Antonio Loureiro

Antonio Loureiro - Só

The composer and multi-instrumentalist Antonio Loureiro releases his second solo album believing in the liberty of improvisation and defending a musical creation that has no classificatory labels. In his opinion, there is no difference between a song and instrumental music or between popular and erudite. “If someone asks me what kind of music I play, I don’t have an answer”, states Loureiro.

Só is the result of the compilation of sound references that Loureiro had during his 26 years of life. If a specific part of the album reminds you of the progressive music of Yes or Genesis bands, and thereupon there is a touch of contemporary jazz at Brad Mehldau style, or a song in fine Brazilian tradition fashion, it is not a coincidence. The mix was intentional and was the motto not only for the composition process, but also for the album production.

“I am intrigued by this non-barrier that we can hear in the work of people like Mario Laginha, André Mehmari, Egberto Gismonti or Guillermo Klein. In the same subject, they contextualize soundscape, arrangement and lyrics”, explains Loureiro, who was born in São Paulo, but emerged among the new artists from Belo Horizonte’s music scene, where he was raised.

Loureiro has an Undergraduate Degree in percussion from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais and a Graduate Specialization in composition and keyboard percussion. His career as a professional musician started in 2000 as a drummer and a percussionist, playing with several artists such as Toninho Horta (as a member of Orquestra Fantasma), Chico Amaral, Flávio Henrique, Juarez Moreira, Robertinho Silva and Duofel.

Later, Loureiro helped to create the sonority of the following bands: A Outra Cidade (with Kristoff Silva, Makely Ka and Pablo Castro) and Ramo (together with Daniel Pantoja, Felipe José, André Rocha, Rafael Martini and Frederico Heliodoro). With the first band, among other concerts, he played at Mercado Cultural da Bahia in 2009. In the same year, Ramo was selected for the Pixinguinha Project, and as a result they recorded and released a CD produced by Benjamim Taubkin.

The authorial work of the artist stood out in 2010 with Antonio Loureiro, his first solo album. The album, which has invited musicians like the pianist André Mehmari, from the clarinet quintet Sujeito a Guincho, and singers Marcelo Pretto and Fabiana Cozza, was important to unveil Loureiro’s multi-instrumentalist side – in the tracks, he plays the piano, guitar, vibraphone, marimba and, of course, percussion.

His debut in solo album came with his relocation to São Paulo, where he lives nowadays, apart from a small tour in Portugal and France for publicizing purposes. In Europe he started to make plans for his second album, thinking of investing in a work that explored the liberty of improvisation.

None of the tracks in Só had their arrangements formally written. The album focuses on piano, bass, vibraphone, drums and voices – and, in most tracks, Loureiro plays all the instruments himself. The composition of “Passagem”, for example, was based in random chords from the piano. “In the space between chords, I inserted improvised drums, and then added voices in the same random way”, explains Loureiro.

The choice for the unpredictable is also present in the second part of “Cabe na minha Ciranda”. The saxophone solos performed by Thiago França are improvised and were recorded separately and then overlapped and inserted on edition.

Another remarkable characteristic from this new album is the influence of the Brazilian popular culture. As the first track of the album, “Pelas águas” contains parts of its lyrics in tupi-guarani, and the sonority of the indigenous words mingles with the melody. The strong rhythm setting in “Boi”, however, was inspired by bumba-meu-boi from singer Mestre Humberto de Maracanã. The regional characteristics are also present in the aforementioned song “Cabe na minha Ciranda”, bringing Siba’s poetry and voice. Their partnership started a long time ago: Loureiro is a member of the band of the artist from Pernambuco.

Só also stands out for the presence of special guests such as Tatiana Parra (voice), Pedro Durães (electronic programming), Frederico Heliodoro (electric bass), Rafael Martini (accordion and voice), Trigo Santana (double bass), Alexandre Andrés (flutes), Daniel Santiago (guitar), Sérgio Krakowski (tambourine) and the Argentinean musicians Santiago Segret (bandoneon, a square concertina) and Andrés Beeuwsaert (piano).