Friday, February 4, 2011

Vitor Ramil and the melancholic sound of the southern Brazilian plains

Vitor Ramil’s soft voice may remind you of the Brazilian star Caetano Veloso, but don’t be fooled, his style is his own. Inspired by the vast and empty plains of southern Brazil, the singer, composer, and writer coined the expression “aesthetic of the cold,” referring to a common sound produced by musicians in his native state of Rio Grande do Sul, as well as in Argentina and Uruguay. Heirs of the milonga, a typical rhythm of the pampas, and prone to write melancholic lyrics and melodies, artists such as Ramil, Kevin Johansen, and Jorge Drexler maintain a fluid stream of collaborations.

With his acoustic guitar in hand, Ramil produces music that differs radically from the upbeat sounds usually associated with tropical Brazil, preferring instead a calmer, thoughtful mood. Since his first record, issued in 1981 when he was only 18 years old, Ramil has written a handful of books, released several albums, and worked with first-rate musicians including Egbert Gismonti and Wagner Tiso. His work has earned him a solid and steadily increasing underground following, but it’s hard to imagine him featured on major pop stations.

"Grama Verde", by Vitor Ramil:

"Querência" is a poem by João da Cunha Vargas put to music by Vitor Ramil:

"Um dia você vai servir alguém" is a version Vitor Ramil wrote for Bob Dylan's "Gotta serve Somebody", alongside musician Lenine:

More Vitor Ramil here:
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