10 Questions! with Renato Anesi

by Brazil Club - Let The Music Take You There on 01/24/2013 - 10:17 pm

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10Q: You play many string instruments in your shows. What are these instruments and how did you come up with this idea?

I’ve been playing 5 instruments in my US shows: mandolin, country guitar, tenor guitar, “dynamic guitar” [sic.], and cavaquinho. First I learned how to play the guitar professionally, and since the beginning of my work as a composer I used a few different instruments to add more tone colors and possibilities for different sounds during the shows. It wasn’t something that I planned objectively, it begun to unfold in that way by the very nature of what the music that I make.

10Q: Who is your favorite musician, song, and musical style?

I don’t really have an idol. I love several composers and instrumentalists. For instance: Pixinguinha, Jacob do Bandolim, Garoto, George Gershwin, Astor Piazzola, Egberto Gismonti , Jimi Hendrix, Joe Pass, Paco de Lucia...among many others. I like music in general. I get just as emotional listening to a blues band or a classical concert with an orchestra, it depends on the amount of emotion that is being expressed in a sincere and honest way. I like pure and daring art.

10Q: How did you begin your musical career?

I became a professional guitarist at age 17, when I went to play in the band of an artist, singer and composer, called Zé Geraldo. After that I never went back to school, and later went on composing my own songs and recording my discs. But I also played as an instrumentalist in a few works by different artists as well.

10Q: What was the most significant moment of your career?

It’s hard to say which was the most significant moment during these 25 years working on stage. I can say that the next show is always the most significant one of my life, because through it I have a new opportunity to learn and to use all that I have been learning during these years. I always feel the same nervousness and anxiety, in spite of everything [that I’ve already been through]. It’s always a new adventure, always a magic and sacred moment for me, and therefore significant.

10Q: How do you think Brazilian music is perceived abroad, and how do you foresee the future of Brazilian Jazz and Bossa Nova?

I feel like Brazilian music is even more admired abroad than in Brazil. And that is why I want to stay in the USA. There are many more opportunities to truly develop artistic music, [because] here there are still a lot of people interested in that. Brazil hasn’t been an interesting place for musicians that create work that way. The audience for the music that I make has always been small, and the means of communication – radio and TV—haven’t helped at all, on the contrary, they get on the way by broadcasting a bunch of stuff of awful artistic quality. I feel bad about this because Brazil has excellent musicians and composers, but the culture is being treated very badly.

10Q: How many tours have you done through the US? What do you like the most about it?

I did a tour 2 years ago. What I like the most about [the US] is that the audience is interested in music, besides that there is a whole country to play to. [Even] in small towns you can find a good audience and venue to play artistic music.

10Q: Do you prefer to play or to compose? Which takes up more of your time?

Playing and composing are two very different things. Composing is a lonely work and playing for an audience is very social. I like both things and need both of them to live. When I am composing a song I am already imagining how it will turn out.

10Q: Tell us a bit about your career as a composer. When did you start composing? How many CDs and tracks have you already composed?

I started to play composing things, it was like that from the beginning. I recorded 3 discs, "Corda Coral" "Rosa dos Tempos,” and "10 anos depois." I recorded a CD together with a Spanish guitarist, Josa Luiz Monton, in Europe, and participated in other CDs by other composers, such as Chico Saraiva, Tom Zé, Marquinho Mendonça, and others.

10Q:  What advice would you give to an instrumentalist musician or composer in the beginning of their career?

I think that the main advice is absolute dedication and humility, an open mind, and sincerity.

10Q: Is there a theme, either abstract or concrete, present in your style and musical goal? What would you attribute to your inspiration to play?

All that I live influences and inspires me. I see in each song an unique spirit. My will to play and to compose comes from the necessity to express my feelings and general perceptions of my life, aside, of course, from trying to bring to people a ton of contemplation, joy of living, and mental health. I hope, that in this moment, people connect to higher feelings that make their lives better.