:: These reviews were originally published
:: in Daniella Thompson on Brazil.


And now he sings.

Brazil’s most unclassifiable musician
expands his horizons.

Daniella Thompson

12 March 2008

Writing about the music of Antonio Saraiva is not easy. This multi-instrumentalist (guitar, piano, saxophones and more), composer, and arranger defies classification. In creating his music, Saraiva dips into disparate and far-flung sources, from música nordestina to Indonesian gamelan, from rock to minimalism à la Steve Reich. What he creates from this mélange is something else altogther.

Antonio Saraiva is a thoroughly modern musician.

I first met Saraiva in 1999, after he had produced Marcos Sacramento’s most modern album, Caracane (read my interview with him in “Magic Marcos”). At the time, he was composing ballet music for the Paula Nestorov dance company of Rio de Janeiro. Some of this music has been released on the CDs Chegança (1998) and Orquestra (2000).

In 1999, Saraiva released a duo CD with Marcos Cunha that most popular-music aficionados would characterize as experimental. So now it comes as somewhat of a surprise to find Saraiva on a new solo disc full of real songs, which he sings.

Saraiva wouldn’t be true to himself if he abandoned modernity, but in the eponymous album Antonio Saraiva, the musician demonstrates that it’s possible to be modern, accessible, evocative, and even emotional all at once, not to mention tongue-in-cheek.


noite na boca
teu céu

o frio de pé no chão
lembra a guerra
cais e amor

lampejo no olhar
e o luar sem sertão

He also shows how a single person can do it all. All the songs (music and lyrics) are his compositions. He arranged them all and plays piano, acoustic and electric guitars (including a 12-string guitar), saxophones, flute, and drums. And he sings.

On Saraiva’s beautifully designed website you can watch various videos and listen to his music. Perhaps you might even be able to classify it. If you do, drop me a line.

Antonio Saraiva
(Independent AS05; 2007) 36:36 min.

All compositions by Antonio Saraiva

01. Prólogo/Sem História
02. Quimera
03. Graça
04. Só
05. Sem História
04. Lua de Londres
05. Frio
06. A Saudade
07. Luminoso
08. O Segredo
09. Trilhos
10. Ir
11. Conto
12. Pé
13. Epílogo/O Elefante


Copyright © 2008 Daniella Thompson. All rights reserved.