Conversas com Marisa
In Interview with the fan Jéferson Güntzel
Jéferson: Marisa, I think it’s impossible not to think in tour when you release a new album. Have you already thought about the tour that is coming up, how is it gonna be? Is it going to be like the other one at all?
Marisa: Yeah, I already got some ideas for the upcoming gig; how I’m going to transpose the sonority of this album to the stage, and also in what I have already done in other gigs. But I’m deeply involved in the release of the album, in this moment, so I’ll try to think of the gig a little later. We don’t have anything schedule so far.
Jéferson: And now, on the eve of releasing the album, does the opinion of people, their critique, worries you, or do you get more concerned with the sales of the album?
Marisa: I get curious to know whether the songs will connect in a cool way with people, if they will reach out to them… Songs are borne on a very personal level, sometimes with one or more writing partners. It involved us more and more as you record the songs; you produce the album and pass through all the phases of production until the album finally goes public. The first single was released more than a month ago, and I’m already able to get some feedback through the internet, watching videos of people who sent videos of themselves playing the song. The song is getting a life of its own, and that goes much beyond of anything I’m able to do for it. And of course, as much as I try and do my best, I’m never going to be able to please everyone, and have a conclusive notion of what the public expects from me. That only reinforces the need to know what I want, to be whole, with the album’s ideals, the lyrics… So, maybe that’s may become part of people’s lives, as did so many other cool songs of other artists, that became part of my own life.
Jéferson: Vanuza, one of your fans, said the social networks are becoming more and more means of interaction, advertising, for several projects and companies, etc.. So, they have become, these days, almost fundamental. Why did it take you so long to join this kind of channel? What are your expectations for this new album?
Marisa: Well, I’d like to thank Vanuza, for her dedication, and for having dropped this question. I’ve always had my website, which evolved a lot in the last ten years. I, personally, never had Facebook, Orkut or Twitter. I still use the old email and phone, so I didn’t miss more ways to communicate on a personal level. Today, I log in Facebook and see all the comments of people, I “like” a few things, and follow up on some things on Twitter. It’s very interesting the speed, the waves of answers, and how the public gives its opinion. All of that is fascinating, but, at the same time, there are still people who haven’t joined the social networks, the world that is not virtual, a world of people still care for looking in the eye, who like to meet and talk.
Jéferson: How does it work, the process of choosing the songs for the album? Is it a choice totally of you own, or do you ask for your friends’ input? Is there any influence from the Record Company??This question was sent by Manoela Pereira.
Marisa: Manoela, thanks for your question. It is a choice of my own, since I’m the one who will have to relate to the song for by entire life. I’m the one who will have to sing it, talk about is… These are songs and subjects I care for, and I go on singing to my friends closes to my home. The Record Company doesn’t take part in this process. Of course there is a group of people to whom I have an affective bond, who indirectly take part in all this, serving as a reference to me.
Jéferson: Tatiane de Vasconcellos, would like to know if still stands, this desire you revealed some time ago, of singing with an orchestra.
Marisa: Hi there, Tatiane, thank you for your question. Singing with an orchestra is a dream to me. Actually, there is a project for a serious of outdoor shows, all free, with a symphonic orchestra, which would go to some cities in Brazil. That is project unrelated to the next tour. Unfortunately, a project such as this, free and for large audiences, in totally unfeasible without a public/private partnership. It was approved by the Rounaet Act, but we were not able to raise the funds this far. Maybe one day?
Jéferson: On this album, is there anyone singing along with you in any tracks?
Marisa: There’s a track of me and Rodrigo Amarante, called "O Que Se Quer" [What we want], where he sings with me. We wrote this song during a recording session, and I thought it had everything to do with the album.
Jéferson: The fans are wondering if you have used you interpreter side, if you sang songs of any other artists. In the album you sing a song by Jorge Ben Jor. How did you come up with this choice?
Marisa: This song is called “Descalço No Parque” [Barefoot in the Park], “Ben É Samba Bom” [Ben in Good Samba], from 1964. The song has such a beautiful arrangement in the original, and I had already sung it just with a guitar, at home and during tours. It’s a ¾ song, that had been in my life for quite some time, even performing in some gigs. I called over Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and showed him my baseline. He made a beautiful string arrangement, totally different and surprising to who is familiar with the original version of Jorge Ben. Miguel is a 27 year-old arranger who plays the violin, the cello, and viola. He also writes to other instruments, but everything he writes to strings, he records himself. He is young, very serious, and I enjoyed a lot working with him.
Jéferson: One of the songs I like best, was "O Que Você Quer Saber De Verdade" [What you really wanna know]. How was it… writing this song?
Marisa: This song I wrote some time ago, with Arnaldo and Brown. Arnaldo ended up recording it in one of his albums, the “Qualquer”, from 2009, but I always thought about recording it. This song and "Verdade, uma ilusão" [Truth, an illusion] that had been recorded by Brown, both ours are very emblematic of the concept of the album.
Jéferson: What about this one, “Lencinho Querido” [Dear Little Scarf]? You’ve already performed it in a gig before, haven’t you?
Marisa: I sang it in the inauguration of a theater in São Paulo, to which I was invited to participate. It was the “Cafe de los Maestros”, with the participation of me and Gustavo Santaolalla. The “Cafe de los Maestros” is an Argentinian group, very tradition in tango, an old-school tango group. Then, I started to research what in the Brazilian universe would fit this language of theirs. Then I remembered of the tangos recorded in Brazil in the 40ies and 50ies. At this time, Argentinian and Latin music was much closer to Brazilian, and there were many versions in Portuguese. Some had been recorded by Francisco Alves, Dalva de Oliveira, Orlando Silva... I found to tangos that Dalva recorded, and that had been hits in her voice "Fumando Espero” [Smoking I wait] and the other "Lencinho Querido" [Dear Little Scarf]. So, I recorded here at home, just be and Dadi. We made a baseline with guitars and a few percussion to see the tone and beat, and send it as reference. The arranger Gustavo Mozzi (of Café de los Maestros) wrote an arrangement and they rehearsed it on top of that baseline. They sent bank to me the arrangement of their rehearsal and it was beautiful. When I met Gustavo Santolalla, in Los Angeles, I told him I wanted this song to be in the new record. Then, we went back there, talked to Gustavo Mozzi, and he had the multitrack of the rehearsal. He sent us the session, we mixed it, and that’s the version on the album.
Jéferson: "Bem Aqui" [Right Here} is a beautiful song. I loved it. How did this choice happen?
Marisa: "Bem Aqui" [Right Here] is a song of Dadi and Arnaldo that Dadi recorded in his solo album, with the same name, which was only released in Japan. I enjoyed playing it at home. It is quite reflexive, talks about being right where you are, about acceptance. The song is beautiful.
Jéferson: I also though was great “Aquela Velha Canção” [That Old Song], that is yours and Brown’s. Tell me more about the track, because I think it’s very cool that you say “Ah, vou te mandar para o inferno” [Oh, I’ll tell you to go to hell”, something we never heard you say in a song. I was rather surprised….
Marisa: That song is mine. I and Brown wrote the lyrics together. Usually, whenever I write a song, there are a few words that come naturally with the melody. It talks about someone who surrenders to love: “confesso que fiquei zangada, fiquei chateada, mas agora passou, esqueci, não vou te mandar para o inferno, porque não quero e porque fica muito longe daqui” [I confess I was angry, I was upset, but now it’s over, I’ll not tell you to go to hell, because I don’t want it, and it’s too far away from here]. It’s got somewhat of a Brazilian folk edge, with steel guitars. It one of the ones I recorded with the basic trio of Nação Zumbi, in São Paulo. Later it received a string arrangement made by Greg Cohen, in Nova York. Greg is the same guy who wrote the arrangements to "Maria De Verdade", “Magamalabares", "Alta Noite"...
Jéferson: “O Que Você Quer Saber Da Verdade” [What do you really wanna know}, reminded me a lot of “Vilarejo” [Small Village], you know?
Marisa: It’s also a ¾, as many others: "Beija Eu" [Kiss me], "Velha Infância” [Old Childhood], "Chuva No Brejo" [Rain in the Swamp] ... ¾ songs give a feeling of continuity. The statement itself, though, is very different from “Vilarejo”, but musically they belong to the same family.
Jéferson: "Era Óbvio" [It was Obvious], tell me some about this song…
Marisa: I and Arnaldo wrote it on a vacation trip, where we wrote a lot. Two of the ones we wrote in this trip are in the album. The other is “Seja Feliz” [Be Happy]. But “Era Óbvio” talks about a relationship that had no closure keeps existing, but only in the world of possibilities. And “Seja Feliz” is just pure happiness in enjoying life: “tão longa estrada, tão curta a vida, curta a vida” [So long the road, so short life, enjoy life].
Jéferson: Another one I though was great is “Amar Alguém” [Love Somebody] that talks about loving two people...
Marisa: "Amar alguém só pode fazer bem" [Love somebody can only make you good]... It talks about the fact that you don’t choose who you’ll love, if love can’t be explained, if love can’t be contained, why should it suffer over it? "Amar Alguém" talks a bit about the love not so much idealized, but about how we actually experience it, because it is rather unexpected, very inexplicable and quite surprising. It was written on a poem of Arnaldo, from the book “N.D.A.”, Dadi started to write melodies for, and we ended it together.
Jéferson: And “Depois” [After]? How was it? You wrote it with Carlinhos and Arnaldo, right?
Marisa: Yeah, this one too. The song and the melody are mine, and in the lyrics we talk about the end of a romance in a very progressive way… evolved, unattached, cool... The person wants the other to be happy because there is nothing more loving than wishing for that. Ends well, you know? With feelings, but without hard feelings…
Jéferson: “Hoje Eu Não Saio Não” [No way I’m going out today] has kind of a more… Brazilian Northeastern edge…
Marisa: This one is Arnaldo’s, Marcelo Jeneci’s , and Chico Salem’s and Betão’s...
Jéferson: They didn’t record it?
Marisa: They didn’t. I think they must have written it in a cheerful moment. They must have been having a lot of fun, laughing a lot while writing it. It’s great because is a very cheerful song. It talks about someone who’s stuck at home and doesn’t want to hang out. He wants to stay home, he’s not depressed, sad, blue. “Não troco meu sofá por nada, neném” [I’ll not trade my couch for anything, baby]. He might even have company, but there’s nothing better for him than being home at that time.
Jéferson: In your previous album, you dedicated “Rio” to your son. Have you written any of these songs thinking of someone, or do you create a character, for… perhaps, imagining the situation?
Marisa: I think is more of a movie-like situation, something more of imagining a situation. That’s funny, because when you write a song, people always want to connect it to something you’re going through. It’s much more about a collection of situations you lived, from experiences within you, which you are eventually able to access. I don’t have to be living a breakup to write about breaking up.