20 Questions with Luiz Macedo

brEntrevista em português


1) What is your name?

Luiz Eduardo Macedo

2) Where were you born?

Poços de Caldas, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

3) Where do you live?

I live in São Paulo.

4.Your musical history: When did you become interested in music?

I have two brothers who influence me greatly: William played electric guitar and sang in dance bands, and Arlei played trumpet with the Marista High School band. I imitated the two, just playing electric guitar and trumpet. Having played trumpet in the school band eventually led me to the Municipal School of Music in São Paulo, where I did composition, counterpoint, formal study and afterwards to the Youth Municipal Orchestra, chamber groups and also to popular music, then to dance bands like Sossega Leão (Cool It Cat) as well as the Heartbreakers. But at that formative time at 18 years old I ended up going to study geology at the University of São Paulo where I went for only two years. After the acoustic guitar, still a youngster I played cavaquinho in choro groups (a genre of Brazilian music, “choro” (cry) is sometimes described as a Brazilian blues), and I even studied a little classical guitar with Henrique Pinto. The electric guitar I started learning very young, while I was still in Poços de Caldas. In São Paulo I played with amateur groups, and much later, already living as a producer, I played electric guitar with Karnak.

5) Who are your influences?

After I got my first electric guitar at 12 years old, I began to study and delve myself into it. And as mentioned my brothers: from William came interest in the Beatles, Creedence, America, Yes, and from Arlei came interest in the classics. Adding to the two I was a fan for some time of Rick Wakeman, I always liked this diversity but never decided on any one genre. I studied the classics and really like the music of the beginning of the last century. Debussy, Ravel, Fauré. In acoustic guitar I adored Dilermando Reis and Baden Powell. I love creativity and do not care too much to follow a pattern. But perhaps I had established myself as a producer because I never decided what I really like. Frankly, I like many things, from regional Brazilian music to experimental electronic along with everything in the middle.

LuizMacedo3 - Version 2

6) How much time do you spend practicing?

I used to practice a lot, as the trumpet is a difficult and unforgiving instrument, you lose the muscle tone if you stop playing. I had a serious problem with my teeth and had to put the instrument aside for a long time. It was then that I approached producing and returned to the electric guitar. Today I practice very little. I use the instruments to compose, if there is a complicated part in a composition, I always call on the expertise of my friends.

7) What instruments do you play?

From my formative years the trumpet, it was really the only one for which I made a living, at night or in the orchestras. The cavaquinho I picked up after having studied classical and electric guitar. I use the piano and keyboard to compose, for the visualization and for the texture, but the core of music is sometimes connected to the instrument that you use. Sometimes a composition is simply selecting a computer loop, which is also an instrument. Sometimes a riff or a phrase enters my head while I’m in transit, or in the bath, as was the case with “Bossa Nova, Né?” My main instrument is curiosity.


Cover by Guilherme Aranega

8)What are some of the genres of music you like the most?

As I told you, I have a serious problem defining it. Yesterday I heard Caymmi after many years, and I love the simplicity and depth of his music. The day before yesterday I was listening to Kraftwerk, and I love what they did. When I released Orchestra Electromagnética, I had thought about making it more electronic in a similar vein, but when I started calling my first group of friends to participate, I couldn’t stop and wound up calling 25 of them. I traded big band electronica for flesh and blood musicians. Then I couldn’t pinpoint any particular genre, nor any clear form for the project. I love the stakes, the influences that each one brings. It was for this that I included “Le Bizarre Circus Musik” in the album title.

9)Who is your favorite composer or musician? Why?

I really do not have one. I can be taken by a simple series of chords of an indie band like Radio Dept. or be overjoyed by The Poem of Ecstasy by Scriabin. Different feelings but with the same intensity. I cannot keep up with trends. In the work of the producer, I prefer to stay connected to everything and to hear many references. I do not let my personal tastes weigh much. With the sad passing of Chris Squire I listened again to a bunch of Yes, who in one moment of my life had been my favorite band. But it must not have lasted long for soon I became interested in another without really wanting to drop the first. I like very much soundtracks, and if I should name a favorite composer, I would cite Bernard Hermann.

10) What is your favorite song of all time? Does this exist?

Look, I don’t think it exists. A year ago I loved Where Are We Now by David Bowie, I reminded myself that I loved very much slow and somewhat sad songs. But today I find that Close To the Edge occupies a prominent place. Tomorrow, with certainty, there will be another.

11) Futebol. Soccer. Who do you support?

I grew up in Poços de Caldas and trained a little for Caldense, for whom I keep in my thoughts with affection.


12) Where would you like to travel?

To Angor Wat, it fascinates me. But I think I’m kinda lazy and would just return numerous times to Europe.

13) Food. What is your favorite dish?

Dude, after so many questions trying to define my primary taste in music, you are making me realize that I like many things, in many different genres, and that I am not really normal. I cannot define what I like, but I do love chocolate, but is it food?

14) The cinema. Who are your favorite directors?

Ha ha – you! Well, I like Bergman, Allen, Spielberg, Almodóvar, Fellini, Hitchcock, Wes Anderson, the Wachovsky brothers, yikes, there’s always somebody I’ll miss that I love!

15) Your new album Orchestra Electromagnética is a beautiful work. In my opinion, it seems more “cinematic”, like a soundtrack, compared to your previous release Bossa Electromagnética. Was that the intention?

Thank you for the compliment. I think that it was even more true to myself than Bossa Electromagnética. “Bossa” was a brief project that I gave to myself: I wanted to make an electronic bossa work because I like both. It was simple and was recorded and ready in stores within six months. In the case of “Orchestra” I tried to put a little bit of the many things that intrigue me, that challenge me, which are not very common, that one does not hear often on discs, but like you said, there are elements of a soundtrack or of a more visual music that tries to convey imagery. I saw that it was becoming a kind of circus, with strange characters and many visual references. It has a strong dose of humor. For this reason, it took a long time, not having clear objectives nor a deadline. For me the album is not just in the sound, but depends on each one of the references that I put on the cover, in the caricatures, in the text of the Loopieri, an imaginary band formed by my studio colleagues. It is a snippet of various things that pass through my mind and especially through my emotions. I wanted to express things that I felt, like the experience with the tantra that I put in Tantra. For me it is an experience, not just random songs that you put in a playlist, but is an album to be listened to in its entirety, seeing the cover, reading the lyrics, feeling like a trip to a bizarre circus.

capa          luiz_macedo_bossa_electromagnetica_small

16) You mentioned that your studio colleagues named themselves for this project – the Loopieri. What does this name mean? Why did they choose this name?

“Loop” in music terminology refers to a sequence of sound that repeats itself. “Ieri” works with it in an invented Italian (a suffix as it were as in carabinieri, mestieri..)

17) “Tema de Batman” by Célio Balona. Rocco likes it. Do you like it?

Haha, just heard it. Fun take. Gotta like everything that comes a bit out of the mainstream. I didn’t know the work of Célio, makes me want to know more. I love that Rocco searches outside the mainstream for the independent pearls!

18) Is your focus primarily on soundtracks for tv and films?

Yes, the soundtrack has always fascinated me and in the beginning it was what motivated me the most to study composition. I thought of composing for a scene rather than composing for a group. Without planning, that’s what turned out for me becoming a songwriter and producer. I imagined what I would be today as a trumpeter in an orchestra and boom. That’s it. But I think my anxiety moves me more than anything. There’s always something new to be done or discovered. I just received an instrument contributed through crowdfunding, the Jamstick. I want to see the possibilities that it gives me. Perhaps I’ll use it in the 25 years of Karnak cd. That excites me more than knowing whether I’m going to play guitar or trumpet.

PLAYLIST: A selection of Luiz Macedo’s music in video. Enjoy.

19) Do you have projects in the future you’d like to mention?

I’m thinking about completing the Orchestra project with a show that mixes many art disciplines. I got involved with theatre and performance in an attempt to express myself in other ways besides music. I produced some videos for the music and this process continues. My production company, Juke! now has other partners and it frees me up to engage myself more in cultural projects and I intend to seize the moment.


20)Bossa Nova, né?

Always nova, always né!