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True Brazilyankee

Thirty years after the success of the Brit Ritchie in Brazil,
American Michael Anthony Lahue plays the Brazilian
music market.
His new CD Sonho (Dream) reveals a talented artist recording
in Portuguese and doing
Tom Jobim’s arrangements.

by:

Marco Fonseca

British singer/songwriter Ritchie was studying literature at the University of Oxford and was already a musician
when in 1972 he was introduced to some Brazilian artists including singer Rita Lee and Liminha. Fascinated with the sound of
the Mutantes (Mutants – Rita Lee’s band), he decided to try his luck in Brazil teaching English and participating in bands
and concerts. He was a great success in the 80’s, influencing an entire generation of composers and musicians, especially
foreigners who are enchanted by Brazilian music.

Now, 30 years later, another singer, the American Michael Anthony Lahue will take off to Brazil in search of success.
Born in Essex Fells, New Jersey state, Michael is a musicologist, pianist, singer, classical violist, composer, lyricist and
arranger, a multi-professional who also fell in love with Brazilian music during his worldly travels. During the Jazz Festival in
Montreux, Switzerland, in July of 1996, Michael saw the
Festa em Bahia (Party in Bahia) with Armandinho, Dodô and Osmar
(creators of the first Trio Elétrico _
Electric Trio), singer Simone Moreno and singer/composer Pepeu Gomes. It was there that the
young American decided that Brazilian music would be his stage companion and soulmate.

Influenced by the green and yellow (colors of the Brazilian flag)
calor humano (hospitality), the composer speaks of
Brazil as a "paradise of the heart and a triumph of love", as if he has already been influenced by the Lusitanian romanticism
that runs in our veins. He speaks Portuguese with no accent.

As opposed to Ritchie who arrived and shortly after became engrossed in the artistic world of the
Paulista (from São Paulo) nights, Michael has plans beyond the stage. He wants to study music, to better understand Portuguese, to
discuss Jobim seated at a bar on the corner, to tap rhythms on a matchbox and to recite prose and sing serenades. He is a
Brazilianist at heart, apt to discuss with equal knowledge,
bossa nova, chorinho (style of music from the northeast of Brazil) and Jazz.

Michael is not just a dreamer. He wants to be a success and speaks pragmatically of his career plans. In addition to
having spent almost two years living in Campinas, São Paulo state, and studying at the Carlos Gomes Conservatory—one of the
most important centers of Brazilian music research—he now studies daily at the American English Center, a language school
in the heart of the Ironbound, in Newark, New Jersey. Exploring the complicated idiom, the artist seeks inspiration for his
first CD. The work, entitled Sonho (Dream), is being released in March 2003 with five original compositions in Portuguese, an
eight movement sound track (Tempo de Amar _ Time to Love) and several new arrangements of Jobim.

At the studio where he records the CD Sonho he says, "I want to do the most professional job possible". And he
talks about what the calls "Brazilian contagious happiness, "I love the warmth of the people there and it’s reflected in my
music". The singer and composer finds inspiration in bossa nova and authentic MPB (Brazilian Popular Music) to write his lyrics
in Portuguese.

For further information about Michael and his work, call (973) 228-4762 or e-mail
michael@michaelalahue.com.br  You can also visit his website: 
www.michaelalahue.com.br

Marco Fonseca is a US correspondent for the DB Press Agency. His e-mail is 
nycmarco@hotmail.com


Some Lyrics from Sonho (Dream):

No silêncio


No silêncio, o som do Brasil,

no meu ouvido,

me chamando, me chamando.

No silêncio, o amor do Brasil,

no meu coração,

me amando, me amando.

No silêncio, a felicidade do Brasil,

a minha alegria de viver,

me convida, me convida.

No silêncio, a paz do Brasil,

a minha esperança,

me acalmando, me acalmando.

No silêncio, o carinho do Brasil,

no seu colo,

me sustenta, me sustenta.

As nuanças preciosas

desfrutamos no silêncio,

e só no silêncio aparecem

como brilhantes na água

refrescante chamada Brasil.
 
In the Silence


In the silence, the sound of Brazil,

in my ear,

calling me, calling me.

In the silence, Brazil’s love,

in my heart,

loving me, loving me.

In the silence, Brazil’s happiness,

my joy for life,

inviting me, inviting me.

In the silence, Brazil’s peace,

my hope,

calming me, calming me.

In the silence, Brazil’s affection,

in its arms,

comforts me, comforts me.

We enjoy the precious nuances
of life in the silence,

and they only appear in the silence,

like diamonds shimmering in the
refreshing waters called Brazil.

Só sei disso


Só sei disso,

não tenho as respostas pra você.

Só sei disso,

não sou super-homem, não.

Só sei disso,

mandei meu coração nas rosas pra você.

Só sei disso,

tô aqui caído no chão.

Onde você tá indo?

Tá procurando as respostas,

das perguntas nas estrelas?

Procurando as respostas.

Só sei disso,

onde você está, quero ficar.

Só sei disso,

onde você vai, quero estar.

Onde tá indo?

Procurando as respostas,

das perguntas nas estrelas?

Procurando as respostas.

O meu lugar próprio,

é ao seu lado
 
All I Know Is…


All I know is,

I don’t have the answers for you.

All I know is,

I’m not superman.

All I know is,

I sent my heart to you in the roses.

All I know is,

I’m here, lying on the floor.

Where are you going?

Are you looking for the answers,

to the questions in the stars?

Looking for the answers.

All I know is,

wherever you are, I want to stay.

All I know is,

wherever you go, I want to be.

Where are you going?

Are you looking for the answers,

to the questions in the stars?

Looking for the answers.

My rightful place

is by your side.

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