And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It’s the end of all strain, it’s the joy in your heart

Waters of March (Tom Jobim)

What is your favourite season of the year? In Rio de Janeiro this question has a limited number of answers, since Winter is usually very mild and Spring and Fall are hardly noticeable in their most subtle details. On my previous post I talked about personal quests, the great causes that lead our lives, and today I would like to share another song-related experience with you, this time related to Summer or, better saying, the end of it.

I am not really a fan of high temperatures. A big disadvantage if you live in a tropical country, but to be totally frank with you, even when I lived in the north of Germany, where Summer sometimes lasts no longer than a weekend, it was not on the top of my list. I believe it has something to do with the lazy, on-pause feeling connected to the season. Do you know what I mean?

I was on one of those “on hold” periods, at the very beginning of the production of my first album, when a heat wave hit town. I tried to stay calm and follow the recording schedule, but everything seemed to be a bit harder under the hot temperatures. In the middle of this mess, After Summer , lately added to the album repertoire, came to my mind:

“I want the end of summer
I want another season
Stop thinking about what is going to be
And see
everything that goes on around me
After the summer I will be
Magazine covers, invitations to interviews
After the summer will happen
Magazine covers
Invitations to interviews
As soon as the summer is over
You’ll see
I want the end of summer
I want another station
Going out at noon wearing a heavy coat
Golden shades on my eyes
Highlighted by the autumnal light
As soon as the summer is over
it will happen
Magazine covers, invitations to interviews
When no one notices
Magazine covers, invitations to interviews
After the summer I will be
the one”

The magazine covers are still waiting, although I´ve already given a couple of interviews, but the truth is that when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I am felling sad I suddenly remember this refrain and then I really don´t feel so bad.

I may not know about your Summer dreams and I bet that lately a lot of them had been ripped at the seams, but remember: there is always room for hope and faith, no matter which season this is.

Be seeing you!

G.F.

On my previous post I talked about the influence of cartoons and movies I watched during my childhood on my musical taste and today I would like to share with you some thoughts on a song included in my first solo album (Geisa Fernandes). It is called Grandes Causes (Great Causes).

Unlike most of my songs, I am not able to tell its “zero point”, the first idea, the match that started the fire of ideas that consumes the mind of any songwriter in action. I´ve tried everything: from searching in all hidden corners of my memory to double checking the little notebooks I use to write the first version of any lyrics. And yet nothing. No clues at all. Does it feel weird not to remember the inspiration for a creation of your own? Yes, it does! A lot. On the other hand, when I read the lyrics of this tune, the words are so clear and meaningful to me that it sounds more like a manifesto.

The first verses say:

“In my opinion
People should only die
Of love
Or for great causes”

If you ask me what is my definition of a great cause, I would have problems to explain, but let´s see…

I would start by saying it is definitely not your dream purchase, so forget “I shall not rest until I buy that car/house/boat or private island.” Your great cause is not something you can buy, it is not something you can trade and, above all, it is not something you use to feed your social media. As I see it, it is your mission, your quest, your goal in this incredibly crazy journey called life.

I wonder what would you call a great cause and how hard would you fight for it. I wonder if there is still a place for great causes in the world of today or if it became an old, rusty concept that sounds somehow misplaced.

I wonder a lot of things.

Be seeing you!

G.F.

Karma Chameleon is one of the hits of the 1980´s UK new wave band Culture Club. Bandleader Boy George once said in an interview it was “about the terrible fear of alienation that people have, the fear of standing up for one thing. (…) Basically, if you aren’t true, if you don’t act like you feel, then you get Karma-justice, that’s nature’s way of paying you back.”

The song came to my mind last week, when dear musician friend S. asked: “What is it, that makes you so passionate about Jazz?”. Good one, don´t you think? The kind of question that demands some time of reflection. My answer was: “It makes me feel at home”. I thought it was quite a clever one, somehow enigmatic, sincere without being obvious, but then I got greedy and added: “And a bit of Karma, as well.” Do you know the saying: There is no greater disaster than greed?

S. asked me to elaborate. Karma, jazz, home. Each one of these words represent a complex concept, but first of all, I shall clarify that I meant Karma not as fate, but rather as destiny, your mission, you know, the one thing that you got to do in order ‘to be true’. So far, so good? Great! Now read the title of the post again and I will explain the ‘feeling at home’ part.

Chances are you´ve recognized the first original verse of ‘Desafinado’ (Off Key), by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Newton Mendonça, worldly famous in the voice of João Gilberto. The lyrics begin with: ‘If you say my singing is off keymy love…’, a sentence that resonates to most comments to my singing style made during my childhood and teenage years. Unfortunately, I did not know this tune so well by then and therefore lost the opportunity of replying using another verse of it: ‘Isso é Bossa Nova, isso é muito natural’ (this is Bossa Nova, naturally).

I do remember quite well though, saying to playmates who claimed I was always “changing the songs” and “singing them wrong” that there was no point at all in simply imitating the singers. How old was I? Six, maybe seven. A little jazzy soul trying to explain that it don´t mean a thing, if you ain´t got that swing. Did they get me? Nope. Nor did many musicians who crossed my way during my learning years.

Sometimes it takes a while to find your way home but, once there, it all makes sense.

Be seeing you!

G.F.