© Rita Draper Frazão

Inner Tour is a blog about People, Arts and Traveling by Rita Draper Frazão.
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sexta-feira, 11 de outubro de 2019

Dreams that can change your fortune (with Marcos Valle)

Lord of the seas and the stars, Marcos Valle © Rita Draper Frazão 2019

Great stuff has been happening in Lisbon!  
I had a great thrilling cultural summer, packed with great concerts, that surveyed the city. Marcos Valle, made a concert here, and I was there to draw him, and his band!

Let's give him the credits: this musician, composer and producer, has created some of the most killer groovy tunes, Brazilian musicians' have ever done! Songs like Samba de Verão and Estelar boosted Brazilian music's influence into the world, to another level. I feel like, interestingly, throughout time, and still now, Marcos' music evolves, teaches and learns from new sources. 

No wonder, guys like Kanye West, Jay-ZJorge Ben Jor and Nicola Conte sampled his work!
Renowned singers like Sarah VaughanElis Regina, and more recently, Bebel Gilberto, have recorded with him or sang songs of his. 

Also with Leon Ware, (who produced music for Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Bobby Womack, Isaac Hayes or Quincy Jones) he's written pearls like Rockin You Eternally, and many more. I need to bring this up, because his most famous single, Estelar - that sold over ninety thousand copies worldwide - was one of those songs. Credits to his brother too, Paulo Sérgio Valle, who wrote those lyrics, and made many others, in a musical partnership with Marcos.

Knowing his music, you'll figure Valle's been throwing us hits, since the 60's! And guess what, he's alive and kicking! 

I think one of the recipes for his success, is that he keeps himself updated. He's someone very observant, attentive towards what's going on in the world, and that is reflected in his lyrics, in his musical choices, and in in the musicians and producers he works with. Themes like online dating, and the introduction of electronic music in his work are just some examples of that. No wonder I saw, at the concert, such a wide variety of ages, in the public.

He came to Lisbon to promote his latest album, Sempre, and revisited many of his hits too. One of the things that stoked me, was the freshness I felt in him. 
I imagine it can be hard to have all those hits and have to play them over and over.  The special thing here, is that I felt Marcos did it, as if he'd written them all yesterday, and wanted to share them with the world, with the greatest gift the Universe's given him: being inspired and being able deliver, while surfing in the wave of his dreams and creations. Some call it art. Or, in this case, the art in Marcos.
His music is happy and related to the good things in life: love, relationships, nature (always the sun!), taking care of yourself (mind, body and spirit), hope, dreams and having fun!

All of those, were inspiring for my portrait of Marcos. I made sure the color hues were all light and vivid, because softness and liveliness are qualities I appreciate in him, and I wanted to channel that, here too. 
Living up to the status of a legend, (a mythic figure for me, definitely one of my musical heroes) I felt his face had to have a classic vibe to it, and that is why it is just a pure straight pencil drawing with no colors in that part.  
Sun rays crossed my mind, while I was drawing and painting his hair.

Post doing the drawing, and while researching to write this article, I came across with this tune from Marcos, that I didn't know yet. It's called Fogo do sol, and is oddly connected to my drawing, since part of the lyrics say: 

Fogo do sol
Água do mar
Luz do luar
Eu sou assim

(Fire of the sun
Water from the sea
I am like that)

...I could've only portrayed him as the Lord of the seas and the stars he is, and deserves to be. 

Estelar, Patrícia Alví © Rita Draper Frazão 2019

Marcos Valle's partner in crime, is the singer Patrícia Alví
She's got a tuned voice, and an alluring presence. There is a lot of vitality in her.
I've made this drawing, while she was singing Estelar (means stellar). 

Her enticing vibe and long, beautiful, shining, dancing hair, inspired me to use a silver (stellar) eye shadow as paint and suggest motion.  
Her head is slightly leaning, in a posture of cooperation and listener. (So important in a musician!)

And, at the same time, this portrait is about her strength, freedom of movement, creativity and unconventional ways of doing things. How come?
In my mind, I came up with a way to visually match what I just said. And, I wanted to do something a bit more unexpected. A portrait is always unique, depending on the person I am drawing. In this case, the angle and the perspective of this drawing itself are symptomatic of my will of not doing the "same old thing" people would expect from a portrait: to draw a face.

Jessé Sadoc © Rita Draper Frazão 2019

This is the portrait of the trumpet player, Jessé Sadoc
There is something passionately focused, on Jessé's way of playing. His clearness of speech, somehow reminded me of Chet Baker. Every note in its right exact place. Know what I mean?
Because of that, I envisioned a portrait with very simple lines, for him. 
One's gotta be passionate about music to play like he does, so here, his trumpet is transformed into a blown heart.

Besides Marcos Valle, it makes sense he has worked with top notch artists such as, for example, Caetano Veloso, Ed Motta, João Bosco, or Lenine.

O Swing do Brasil, Renato "Massa" Calmon © Rita Draper Frazão 2019

Renato "Massa" Calmon, doesn't play, he slideessssssssss. He grooves in a sassy, funny, proactive, and creative way. 
I feel like Renato is a very fast learner, one that picks very easily new stuff, musical languages and rhythms.
I looked at him, and could feel this inner kid, enthusiastic about having fun.

 Listening to him, and if I didn't  know, I could tell, with my eyes closed, that he's Brazilian. It's just the way he plays, the way he grooves. The Brazilian swing runs in his veins, and his witty attitude makes a difference. That's where the colors of the Brazilian flag, in the drawing, are coming from. 

The scribbles were done in a loose hand movement. I intended to do something free, with no stiff molds, as I feel he does with music. No wonder he played with big names of Brazilian music, of the most diverse musical expressions. People like Fagner, Luís Melodia, Cássia Eller, Tim Maia, João Donato, and Ivete Sangalo, just to name a few.

 If I had to pick words to describe him, it would be diversity, fluency and versatility. So I picked different alphabets to write the title of the portrait. All languages make his own sunny realm.

John Copland © Rita Draper Frazão 2019

About John Copland, whose portrait is above: first of all, John is English. I guess every musician could learn how to play Brazilian music (if they want to), but not all of them could succeed, as he did. I was impressed.

I feel like John is very conceptual and pop*, in the way he plays bass, and that gave me the idea to open up "his mind" to the Universe with a pop type of pattern coming from it. I also had in mind, the dots in silkscreen prints, very much used by Pop Artists like Roy Lichtenstein or Andy Warhol

*John sometimes plays with pop groups like Crystal Fighters.

And, sometimes, from repetition comes new creations (and I think that might be particularly true in music), hence the pattern. The expression thinking out of the box was blinking, here too. And the box here was his mind, his ideas.

At the same time, the depth in John, required a more intense type of sketch for his visage. 
Black, was the color he was wearing that night, and (in tune with what I just said) gave me the contrast I wanted to pursue, here too.
Without a doubt, he was very consistent, incisive and needed. A pillar, as if the bass were a horizon(tal) line.

Raphael Sant'Ana's hand © Rita Draper Frazão 2019

Last, but not the least, is the drawing related to Raphael Sant'Ana, the man behind Rinoceronte Entretenimento. Raphael is the person who made all this possible. Thank you!

Inspired by his turquoise eyes, the light blues in this drawing, also relate to his great sensitivity, will to help, and being useful. His kind nature, made me think of dolphins (the stamps inside his hand) and his spiritual side, linked me to the stars shape.

Also, this drawing is kind of an optical game, where you can try to better perceive the shape, if you half shut your eyes to see it. 

Up until this point, I think people know I have a special thing with hands. I metaphorically see them as a way to relate. And ever since I was a kid (my Grandma who was painter, made me draw dozens of them!) they've been becoming more and more important in my work. And to this "portrait" of Raphael, hands had to be present.

This drawing is about an osmosis, of the self and the surroundings (hence the two light blues very similar, but still different hues). It's also about the things some could see, if they pay attention (as Raphael does), to certain details. All this, wrapped in his gentle and natural loving way to deal with people. Picking his hand to draw him, was just my way to portray his strong relational character.
 Not quite easy to mimic, and earned him a page in my drawing book!


Marcos is amazing and still rocks as the coolest thing on earth, as all the musicians that played with him are, individually, very strong and have very well defined musical identities.
All worked beautifully and was a pleasure to witness!

And it's not every day one gets to meet, draw and write about one of your musical heroes.
So, quoting Marcos, in Wanda Vidal's song, I'll end this article like this:

"Um sonho quando é forte, às vezes muda a sorte"
(When a dream is strong, sometimes changes your fortune)

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