AFONSO PAIS & RITA MARIA
“ALÉM DAS HORAS”
Afonso Pais, referência estabelecida na cena musical nacional, desenvolve desde o início da sua carreira artística um trabalho de composição exploratório das vertentes e possibilidades da música escrita e da improvisação. Viveu em Nova Iorque os primeiros cinco anos da sua vida profissional, período após o qual se estabeleceu em Lisboa.
Tendo colaborado com cantautores como Edu Lobo, Ivan Lins, Rui Veloso ou JP Simões, partilhado o palco ou estúdio com cantores como Dee Dee Bridgewater, Camané e António Zambujo, e gravado com nomes maiores da música instrumental como por exemplo Peter Bernstein, Perico Sambeat ou João Paulo Esteves da Silva, Afonso Pais apresenta agora a sua parceria artística com a aclamada cantora Rita Maria, singular intérprete e improvisadora, com o projecto intitulado “Além das Horas”.
Rita Maria, por seu lado, conta com um percurso musical eclético, fruto do contacto que teve com as mais variadas culturas musicais, as quais encontrou nas temporadas que a levaram aos Estados Unidos, Índia e Ecuador, estando agora de regresso a Portugal. Ao longo dos últimos anos tem trabalhado com Mário Laginha, Carlos Bica, Ziv Ravitz, Elias Meister ou Maria Tejada, para citar alguns nomes, apurando a sua personalidade musical e expressão artística através do instrumento que a acompanha desde sempre: a Voz.
Mais do que uma combinação ou cruzamento de estilos musicais, o repertório reflecte uma assimilação, usando o formato de canção, a expressão da palavra cantada em português, abrangendo a improvisação, a unidade e interacção do grupo, sem compromissos de pertença a alguma tipologia musical pré-determinante ou predominante.
“Além das Horas” é publicado em disco em 2016 pela editora alemã ENJA Records. Nesta colecção de canções Portuguesas, com e sem letra, pontualmente instrumentais, cada composição introduz o seu universo musical sem contudo o delimitar. A narrativa musical leva-nos através das canções, pela voz de Rita Maria segundo o imaginário de Afonso Pais, decorrendo da cumplicidade musical e parceria de longa data que consubstancia esta colaboração artística.
Data de Edição: Nas lojas a 4 de Novembro
Editora: ENJA Records
Distribuição em Portugal: DistriJazz
“Além das Horas” roughly translates as “Beyond the Hours”.
The title refers to our ability to wholly embrace the concept of something being everlasting, even though such a concept presents itself reaching to a degree of abstraction that is past our understanding or scope, where time plays no role whatsoever.
In the title track´s lyrics, Orpheus briefly mourns the loss of his loved one, Eurydice, who is dead. She tries to comfort him all the while, praising their love over their anguished separation, and finally asks him to meet her again, beyond the hours.
Organized in an episodic fashion, this collection of songs takes us through the musical narrative following a plot: Each song introduces its own particular musical universe without completely detaching itself from the bigger universe it belongs to: the set list. Only upon completion of the listening experience in the intended sequence will the listener have a comprehensive view of the story told, as a whole. On the other hand, each song stands on its own and none is more important than the other, in what concerns the musical message it brings to the record, or the ability each tune has to affirm its particular reach.
Because the compositions are so diverse and so clearly allow the broad range of influences to show through, the path to achieve the intended results musically was through assimilation, allowing for a clear identity to be looked for and developed naturally within each of the tracks. The music here presented adds up to a collection of songs mostly with lyrics, some using the voice solely as a melodic instrument, many emphasizing the ensemble as an interacting unit highlighting improvisation, presenting varied arrangement and instrumentation layouts, always uncompromising and unwilling to be branded narrowly.
Afonso Pais and Rita Maria started their musical partnership fifteen years ago and have been performing together in a regular basis ever since. This record celebrates all the unspeakable, and that is exactly the reason why the moment is right for this music to see the daylight.
Guitarist and composer Afonso Pais has been exploring the possibilities of both the improvisation and the written music, since he first went to New York City in 1998. He has spent the first five years of his musical career there, during which time he studied with some of the best musicians in the American jazz scene, such as Buster Williams, Joe Chambers, Andrew Cyrille, Peter Bernstein, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Hal Galper or Joanne Brackeen, for instance. Based in Lisbon, Portugal, since then he has released six albums as a leader on International Jazz labels ENJA Records, Clean Feed, in the history laden Portuguese label Orfeu, as well as on other labels. With each new CD Afonso has been paving the way to best convey the integration of influences that permeates his expression through composition and improvisation: assimilation and identity. He has played numerous venues, be it festivals, concert halls or club performances, presenting his own records and being featured regularly as a soloist with other bands, spanning many countries such as the USA, Brazil, Morocco, Mozambique and most European countries. Throughout his career he has recorded with the likes of Edu Lobo, Peter Bernstein, Perico Sambeat, Albert Sanz and João Paulo Esteves da Silva, toured with Ivan Lins band, played in concert with Dee Dee Bridgewater, George Benson, Mário Laginha, António Zambujo, Olivier Ker Ourio, Sueli Costa, just to name a few.
Singer Rita Maria was born in Lisbon and first started her formal studies in Jazz when she was fourteen years old. Her interest in improvisation revealed itself very early, and although she began her career singing jazz standards, she quickly became involved in the search for different ways of exploring the use of the voice in an experimental way and evolving her own wordless approach to improvisation. Rita began her cultural journey by strengthening the bonds with the Jazz tradition, and this search took her to Berklee College of Music, where she studied with Hal Crook, Ed Tomassi, Dave Santoro, Joey Blake, Carolyn Leonard-Escoffrey and Fay Claassen, among others.
Her tireless curiosity towards exploring the World´s different cultures and the music each has to offer took her also to India and Ecuador. There she spent her time learning and teaching music, as well as performing with musicians both from a shared Jazz background, but also from smaller local communities in which the culture is still carried through their traditional music. A few of the musicians she has worked with on record or in concert are: George Mel, Ziv Ravitz, Daniel Ori, Gordon Au, Anna Hoffman, Noriaki Mori, Igor Icaza, Cayo Iturralde, Yeray Jiménez, Carlos Albán, María Tejada, Donald Regnier. More recently, she joined the group Stockholm Lisboa Project. Now based in Portugal, Rita has worked with Carlos Bica, Mário Laginha, among many others. She is presently an active musician in the Portuguese scene, exploring the many facets or her craft.