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The new Milton productions

 OCAS (Brazil) 25 May 2019

At the age of 65, Milton Nascimento still stops traffic. Whether it is on the promenade of Rio de Janeiro- were the most carioca natives of Minas Gerais live - or on the stage. The voice that would belong to God if he sang, like Elis Regina, once said, is a magnet that magnifies without intoning a single chord. On the verge of releasing a new album after a seven year pause, Milton, also known as “Bituca”, is in the final stages of the recording process. Brimming with ideas and projects, Milton’s serene voice still manages to stop time.  - Denise Mota

After a seven year hiatus "Bituca"(Milton Nascimento) is recording a brand new album with the participation of Wagner Tirso and artists of the city of Três Pontas in Minas Gerais.

 

At the age of 65, Milton Nascimento still stops traffic. Whether it is on the promenade of Rio de Janeiro- were the most carioca natives of Minas Gerais live - or on the stage. The voice that would belong to God if he sang, like Elis Regina, once said, is a magnet that magnifies without intoning a single chord.

On the verge of releasing a new album after a seven year pause, Milton, also known as "Bituca", is in the final stages of the recording process. Brimming with ideas and projects, Milton's serene voice still manages to stop time.  Without delay, the author of classics like "Maria Maria" and anthem's such as "Canção da América" and "Coração de Estudante" talks with OCAS about the creation of the new album produced by Wagner Tirso that will hit the stores at the end of this year. His last CD was "Pieta", published in 2002.

 

The surprises he found in the visits he made to the city of Três Pontas (Minas Gerais)- were he spent most of his childhood and were he started his artistic life- and the inspiration he gets in details of the "simple life", in the Brazil of today and tomorrow, and the balance of the memories built along his 50 year career were the topics of this little chat with the man who maintains the strange habit of "having faith in life."

 

OCAS: The inspiration of the new disc was born in Três Pontas. How was creative process of recording the new CD?

 

Milton Nascimento:  Some time ago the Billboard sent two people to map the music that is made in Brazil. They traveled the entire country mapping the music made here. When they arrived to Minas Gerais, they marked Belo Horizonte, and in the book published with the map, is a pathway to Três Pontas.  I went ballistic when I saw it. People from Japan, Norway, go there to see my house, talk with my relatives, etc. When I saw it on the Billboard book, I got worried because I thought: "The affluence of people will increase", that's because I thought that only me and Wagner Tirso were from there. But fortunately I was wrong, because there is an entire new generation starting there. When I went to visit my relatives in Três Pontas , I found in a little shop, in meetings organized by Marco, Wagner's cousin, 15 youngster's playing rock. I asked them to show me how they were and what were they playing. The next day, he went to a farm and in the kitchen were another group of 15 youngsters. I started to listen to the vocals, a lot of acoustic guitar, percussion and I said: "What an amazing thing". On the third day, I went to have lunch in another farm and I saw a boy playing the piano. I thought my God what a crazy thing! In three days, I meet about 30 people and so many musicians there, and all extraordinary,  I spent so much time traveling around Brazil and in the end I went to Tres Pontas and found all this.

 

OCAS: Is this discovery part of the new album?

 

M.N.: I called them to be part of the record, they were so happy. In the mean time I went traveling around Europe. I stayed in Rome for several days and saw a Lenine show (Brazilian singer). I was already told: "His kids only talk about you", and I was listening his things. During the show in Rome, he suddenly says that this was a special night for him because everywhere he went, he told a story, but for the first time he would say the story directly to "the person"; He started to say such beautiful things about me, things I rarely heard in life. After the show I went there to huge the guy and I thought: "Gosh, I have to do something. " When I feel like this I start to think what is messing with my soul, and it was the guys from Três Pontas. So I arranged with them to record Lenine's song "Paciência" (Patience). We used 20 guitars, and I don't know how many singers, piano, drums and bass. I called Lenine to sing with us (this version is included in the extras of the DVD 'Pieta', from 2006). It was then I decided to do an entire CD with them.

OCAS: The production is Wagner Tirso…

 

M.N.: Wagner and I started playing professionally in the same night, and we were neighbors.  For this work I thought: "Wagner has to produce it here." I called him and we started to record two days later. It will take a little bit and I intend to launch it by the end of the year. It will have the music of several composers, half of the songs are mine, but there will be songs from other people, people of Três Pontas.

 

OCAS: Where else in your daily activities do you find inspiration to compose?

 

M.N.: I love to swim and especially snorkeling. I do this everywhere I go, always. I love my house, which resembles the house where I spent my childhood, a house full of people, and many trees too.  Those are the kinds of things that give me a greater strength. Also any trip I do always adds something in my life.

 

OCAS: How do you see Brazil today?

 

M.N.: To tell you the truth, there are many things that I cannot understand.  How can such a beautiful country, so rich, with such a special people not have everything in the right place. Rio de Janeiro for example: if we leave things in the hands of whomever, it seems that it does everything to ruin the city. And the same goes to other regions of Brazil.

 

Sometimes people that come from abroad would ask me about Brazil, I use to say that Brazil was the place of "it was", of "already gone". Not so much now, but work needs to be done. I'll give you an example: once I went to do a concert in a football stadium. Sting, Tracy Chapman, Peter Gabriel, Youssou N'Dour, Bruce Springsteen were there and I was the Brazilian singer. In my presentation I said: "I hope this show serves not only for the happiness of seeing your idols, but to think on why this night is happening", it was a show of the Amnesty International (held in different countries, the Brazilian version was in Parque Antarctica,São Paulo in 1988.)

 

A couple of months passed and I went to Bahia and gave a news conference. When it finished, a group of youngsters around 16 or 17 years old asked to talk to me. They told me that because of what I said they had founded the Amnesty International Youth foundation. I almost had a fit of happiness.

Some time passed by and I went to Poços de Caldas in Minas Gerais. I was in my hotel room when someone knocked at the door. I open it, and nobody. They knocked three times more, and nobody was there. I thought: "When they knock again, I'll open." At the door was a seven years old boy, and I said to him "Good evening, is everything alright?". He said: "I'm with some guys here". I said: "They can come, I won't bite". The oldest in the group was about 12 years old I think and he said: "Our parents talked about the issue of the show in Sao Paulo, so we created the Children Amnesty International, the first in the world."

 

I told this to an Amnesty International member, and he confirmed that the subscriptions of the guys from Salvador and Poços de Caldas were for real. So the music stands as a way to illuminate paths and people. If it weren't for the music, this thing wouldn't have happened.

I believe immensely in Brazil because a place with people like this cannot go wrong.

 

OCAS: What is the balance of 50 years of carrier?

M.N.: I wouldn't change a thing. I would live and do exactly how I lived.

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Milton Nascimento- is one of the most influential and proclaimed singers of the Brazilian Popular Music (MPB). Also known as "Bituca", Milton grew up in the city of Três Pontas, in Minas Gerais, an interior region of Brazil. Performing since 1962, Milton belongs to the generation of Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Maria Betania and stands as one of the most respected artists not only in Brazil, but internationally. Milton won the 1998 Grammy for World Music and is considered one the best voices of all time in popular music.

Wagner Tirso- is a respected musician, producer, composer, arranger and pianist, in the Brazilian music industry. Tirso has produced many musical records, especially Milton's and 13 film soundtracks.

Lenine- Osvaldo Lenine Pimentel, popularly known as Lenine, is a two times Grammy winning artist. Lenine traditionally "belongs" to the MPB style, but is known for the "rock twist" he incorporates to the MPB rhythm.

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