask to what point human musical creativity is influenced by the spirits. If, on one hand, psychic flexibility is the source of musical mediumship, on the other, one can ask what someone with musical background and some psychic ability could get in this field. It is thus understandable to view artistic creativity as a kind of cooperation between two planes of life rather than a purely human capability.

References

1 - A Kardec. (1986) The Medium's Book. 2nd Edition by FEB. Transl by A. Blackwell. Cap. XVI, "Special Mediums" P. 189, 190.
2 - See the previous posts:
3 - The text of this post is based on http://jorge-rizzini.blogspot.com.br/ 

4 - See "Compositores do Além" (2006), a DVD launched by Versátil Home video. Directed by Jorge Rizzini and Edson Audi.