We all realize that we are at a turning point in our lives and it is somewhat doubtful whether we will ever be able to find the world…
At least as we knew it before.
But where people, ideas, habits, and even possessions are lost, there will always be notes.
Beautiful and harmoniously laid out in the form of melodies. To remind us how ephemeral and temporary everything is in life.
But also, to call to mind that what always stays, in the end, is art.
An art that captures in its own language what happens between two deaths: birth and physical decay.
After all, every great idea is born where everything looks dark and uncertain … Like the light needs darkness to appear.
The idea of Leonardo Vinhas
The inspirer of such an idea is the journalist and producer Leonardo Vinhas.
Speaking on the “Scream & Yell” page, Vinhas mentioned characteristics that “we all experience a big problem, but in our own way.”
Government decisions to protect us from the pandemic have changed everything in our lives, in many cases never to return.
Everything is now in question and it is at this point that music appears … Always present in our every moment.
According to the journalist, music precedes the speech.
“Birds sang before the invention of the first language, there was rhythm in the noises of nature, many learn to whistle or shout melodies before they speak.
If there’s one form of communication that can be universal, it’s music. ”
Simple and melodic… emotions
With this in mind, he asked 25 artists from 9 different countries to transfer the experience of their quarantine into songs in a short period of time.
The basic premise is that they have been recorded at home and with resources available to them.
Some had professional equipment, others only had a microphone or a cell phone.
But the result is far above the lo-fi sound, mainly thanks to the dedication of the musicians and the excellent mastering of producer Rodrigo Stradiotto.
The purpose was to convey their feelings about everything we all experience in the middle of quarantine.
The original idea was for everyone to show that “we are” (¡Estamos!) Together, united through music.
He deliberately gave a week for the artists to respond, so that the moment could be spontaneously expressed.
In this short time, which was the deadline, many things happened:
- Three musicians could not participate due to health problems that affected them or their families.
- Another one was deeply affected by the confinement and could not respond.
- Vinhas himself, due to his position as a journalist, was found to be investigating the mechanisms of mourning/grief that we all experience.
The cause of mourning is the end of the “supposed worlds“, not just physical death, but when we lose something.
As he puts it, “we all lost something.” He realized that two of his friends had lost their mothers to Covid-19.
His partner had a health problem that nearly cost her life. In essence, he saw that this whole situation extinguished every certainty we had in life.
At the same time, he found that some “entertainment employees“, as he describes them, refusing to call them artists, started streaming live.
Even companies that want to take advantage of the pandemic have started using the first plural, always saying “we are” (¡Estamos!).
Something that happens not only in Brazil but also in our country … It is superfluous!
All this made him reconsider the idea and purpose of this collection.
What does ¡Estamos! mean
The title of the album is not easy to translate, as the verb “I am” has two possible renditions in Portuguese and Spanish.
So when we say “we are” in these languages, we may mean something permanent (“somos humanos”) or “temporary” (“estamos confinados”).
More specifically, as “¡Estamos!” explained in the Press Release, in the first plural it means proud and loyal and focuses on being (¡Estamos!) People.
Different, but with the same problems. People imposed on them a supposed “protective” uniformity, which looks like violence.
However, every creation derived from this uniformity, in music is expressed with a strange sense of rage.
This basically wants to show that we are all here, in our homes – cages, with our choices, but alive!
“We are alive and well (estamos vivos, e criando). And we look beyond the cages and the cells,” Vinhas saying the press release.
Each participant stopped doing what he or she did to do just that and turned his emotion into a “stone” for this album.
The 21 artists had the opportunity to express their own perspective in this “crazy moment of quarantine“.
Each musician gives a different meaning or perhaps interpretation. They recorded what was going on in their minds and souls.
As Colombian Andrés Correa says in the song “Realidad“:
“It simply came to our notice then.
is already over,
it’s just that no one has noticed
and I’m here without understanding what reality was
and why I could never touch her. ”
The present that captures is something that deserves everyone’s attention!
Artists from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Portugal, USA, and Greece are participating.
Between them are:
- The American man-band The Blank Tapes,
- Uruguayan cult folk singer Nicolás Molina (former member of Molina y Los Cósmicos),
- The Chilean rappers Liricista and Moral Distraída,
- The rising star of Argentine electronic music, Lucia Tacchetti.
- Coordination and editing: Leonardo Vinhas
- Mastering: Rodrigo Stradiottto
- Cover: Bruno Honda Leite
Vinhas’ thanks to: Rodrigo, Bruno, Pablo Hierro, Cesar Sanguinetti, Bruno Capelas, Andrés Correa, Jota Wagner, Duda Victor, Caio Cruz, Veridiana Mercatelli, Nelson, Pedro Dalton, Edu Schmidt, Juan Olmedillo, Juliana Trindade, Marcelo Costa and Helena Brigido.
The Greek participation
As for the Greek participation, we have John Drake, bassist of the band Dirty Fuse together with Michalis Fournarakos.
The music is both and the lyrics belong to John Drake.
The song is called “Defamed” and overflows with rage, in a way that only an Oi! Punk band can perform.
It is a collection that brings together different genres in the midst of a difficult and uncertain situation.
For some, it may not be a masterpiece, but any critique should “remember” that it is a collection that unites.
A collection for “We Are“, which captures the present with notes…