One day Peter and I were busy working on a different music project when the idea dawned (no, it was actually an uncontrollable desire) to record these songs that led us to this project, from day one entitled LIVING ROOM. The name arose naturally from a vision of playing songs as if in one’s living room surrounded by friends. A living room, a space full of life, mellow, soothing, alive with music. We were after something uncomplicated and… Brazilian.
The repertoire sort of happened. Simply said, these were songs I’ve always enjoyed playing. Some of them Peter and Moritz had already heard hundreds of times before. Others were brand-new. It gave me great joy seeing them listen to Sabiá lá na Gaiola for the first time: two very skilled musicians delighted at the beauty of a two-chord song.
I’d like to share why these specific songs came out. When I was about 12 I “discovered” the Beatles. They changed my life, to put it mildly (I’m sure I am the only fan in the world who believes his relation to Beatles’ music is unique). I have phases in my life when certain songs dig me more than others. Have you ever felt like the nowhere man or the fool on the hill? Anyway, couple of years after my beatlemania I was introduced to João Gilberto through the album in which he plays with Stan Getz. I got hooked. From then on I got to imbue myself into the infinite Música Popular Brasileira (which should explain the choice for several of the songs in this album). I strongly believe every Brazilian should have a framed picture of Tom Jobim in his or her home. It ought to be mandatory, period.
These are songs we believe make sense to play today. They do us good, and they do others good. Here in Germany I can tell in people’s eyes when I’m playing Lua e Flor that, even though they don’t understand the (incredibly beautiful) lyrics, they do get to savor the poetry, the song speaks to them. Speaking of Germany, several of the songs are embedded in a feeling of saudades, a kind of homesickness. It is not as trivial as saying I miss Brazil. It’s a longing for a time I’ve not lived, a person I have yet to meet, something I’ve lost. These eerie feelings are spelled out by many of the tunes in Living Room, some more directly – Debaixo dos Caracóis dos seus Cabelos, a song written for Caetano Veloso when he was in political exile in the 60s.
Most of these songs were written before I was born. The newest ones are the three I wrote myself. Santa Felicidade, the neighborhood in Curitiba where my girlfriend lived, Sol Brasil (Sun Brazil) which made total sense to sing this winter, Give it Away, a more recent song now enriched by the phenomenal voice of Tess Wiley.
I’d like to invite you to make yourself at home. I hope you feel good here in this modest living room.
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