Paula Santoro – Mar do Meu Mundo
If we think of a CD as a photograph, a faithful snapshot of a specific moment from an artist’s career, Mar do Meu Mundo is the picture of a singer who is releasing her fifth album confident about the musical aesthetics that she defends and in which she believes.
Paula Santoro has an almost chamber style and sings to put the music, not herself, in the center of attention. Without distracting the audience with free virtuosities, the voice joins the instrumental part of the band, comprised of Rafael Vernet (piano and arrangements), Kiko Freitas and Rafael Barata (drums), Guto Wirtti and Zeca Assumpção (double bass), Marco Lobo (percussion), Daniel Santiago (guitar and electric guitar) and invited musicians as the UAKTI group and Maurício Tizumba (congado drum).
One of the greatest singers of her generation, Paula Santoro was born in Belo Horizonte (MG) and has lived in Rio de Janeiro for many years. With several works on stage and recording and TV studios, she became more prominent from 2002 on, when she won the third place in the 5th Visa Music Awards (V Prêmio Visa de Música). Besides of the four released albums, her discography has dozens of collaborations in albums from artists like Guinga, Nivaldo Ornelas, Pacífico Mascarenhas and Eduardo Neves.
All songs in her new album have the sea as subject or have the word “sea” in the lyrics, a concept that was created spontaneously. During the work’s pre-production, Paula noticed that most of the songs selected for the repertory had this characteristic, so she decided to focus on this subject. “It’s not just the sea as a nature element. I also mean the inner sea, the personal one – with turbulences, calmness and mysteries”, she explains.
The first track is “Guanabara” (Fred Martins) which, besides of being in the repertory of some of her concerts, has the Guanabara Bay as theme, which Paula describes as “the most representative seascape from Brazil”.
The one that follows is “Alegria” (Léo Minax/Chico Amaral). Another characteristic of the album is the presence of many composers from Minas Gerais who mention the sea, such as Léo Minax and Chico Amaral – the others are Kristoff Silva, Makely Ka and Antonio Loureiro. “The sea is kind of a hidden desire for us who were born in Minas Gerais”, she confesses.
Mar do Meu Mundo has a more contemporary way of seeing the ocean and its water. There is almost no connection between the CD and the songs about beaches from Dorival Caymmi, to mention the greatest paradigm of MPB in this kind of landscape. However, a more Caymmi-ish intention can be seen in “Homem ao mar” (Zé Paulo Becker/Mauro Aguiar), with an introduction that mixes guitar and berimbau, and in “Samburá de peixe miúdo” (Sivuca/Glória Gadelha), with simplicity and great rhythmic force.
“Flor” (Frederico Demarca/Marcelo Fedrá), on the other hand, was composed by two authors of the very new generation of composers from Rio de Janeiro. Furthermore, the song has a clear influence from Guinga, an artist with whom Paula Santoro has shared the stage and recorded several times in the past years.
The sixth track is “Mar deserto” (Kristoff Silva/Makely Ka), which receives the refined support of Uakti group, with arrangements from Artur Andrés. The lyrics poetically explore the contrast between water and sand, which is also present in a certain way in the following song, “Arabesco” (Danilo Caymmi/Alice Caymmi).
The sequence of the songs in the album tries to imitate the motion of waves. There is almost no empty space between one track and another, as if there was one wave going and another one coming continuously, to lull the listener in a fluid and subtle way. “Each story is consequence of the other, as if the narrative ended in the last note”, explains Paula.
This ocean current then leads us to “Luz da terra” (Antonio Loureiro) and “Joana dos Barcos” (Ivan Lins/Vitor Martins), which indicates another characteristic of the work. The album especially invests in the work of composers of the new musical scene and when Paula resorts to renowned authors – Ivan Lins, Danilo Caymmi and Sivuca – she opts for discovery, bringing to light songs less known from these artists.
Finally, the album ends with “Água salobra” (Eduardo Neves/Mauro Aguiar), inspired in the meeting of the waters of the river and the sea. “This song reminded me of Guimarães Rosa and the story that someday the backlands were a sea”, says Paula, making a counterpoint with the first song of the album. “It’s like if I left Rio and went back to Minas.”
More than the photography of an artistic moment, Mar do Meu Mundo represents a singer diving in her musicality.