Brazilian composer Otavio Henrique Soares Brandão was born in 1949 in Rio de Janeiro. He started studying music in Brazil, then moved to France in 1977 to study electroacoustic music with Jacques Lejeune and to attend the IRCAM seminars with Pierre Boulez and Luciano Berio, a.o. Since then, he has lived alternatively between Brazil and France. Starting 1995, Soares Brandão led several educational music programs in Rio de Janeiro’s slums, projects he undertook with partner, painter and sociologist Íbis Ferreira Soares Brandão (author of this LP’s cover collage).
♫ Homenagem a Foucault (1985) was the first of a series of piano compositions inspired or dedicated to Pierre Schaeffer (pictured above), whom Soares Brandão had met in 1977, immediately becoming a disciple in the field of music education and composition. Soares Brandão claims his piano music is inspired by Schaeffer in the way it requires the interpret to perform the sonification of the instrument and raise un-notated sonorities on the fly during the performance itself. Hence, the music is partly improvised and focuses on sound more than on a written score. Says Soares Brandão:
La métamorphose de l’œuvre en objet musical a pour conséquence la transfiguration de l’interprète en créateur concret et du compositeur en créateur abstrait.
[When a music piece is transformed into a sound object, the interpret becomes a musique concrète composer and the composer an abstract creator.]
Recorded in Rio de Janeiro in 1985, Homenagem a Foucault is full of semi-improvised traits and resounding, Liszt-ian deluge of notes, yet the music never loses its colorful and provocative Brazilian roots, think Villa-Lobos’ Rudepoêma, for instance. In the liner notes, Soares Brandão calls the piece a caleidoscópio antropofágico, alluding to Oswald de Andrade’s influential Manifesto Antropófago, published 1928. The latter and the Revista de Antropofagia stressed the role of psychoanalysis and sub-conscious in art, the importance of primitivism from Black and Amerindian heritage in Brazilian creativity, and a Marxist political awareness.
01 Homenagem a Foucault – Parte I (17:00)
02 Homenagem a Foucault – Parte II (17:08)
Total time 34:08
Privately released LP, cut and pressed by Polygram do Brasil Ltda, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1985