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Music for Grownups





Music for Grownups

Hungry for some truly original Brazilian music? Go listen to Arthur
de Faria’s latest CD, Música Pra Gente Grande. This Gaúcho
(from Rio Grande do Sul state) musician isn’t offering the same old
stuff. It’s real art, not just well-produced craftsmanship.

By
Fabiano Golgo

How often can you say the CD you are listening to is more than just
another piece manufactured or electronicfactured for your easy swallowing
— following that ol’ rule of repeating what has already been created—this
time by someone with more original talents? Fourteen times, in my case,
only within two days.

Wait. Don’t try, you, thirsty for good sounds, to find my E-mail address
to request the name of these dozen plus names. It is a single piece of
art that inhabited my stereo for a couple of days and seemed to not want
to leave. And that is because I am a true lover of art. As in original.
Not as in good craft. And we need to make the distinction between art and
craft. Let’s face it: many people can draw cubist influenced pictures nowadays,
but Picasso showed how in the first place. Anyone can make rhymes on the
Jobim or Vinicius’ style — but who introduced the marvel to us?? And to
the world, for that matter?

Well, don’t rush. I will tell you the name of this finding. Yes, finding.
Because, like most talents, it comes from an unexpected place and has no
big pop machine backing its release. But, first, go into that area in your
gray matter that stores the good things that life has to offer. There yet?
Well, when was the last time a new name entered it as being truly original,
pure, humorous and sensual Brazilian music? And played by a real musician
and his real musician friends—with names, not numbers)?

Oh, ok: you are remembering that Caetano, or that solo by that great
former band member who had full reasons to show you what he/she /it had
best. All right, there are plenty of authors in our “verde-amarelo”
repertoire to make us proud to be from the Pátria Amada
(Beloved Country). But is this list of a recent (green-yellow—the national
colors) season? Or a compilation of well-endowed names, for long making
our intimate moments more intimate, giving our “get-togethers” a better
ambiance?

Now, let me get deeper, and more anal: which one of them had a great
set of pieces of varied—truly varied— sound styles, with real swift lyrics
and elegy? Which was celebrated by the national unanimity—one of the few
unanimities that is not stupid: writer Luís Fernando Veríssimo,
to cite only one? Which was played homage to by a radio station in the
city where whoever isn’t a musician is a tourist: Prague?

If you want to hear a sincere scorn on the capabilities of our average
musician, please go get Música Pra Gente Grande, by Arthur
de Faria. And don’t shy away because of the title—a paradox remnant of
that Sunday morning hour of Concertos Para a Juventude (Concerts
for the Youth). And it is not necessary to be “gente grande” (grown-up
person) to listen to this CD. You will become one afterwards, at least
musically.

Arthur offers this blind date with the widest ebb of genres in his typical
childish maturity. Like an unpretentious “Gaúcho” (that is
possible, sometimes), he spreads his years of music knowledge with a flagrant
sensuality and the fluency of an outrageous flexibility that you haven’t—and
can’t—find in the current constellation of artists. It was necessary for
someone with the sole ambition of making something good (let’s put it in
capital letters, if you will: GOOD!) so that we could have this witty extravaganza
that not only compellingly advocates the Brazilian true sounds, but stylishly
contributes another few to them.

When you listen to Arthur’s work you will find that it isn’t just another
version of the good old stuff you love. You will find originality at its
most, a satire that stings, a warm ductile length of lyrical spins you
are not used to, and will be besotted by a soft vibration that is acquiescing
in a sanity that our latest media-celebrated offspring has not, and will
never, achieve.

Replete with styles we would be otherwise afraid of or unprepared for,
like waltzes (in a way grandma would never imagine, but would certainly
enjoy as well), cantiga de roda (for the wise ones), choro-canção
(originality, anyone?), samba (not from Som Livre, that is), milonga
(for all nationalities outside the Pampas, too), baião (by
a Gaúcho: don’t miss it!), corta-jaca (check it, I
can’t explain…), and even covers that won’t disappoint. Performed by
a population of instruments that goes from the pocket latophone
to the fagote, the banjo and the trombone, a sax alto, mandolin,
drums and other percussion instruments, plus the homey piano and Verbosis
of Arthur himself. For those who need to categorize, there could be comparisons
to the old sambistas de bar, to Arnaldo Antunes in a Gilberto Gil
mood, or a drunk Jobim, also a tropical Badalamenti, even a crazier Noel
Rosa… who knows?

For me, it’s a pledge for good sense in music, a graphic verve for the
non and initiate alike. It is something that can be listened by the widest
array of tastes. It smoothes out all distress without the need for dimming
the lights, it speeds the brain without the pretension of the professional
anarch-artist, it adds to our feelings without tiring our patience and
gives us the opportunity to dive into the classical without having to make
up for the sleepy parts… It is a creation, not a release. Something that
will endure. Like it or not, mass-media-oriented consumers.

You can contact the author, Fabiano Golgo, through
his E-mail: fgolgo@hotmail.com

Information about the CD can be obtained at 107.1@ulbra.tche.br,
the E-mail of musician Arthur de Faria.

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