Jazz and Music
From And For Today

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The Forbidden Dance (SWR90)




In 2012 I moved from Brazil to Graz (Austria) to study composition. Within a few months I had already started the Mereneu Project, not knowing that this project would work out so well! This nine-piece band has already recorded two CDs since 2012 and I am really happy to see the natural development of this group during the years.

It is a great pleasure to have so many good musicians and friends in the band and I hope you enjoy this work that has so much good energy in it. As a Brazilian musician living in Europe, I always live situations in which Brazilian clichés are expected of me. Can you play football? Do you dance Samba? Can you play Capoeira?... I transformed some of these experiences into music and named the new album “The Forbidden Dance”. The title was borrowed from the movie “The Forbidden Dance”, released in the US in 1990. It received largely negative reviews. From Jon Pareles of The New York Times: "...[it] is B-movie drab, and its dance sequences are barely sexier than a bowling tournament." The movie is a bizarre drama, almost to the point of comedy, mixing many Brazilian (and South American) clichés, resulting in a movie that I highly recommend. I saw this movie when I was still a kid and at that time I was confused and shocked (or traumatized). Writing the piece “Der Verbotene Tanz” (The Forbidden Dance in German) was a very nice way of expressing some of these feelings; I hope you enjoy it.

The other tunes were written in 2014 and each one has a particular history behind it. “Die Posaune” is dedicated to Ádám Ladányi for the great trombone playing and good energy he always brings into the band. “Sax Off” shows off not only the power of our saxophone section but also the beautiful and creative playing of Pol Omedes, direct from Barcelona. “Drums Your Mind” is a small present to Luis Andre, long-time friend and great musician. On this album, he is featured on two tracks. “Maxixe” is a typical Brazilian rhythm and dance that was very well known in the 19th and early 20th century in Brazil. It was a big challenge to use the Maxixe as inspiration, mixing tradition and at the same time exploring new possibilities with the nonet. My attraction to free music always takes me to experimentation. “Wrong and Beautiful” is the result of one of these experiments, where I used free elements and explored collective improvisation.

I would like to say a special thank you to my family for all the support, my teachers in Graz (Ed Partyka, Ed Neumeister, Michael Abene), my friends from Brazil and Graz, KunstUni Graz, César Marini, Werner, Ulrich, Tobias, Peter and Julius for the great work.