After 20 years working intensively as a drummer, singer, producer and composer in the city of São Paulo, the Brazilian based in Duisburg Mariá Portugal (Quartabê, Arrigo Barnabé, Elza Soares) releases her new album EROSÃO in November 2021. The album have a digital, vinyl and fanzine release, all designed by Maria Cau Levy. The single CHEIO/VAZIO is already available in all platforms, and on Youtube with a video especially made by the light-designer Anna Turra.
EROSÃO has three layers: song material, acoustic improvisation and electronic manipulation. In each layer exists both the reminiscence and the oblivion of the precedent, like a stone that is built up of overlapping layers that also modify each other through mechanical and chemical processes.
Mariá Portugal’s songs are the first layer and the basis of the project. As any Brazilian singer/songwriter, she has strong roots in the Brazilian song tradition, going from Dorival Caymmi to Itamar Assumpção and Arrigo Barnabé to Caetano Veloso, besides being strongly influenced by same-generation composers, such as Negro Leo, Iara Rennó, Kiko Dinucci and Maria Beraldo.
In the beginning of 2019, still living in São Paulo, Mariá made a series of improvisation sessions using the musical material of eight of these songs. These sessions took place with several musicians from the prolific experimental São Paulo scene (Metá Metá, Música de Selvagem, Quarteto Solto, Quartabê). The instrumentation was composed of saxophone, clarinet/bass clarinet, guitar, piano, double bass, drums and voice. Since it was not possible to acoustically isolate her voice from the drums, Mariá also invited Tó Brandileone (5 a Seco) to improvise as the singer of the songs. This improvisation session became the second layer of EROSÃO.
In 2020, she brought the resultant audio material to Moers, Germany, where she went to spend a year as the mœrs festival 13th Improviser in Residence. Living in Moers during the pandemic, Mariá edited and processed the material, further adding overdubs of her voice to the recordings. This became the third and last layer of the album.
The result is a full-length album with 6 tracks with different relations to the original improvisation material generated in São Paulo, ranging from little alteration (like “Dois Litorais”, which involved no editing, only voice overdubbing) to totally processed tracks with no relation to the original material (like “Telepatía”), made with material from other songs and non-intended noise from the recording session. In electronically manipulating audio of improvised and acoustic music, Mariá Portugal tries to play with determination and indetermination, control and release, acoustic and synthetic.
To promote the album release, Mariá Portugal will do a concert series at Stapeltor, the newest cultural center in Duisburg. Each concert will be an improvised session with different ensembles made of musicians from Berlin, Köln and Bremen.
Each concert will highlight a certain aspect of the album, “eroding” its musical material and taking it to other places. The first concert will feature only non-pitched percussion, and will have the Berlin-based percussionists Emilio Gordoa and Burkhard Beins. The second will highlight the purely electronic aspect, with Liz Kosack and Korhan Erel. The third concert will be focusing on wind instruments, and will count with Heidi Bayer (trumpet), Angelika Niescier (alto sax), Filipe Nader (alto sax), Moritz Wesp (trombone), Carl Ludwig Hübsch (tuba) and Reza Askari (double bass).
These concerts are supported by Musikfonds, and will be recorded in video and premiered on Youtube.