Connect with us

WOW

Rodrigo Amarante And His Great Musical Tantrum

Published

on

Rodrigo Amarante finished writing and recording his latest album, Drama, at his home studio in LA during the pandemic. He says his writing table is separated from the rest of his studio, a sacred space where no machines are allowed, just pen and paper. When he’s ready to commit to the words, he records them using a typewriter.

When we meet him at his home, sitting out on his wooden deck that overlooks northeast LA, his doors and windows are all open, sunshine cascading through them. Amarante sits cross-legged underneath a patio umbrella that he’s fashioned wheels on so that it can move easily with the sun. Despite making shade, he wears round, turtle-shell sunglasses as he fiddles with a bottle-top, pondering what inspired the genesis of his second solo album.

Advertisement

«On the foreground, you see the bird feeder and the bird bath,» he says, pointing, «which are major elements here of my environment.»

Amarante has lived in LA for 13 years, and this house for nine of them. The property is teeming with birds: fantail pigeons — «which is a giant dove, really,» he says, «beautiful, iridescent» — finches, mourning doves, woodpeckers, Bushtits, scrub jays.

There’s a scrub jay that visits him every morning. Over time, Amarante learned that it enjoys peanuts with their shells on; now, he feeds it out of the palm of his hand. «One very beautiful thing I notice is that he can actually emulate other birds,» he says. «It feels like he’s still in the stages of development … He’s not he’s not up to the mockingbird stage. And so he comes very close to me and shows me what he can do.»

Advertisement

Amarante’s latest album, Drama, is its own searching opus, an examination of how we perform the self, for ourselves and for others. In string-laden sweeps of thought and memory, he sings about how our own self image shimmers through the sands of time, how it warps in the funhouse mirrors of society’s expectations — especially in our dangerously susceptible stages of youth.

In writing Drama, Amarante unexpectedly dredged up an incident from his own pre-mockingbird stage, when he was about seven or eight years old.

«My dad, who’s a wonderful father, brought me outside and said there was something that I [needed],» he recalls. «It was the moment of ritual, of turning from boy to man. So he shaved my head.»

Advertisement

He says that the haircut made him feel ugly, and he was ashamed that he even felt that way. «I understood that I wasn’t supposed to [care],» he says. «You’re not supposed to be thinking about being pretty.»

«I was sent to that moment» when writing the abum, he continues, «and understood that ‘drama’ was what I was supposed to get rid of to become a man, in this fallacy that is repeated and that my father was passing on to me.»

Amarante says he learned that «a man is efficient because it controls its emotions, and so this fallacy spills over the idea that women are inefficient because they are susceptible to the imbalances of emotion, to the cycles of the moon.

Advertisement

«And there it is,» he concludes. «The seed of the patriarchy.»

Amarante carried a sense of shame with him after that childhood haircut.»I don’t want to blame my father as if he’s some sort of, like, exception to the rule,» he says, adding that his father is very open-minded. «But I’m hearing it from my father and from society.»

Amarante didn’t exactly intend to find himself mid-epiphany about misogyny when writing these songs, but he couldn’t deny the way the idea had shaped him as a person without his knowledge.

«My original intention in making this record is still an echo of that, because it’s easy for me to say, ‘Oh, I’m not a misogynist, I’m not [a] macho man, I’m not racist, I’m not any of that,’ because I understand myself very far from these things,» he says. But he realized that stance was its own «sort of podium that I invented,» a position set up beyond scrutiny where he’d feel comfortable about what he’d always understood. In creating a separate space to investigate those ideas about gender, songs flourished.

Advertisement

«I thought, ‘You know what? I am going to throw a musical tantrum. I’m going to be the drama I wasn’t supposed to be.’ »

On Drama, Amarante shows his growth into a new man, one susceptible to those imbalances of emotion. From his reluctant attitude on «Sky Beneath,» feeling its pull against his will, he evolves, echoing the moon again on «Maré»: «Lua puxa o véu, mexe o mar em mim / De Pierrot a Arlequim

Led by meandering melodies with only the occasional turn into full-band sound, the songs on his first solo record, Cavalo, were grounded in lyrical storytelling, its central instruments a stately, sonorous piano, his trusty ’30s-era acoustic with an electric pickup and his sleepy voice. But on Amarante’s latest, the voice is almost an afterthought, the thrust of the album lying in its surround-sound arrangements.

Advertisement

«I started writing arrangements for 16 violins, and horns, and playing harpsichord and writing these songs that bring out all this, you know,» he says, «my desperation at times, my doubt and [desire] not to worship those things.»

Like the tide he sings about on «Mare,» Drama is insistent and ever-changing, going from the playful, swirling guitar lines of «Tanto» to the breezy, wayward love ballad «Tara,» with brass accompaniment out of an old jazz standard. Where a prominent bass line was a rarity on Cavalo, the rhythm section — with its congas, sapo, bamboo block and celeste — steers the sonic waters to greater degree on Drama.

«I don’t force myself to be more or less Brazilian than I am,» he says of the album’s distinct sonic influence.

Advertisement

«We learn to think with words and we learn to speak echoing the words that are given to us by our parents and by the people that are around us,» Amarante says. «So identity in that sense: We look for it.»

Two decades ago, the 44-year-old was one of the most successful musicians in his home country. Alongside Marcelo Camelo and Rodrigo Barba, his band Los Hermanos released four albums from 1999 through 2005, making mid-tempo rock with searching, grainy vocals that would have sat nicely alongside Lighthouse and Daughtry on American alt rock radio.

«[Los Hermanos] became, really, a big deal, like stadium-big deal,» he says.

In 2002, Amarante joined Orquestra Imperial — a big, 20-plus-piece samba band in the fashion of the late ’40s and ’50s — as a guitarist and vocalist. His profile in Brazil’s alt-rock scene introduced the band to a broader audience, and Amarante’s membership in Orquestra Imperial unwittingly set him on the path to the U.S.

Advertisement

«I got asked to come to LA to record with Devendra Banhart, who I met in London at a festival with members of the big band,» he says. Banhart was working on his 2007 album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon; Amarante played in his backing band and appears on the song «Rosa.»

«At the time,» he says, «another friend, Fabrizio Moretti from The Strokes, who I met in Lisbon playing with [Los Hermanos], heard I was in LA and said, ‘Oh, you’re in LA, let’s write music together.’ » That project turned into the band Little Joy, which put out a self-titled album in 2008 and signed a record deal with Rough Trade.

«I’m going to spend a couple of years here touring and then I’ll go back» to Brazil, Amarante told himself at the time. But 13 years later, he’s still in LA, a city he describes as «the place where people come to run away from ghosts, to realize an impossible dream.»

Advertisement

Drama‘s 10 songs are approximately an even split between English and Portuguese, but he’s less conscious of an intentionality to it — other than «Tara,» a breakup song he confesses he didn’t want his former partner to understand the lyrics to. But listeners bring their own subconscious associations to languages, too; different cultures place their own values on ideas and emotions. «In Latin cultures and in Brazil,» he says, «we understand sorrow, melancholy, as something actually nourishing, something fulfilling. In Portuguese, we famously have the word saudade, which means longing.»

He explains that, unlike the American idea of longing for something as an action, saudade is a noun, almost a physical thing.

«So it’s something you have to carry, and you can put it away and you can open that box and visit it. When you miss someone, you go and pick up that picture and look at the person; you’re savoring that feeling,» he says. «And in contrast, it seems to me that Americans have a little bit more of a hard time dealing with melancholy and sorrow.»

Advertisement

In a time when facts are political, Amarante thinks «maybe theater, drama, can be remembered as a vehicle to reflect a truth.»

Amarante is well acquainted with saudade, as both someone who moved around often as a child, and now as an expat. «We become blind to so many things where we’re from, they just get erased,» he says. «When you move around, then everything is present again.» Amarante used that perspective to issue himself a challenge as a songwriter when he moved to the U.S. and began writing in English. He says the experience of relearning how to express himself was «painful.»

«But I feel [how] very rich and important it was to me,» he says. «It felt like this: There’s value in this. I have to know what I’m saying. I don’t have the subterfuge of vocabulary.»

Web Exclusive: «Tara» Live Performance

Even through the pain of learning a new language and culture, there was joy in the struggle. But there are some ideas that remain untranslatable. By writing «Tara» in Portuguese, for example, Amarante says he’s «savoring the sorrow» in a way English wouldn’t manage to convey.

Advertisement

«Because I’m crystallizing it, I’m gaining distance from it and looking at it as a gift,» he says. «That pain is a measure of the happiness that’s on the other side, and so it feels good to write that in Portuguese.»

Advertisement

Amarante isn’t worried that listeners, whether English or Portuguese-speaking, won’t understand his words. His lyrics lean towards impressionistic flashes of emotion over narrative storytelling, regardless of language.

«There’s something beautiful about it, too, if you don’t understand the words,» he says. «You have more space in that mirror to project; you can invent something that’s there and you can occupy that space and make your own [understanding].» In some ways, all expressions of the self are an act of translation, an attempt to bridge two worlds.

«The point of calling it Drama is about the theater we all are,» he muses. The unreliability of our memories, a lifetime’s accumulation of societal expectations, the birth of the self through performance.

Advertisement

«I was somewhat known in Brazil for my music,» he says; an understatement. But when he moved to LA, he says, «no one knew who I was … Still, a lot of people don’t know who I am.»

Amarante likes the anonymity, he says, «in terms of the challenge of writing. I’m not playing for my fans; all of a sudden I have to conquer a room of strangers with my music, right? And that’s [a] treasure. That’s punk … because it puts the music to test.»

A dream is something between faith and reason, he sings on «Maré.» We create luck ourselves, by not allowing aspirations to supersede the act of living.

Advertisement

«The whole challenge, it’s perfect,» he says. «Performance,» like drama, «is danger.» Amarante is ready for it.

Advertisement

Comentarios

0 Comentarios

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Comentanos

WOW

Zoom acepta resolver una demanda de privacidad por $ 85 millones

Published

on

Se muestra un letrero para Zoom Video Communications antes de la OPI de Nasdaq de la compañía en Nueva York en 2019. La compañía acordó un acuerdo preliminar en una demanda de privacidad.

Advertisement

Mark Lennihan / AP


ocultar leyenda

Advertisement

alternar subtítulo

Mark Lennihan / AP

Se muestra un letrero para Zoom Video Communications antes de la OPI de Nasdaq de la compañía en Nueva York en 2019. La compañía acordó un acuerdo preliminar en una demanda de privacidad.

Advertisement

Mark Lennihan / AP

Zoom pagará 85 millones de dólares para resolver una demanda que alega que violó los derechos de privacidad de los usuarios, según un acuerdo preliminar presentado el sábado. La demanda colectiva de varios usuarios de Zoom alega que la compañía compartió datos personales con Facebook, Google y LinkedIn, y permitió a los piratas informáticos interrumpir reuniones con pornografía, lenguaje inapropiado u otro contenido perturbador en una práctica llamada «Zoombombing».

El acuerdo aún requiere la aprobación de la jueza de distrito estadounidense Lucy Koh en San José, California, pero si firma, los suscriptores recibirían reembolsos del 15% en sus suscripciones principales, o $ 25, la cantidad que sea mayor. Los usuarios de Zoom que no pagaron por una cuenta pueden presentar un reclamo por $ 15. Zoom también aumentará su seguridad, comprometiéndose a alertar a los usuarios sobre el intercambio de datos de aplicaciones de terceros y tomando más medidas para salvaguardar los datos del usuario.

Advertisement

La base de clientes de Zoom se disparó durante el transcurso de la pandemia. Muchos grupos y organizaciones recurrieron a la plataforma de comunicaciones como parte de los cambios en el trabajo y el estilo de vida para adaptarse a las restricciones del coronavirus. Las clases de acondicionamiento físico, las horas felices, los procedimientos judiciales y las campañas presidenciales se trasladaron a Zoom. La gente celebraba bodas y se lamentaba en los servicios conmemorativos.

Pero el enorme aumento de usuarios aumentó la atención sobre las fallas de seguridad y privacidad del programa.

Zoom niega haber actuado mal al aceptar llegar a un acuerdo. Un portavoz de la compañía dijo a NPR: «La privacidad y la seguridad de nuestros usuarios son las principales prioridades de Zoom, y nos tomamos en serio la confianza que nuestros usuarios depositan en nosotros. Estamos orgullosos de los avances que hemos realizado en nuestra plataforma y esperamos continuar para innovar con privacidad y seguridad a la vanguardia «.

Advertisement

Otra audiencia en el caso está programada para octubre.

Advertisement

Comentarios

0 Comentarios

Continue Reading

WOW

Shame: Tiny Desk (Home) Concierto

Published

on

The Tiny Desk funcionará desde casa en el futuro previsible. Presentamos los conciertos Tiny Desk (en casa) de NPR Music, que le ofrecen actuaciones de todo el país y del mundo. Es el mismo espíritu: decorados sencillos, un entorno íntimo, solo un espacio diferente.

La primera vez que vi al cantante de la vergüenza Charlie Steen, estaba reducido a nada más que su ropa interior de la marca Racing Green. (que se había encajado en el trasero), mientras la guitarra, el bajo y la batería acentuaban su enfática voz. En este concierto de Tiny Desk (en casa), encontramos a Charlie con traje completo, corbata y sombrero, sentado en un ambiente de sala de estar respaldado no solo por el resto de la vergüenza (también sentado), sino por un compendio de violines, trompas y más.

Advertisement

Todas las canciones aquí son del álbum de la banda de 2021, Drunk Tank Rosa. Es el sonido de esta banda post-punk del sur de Londres que desafía no solo a sus oyentes, sino a ellos mismos. Qué emoción.

CONFIGURAR LISTA

  • «Dia de nieve»
  • «Nacido en Luton»
  • «Humano, por un minuto»

Músicos

  • Charlie Steen: voz principal
  • Eddie Green: guitarra, voz
  • Josh Finerty: bajo, voz
  • Sean Coyle-Smith: guitarra, voz
  • Charlie Forbes: batería
  • Freddy Wordsworth: trompeta
  • Campbell Baum: saxofón
  • Kai Akinde-Hummel: percusión
  • Oliver Hamilton: violín
  • Magdalena McLean: violín

CREDITOS

  • Productor: Duncan Harrison
  • Directores: Benjamin Brook y Jerry Dobson
  • Operadores de cámara: Callum Chaplin y Lawrence Jones
  • Ingeniero de sonido: Tom LeBeau
  • Arreglos de cuernos y cuerdas: Josh Finerty
  • Mezcla: Josh Finerty y Nina Madley
  • Editor: Benjamin Brook
  • Un agradecimiento especial a Elliot Lynks

EQUIPO DE ESCRITORIO PEQUEÑO

  • Productor: Bob Boilen
  • Productor de video: Kara Frame
  • Masterización de audio: Alex Drewenskus
  • Pequeño equipo de producción: Maia Stern, Josh Rogosin, Gabrielle Pierre, Bobby Carter
  • Productor ejecutivo: Keith Jenkins
  • Vicepresidente senior de programación: Anya Grundmann

Comentarios

0 Comentarios

Continue Reading

WOW

Twitter se burla del banjo de Mumford & Sons que deja la banda para publicar con impunidad

Published

on

Twitter se burla del banjo de Mumford & Sons que deja la banda para publicar con impunidad

Winston Marshall, el músico de banjo del cuarteto pop-folk Mumford and Sons, acaba de publicar un extenso ensayo en Medium sobre su decisión de dejar la banda después de recibir un retroceso por tuitear en apoyo de Andy Ngo, un reportero gráfico acusado de exagerar las acusaciones de violencia en Antifa y mucho más. -Extremismo de izquierda en el pasado.

En marzo, Marshall tuiteó: «Felicitaciones @MrAndyNgo. Finalmente tuve tiempo para leer su importante libro. Eres un hombre valiente», haciendo referencia al libro de Ngo. Desenmascarado. Esto aparentemente molestó a los usuarios de Twitter, ya que Marshall testificó que recibió «decenas de miles de retweets y comentarios enojados».

Advertisement

«No pude prever que mi comentario sobre un libro crítico de la extrema izquierda podría interpretarse como la aprobación de la igualmente abominable extrema derecha», continuó.

Marshall explica que si bien el grupo lo invitó a quedarse, él creía que seguir tocando con la banda mientras se autocensuraba para evitar meterse en problemas con las redes sociales le corría la conciencia, de ahí su decisión de irse.

Todo esto les pareció un martirio bastante dramático a los usuarios de Twitter, particularmente en un momento en el que Marshall escribió: «He tenido muchos abusos a lo largo de los años. Después de todo, soy un jugador de banjo».

Advertisement

Aún no se sabe quién tocará el banjo para Mumford and Sons.

Advertisement

Comentarios

0 Comentarios

Continue Reading

Facebook

¿Búscas empleo?

Videos

Lo más visto

A %d blogueros les gusta esto: