Soares Brandão – Homenagem a Foucault

Soares Brandão - Homenagem a Foucault LP front cover
Soares Brandão - Homenagem a Foucault LP back coverSoares Brandão - Homenagem a Foucault LP lado B
With Pierre Schaeffer, 1988

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


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16 Responses to “Soares Brandão – Homenagem a Foucault”

  1. 1 s. borges April 11, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Where in the world do you find this music?!?!!? Brilliant!!!

  2. 2 continuo April 11, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Well, Soares Brandão lives in France at the moment, so it was only a matter of time I stumbled upon a copy of this LP. Expect more Brazilian avantgarde on the blog this week.

  3. 3 Joaquín Mendoza Sebastián April 11, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Wonderful record as always! and thumbs up for the brazilian avantgarde!…last year I met Jorge Antunes, here in Caracas, in the Latin American Music Festival

  4. 4 Joaquín Mendoza Sebastián April 11, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    @s.borges…your soundcloud link is broken…where can I hear your music?
    (sorry for the double comment continuo)

  5. 5 continuo April 11, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    HI, Joaquín. Multiple comments are welcome, especially from nice people like you.
    Smetak’s SoundCloud link works fine for me. You should try again later.

  6. 6 s. borges April 11, 2011 at 6:02 pm


    Hopefully, my soundcloud page is up and going. Here, from work, I can’t really check.

    Jorge Antunes I know via the web – he’s a professor at the University of Brasília (this is his blog: – which is full of leftist politics – he has a thing for the French… – note that he was a candidate for the Left, during the elections in Brasilia), and a founder of the Sociedade Brasileira de Música Eletroacústica, which can be found here: – they have for sale a boxset, with some four or five cds, of their work, at a very low price. The writting, included with the set, isn’t really very good, but the sounds are quite interesting.

    In regard to Brazil, the work of Lula Côrtes and the avant-garde movement in Pernambuco of the turn of the 60s to 70s, is quite interesting and in tone with Continuo’s grand scheme here. Not to be missed! If help needed, just drop me a line.

  7. 7 continuo April 11, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Thanks, Sergio. From what I know of Lula Côrtes, his music is rather folk- and psych-oriented, not really our usual feature on this blog. Maybe you have a specific LP in mind?

  8. 8 s. borges April 11, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    I would say, “slightly different”, but not much from what you usually post.

    This would be quite a good exemple of the northeastern psychedelia by the obscure Marconi Notaro – not Côrtes, but quite similar (there’s a tribute to “Satwa” – a Côrtes project).

    Check it out:

    Though what is very much in line with the blog are the two records by Walter Smetak. I’ll see if I can find you the links.

    cheers, s.

  9. 9 continuo April 11, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    I’m trying the Marconi Notaro. Thanks for the recommendation.
    As for Smetak, I have one of his 2 LPs and both were posted on blogs before. But they would be perfect for the blog, indeed, as well as Rodolfo Caesar’s “A Arte Dos Sons” (which I also have).

  10. 10 twinkle April 12, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    very inspirational

  11. 11 continuo April 12, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Nice absorption/digestion of the music, Joseph. But I wonder if Schaeffer would approve: he was such a devout Catholic.

  12. 13 Otavio Henrique Soares Brandão April 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    We still have some vynil of “Homage to Foucault. ” If you know people interested in acquiring it as we send. We also have the DVD “Réponse à Schaeffer ( I liked your advertisement, thank you.

  13. 14 continuo April 15, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Hi, Otavio. Glad you would be pleased with my posting of your wonderful music. Thanks for dropping by.

  14. 15 ibisfsb June 17, 2011 at 1:45 am

    I am pleased to share with you my new DVD . Otavio

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