© Rita Draper Frazão

Inner Tour is a blog about People, Arts and Traveling by Rita Draper Frazão.
If you want to use my work, presented here, please send me a message.


Paulo Curado's images of freedom

Paulo Curado © Rita Draper Frazão 2014

The news of Paulo Curado's passing (1960-2024), yesterday, were a slap in the face. A big hug to his family, friends and the music community in Portugal, which got poorer.

What a great musician and a wonderful person he was!

The sensitivity, sense of observation and the enigma that distinguished him, turned special the music he's done and the human relationships he had. I had the feeling that Paulo lived in limbo between a fragile height and a strong depth. And now that I think about it, I believe that all the drawings I made of him convey, in a certain way, that tone.

He expressed himself musically through the saxophone, flute, composition, sound design and improvisation. Besides music itself, he's worked in the film, animation, television, theater, dance and visual art areas. In this scope, we both had long conversations about the relationship between image and sound.

There was a poetry in Paulo that made me dream and fly whenever I heard him play.

Luckily, I had the chance to draw him several times. Here's one of my portraits that Paulo really liked: it was his profile picture on his Facebook page for many years. Here, he was playing saxophone at the Mia Festival in 2014. You can see more about this here.

Another drawing from him available online, is the one I've made of him in 2015, at ZDB. You can see it and read more about that subject here.

Besides liking music and visual arts, we had other things in common. Regarding the fact that, way back, I studied flute, Paulo told me how starting to play this instrument, had been a lucky strike in his life, in a day he'd found a forgotten flute, picked it up and started to learn how to play it. 

At one point we were neighbors. It wasn't Paulo's style to brag himself, but one day, slipping through the cracks at my place, he told me about the times he played with his cousin, José Peixoto, with Janita Salomé, José Mário Branco or Carlos Paredes. Legends of Portuguese music from whom we have a lot to learn from. As we do from him too.

Eclipse for Paulo Curado © Rita Draper Frazão 2015

I liked Paulo so much that, at one point, I offered him this original drawing that I've especially made for him. The image was the cover of an article published at Jazz.pt and here on my blog Innertour. Yet only now I'm sharing with you the dedication I wrote on its back and its purpose: to thank him for everything he'd given me. Due to the respect I had towards him, I'm kind of embarrassed to say this, but Paulo told me he was a fan of mine. Which explains what I wrote in the dedication, on the back of the drawing:

Eclipse backwards for Paulo Curado © Rita Draper Frazão 2015

"26th of September, 2015

Dear Paulo,

This world is a more beautiful, colorful and certainly more inspiring place with musicians like you. Thank you very much for all the images of freedom and of rare beauty you have given me. I wish you all the colors in the world. It's not just you, I'm your fan too!

A kiss from your friend,

<3 Rita #"

How lucky was I to be his friend and to have been inspired by Paulo, so many times in my work and, above all, in life.

You can see some of the drawings and texts I wrote about him, here in my blog. One of the portraits was never published and is well stored to be published in other flights. Fortunately, I managed to show them all while he was still alive.

Being in Europe (in a country closer to me), yesterday a childhood friend of mine - who is Lebanese and lives in Beirut - wrote me because he remembered myself. Considering that this conversation took place on the day I received the sad news of Paulo's passing, this message was a symbolic reminder of how life goes by fast and how important it is to take care of each other and value friendship, sometimes with a simple message as this one. شكرا صلاح!

In today's world, where we're pulled in a thousand directions by social media, internet, apps, podcasts, publicity, press, artificial intelligence, etc, it remains in me the rare example of master Paulo: that in order to be heard, loved and remembered, one can also be, at the same time, reservedly remarkable.

And I'll never forget you, my dear friend. May you follow the light.

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