No Song is Safe From Us

No Song Is Safe From Us - The NYFOS Blog
 |  Amy Owens

Clarice Assad constantly surprises and delights me with her inventive audio-visual offerings. I discovered this music video and I absolutely love it! Check out her crazy vocal effects around 1:28 and appreciate all the vocal colors that feel like instruments layered throughout. I can’t put it any better way: she’s just cool.




 |  nyfos

I told Michael, “We have got to bring that music to our mainstage series. Everyone needs to hear Daniel’s—what is it, a cantata?” At first we thought of pairing At the Door with other stories of thwarted lovers, picking up on the work’s story. But we saw a more interesting possibility, something to address our current national quandary about welcoming people of other nationalities into our country. Daniel is Persian-American, and At the Door is set to a poem in Farsi. NYFOS has ventured far afield in its 31-year history—a couple of years ago we did a song in Zulu. But it was time to open our borders even further, and Daniel Sabzghabaei proved to be our passport.




 |  Clarice Assad

Edu Lobo and Chico Buarque are some of Brazil’s most celebrated artists of all-time. I chose this video with my father and me performing this song because every other recording of this amazing tune is so overly produced with heavy arrangements and strings; I just wanted to really savor the complexity of this song by keeping it as simple as possible. And what could be more raw than guitar and voice?




 |  Clarice Assad

When I first heard this song and saw this movie, I was maybe 10 years old, and lived in the middle of nowhere: a rural part of the third world country Brazil, where culture was really hard to come by. I managed to lay my hands on a pirate copy of this movie and the video looped for days on our newly acquired VHS machine. What a song, what a desert, what a beautiful story. Had I ever heard a voice like that ? NO. It is one of those things I will never forget.




 |  Clarice Assad

I heard Gino Paoli’s “Senza Fine” for the first time in a TV series in Brazil. It was sung by Italian singer Ornella Vanoni in a very sexy arrangement that I loved back then, but soon started sounding quite dated. Years later, a Brazilian singer named Zizi Possi recorded a beautiful and more timeless version of the tune, mixing in a bossa nova accompaniment, while still masterfully retaining the authenticity of the song.




 |  Clarice Assad

I went to France several times as a kid and ended up living there at the age of 15, having been introduced to the wonderful music of Jacques Brel. Though not a Parisian himself (Brel was born in Belgium), he contributed much to our idea of what is a “French” sound today. Brel wrote many songs in his short life, and this is one of my favorites, both for its poetry and for his complete mastery over the language. It is unreal what he does closer to the end of the song as it gets faster and faster …




 |  Clarice Assad

I love the melodic and harmonic sound world of Piazzolla, which is uniquely his own. This is to me the ultimate recording of this song: it features Italian actress/singer Milva, Astor Piazzolla himself and his incredible band. The way the song builds and builds and builds … is just too powerful for words. It always leaves me wanting more.




 |  nyfos

May’s Artist of the Month is the dynamic composer, pianist and vocalist Clarice Assad. Join her on Friday, May 4, when she curates and hosts a NYFOS Next evening focused on Brazilian song.