Tempering our yearning, Jaime comes to us
in the middle, hitting right
Jaime Santos, his art is the song, one of the precious things that Brazil knew so well to develop and that we are so proud of.
The song is the song and it's the words. It is not just music, which in itself is art of immense value. And not only are the verses, as we find them delicious in the poetry of the poets.
One might even say that there is a specific musical making for the song, just as there is also a very particular way of writing the words to it. However, we do not have a suitable word in our language to designate who makes songs. We say "composer," but this term originally refers to those who "compose or write music." In English, a songwriter is called a "songwriter," as in French he is said to be a "chansonnier," both of which are derived from "song" (ie, "song" and "chanson", respectively). The “songbook” Portuguese, as well as the Italian “canzoniere” and the Spanish “cancionero”, refer to a collection of songs (this is how we say, for example, “Dorival Caymmi's songbook”), and not to whom. does. But in Italian and Spanish there is the word “cantautore” and “cantautor”, respectively, a term that refers to those who sing their own songs and which, in Portuguese, we do not know.
That will look like a trifle. Perhaps. But it is intriguing that there is no convenient name for an art of such relevance to Brazilian culture. It is an art of the highest complexity. For, after all, how do you make a song? It is necessary to find the unpublished melody, to coat it with the appropriate and insinuating harmony, to look for words whose sound and meaning fit precisely with the melody. This is when it is not, rather, the music that comes to fit the words, because the composer can also work on previous text, his or others.
It is in this sense that Jaime Santos is an artist of the song, a great Brazilian “composer”. And "cantautor" (accept the necessary foreignness) of excellent quality. In Jaime we have the authentic Brazilian popular song. It does not rely on specific poem forms, such as the sonnet, nor does it work with certain metrics, such as the decassyllable verse. His poetics are entirely free, dictated only by the melody of the music with which he adjusts and harmonizes. And the themes come from your own daily life. “Jaime Santos,” writes Guinga rightly on the back cover of CD Romã, “portrays the reality of his life in all honesty, and this is what a composer must do.”
But where does that come from? That is, how do you learn to make songs? Certainly not at school. In fact, Jaime, a kid from the periphery, only entered the school late. It happened that a neighbor named Sila once introduced her to what, at nine-year-old Jaime, represented her “cat leap” (popular and tasty name with which we may perhaps translate what academics call an epiphany) . Indeed, Sila showed him vinyls from the generation immediately heir to Bossa Nova: Chico Buarque de Holanda and the tropicalists, among other artists of that always very prestigious gold generation of our MPB. Now it is understood that it was not easy for a poor kid to have access to vinyl records. That's how Jaime set out to work for Sila's father, which allowed him to always listen to those records.
A few years later, one of his brothers came home with a guitar, a "stick came", as Jaime likes to say jokingly. With the support of his friend Everton the Bird, Jaime not only understood how this instrument was tuned, but also learned its first two chords. Few though, these have already served him to compose his first song, with which he took second place at a talent festival at La Salle School in Canoas.
The song was in Jaime forever: in the voice of the black mother, who liked to sing the radio hits (it would have been with her that he learned to sing) and in the pride of the indigenous father, who put him still a boy on the table so that sang some samba or bolero for your guests.
Talent will not be worth much unless persistence and discipline also abide by it. In fact, in this Brazil of so few opportunities, how many talents do not fall halfway, potentialities never realized!
It turns out that with Jaime the thing was different. The boy who grew up listening to his mother sing, whom his proud father raised on the table to sing to the guests, the boy who, having just learned a few chords, wrote a song to represent the school class himself, taking second place in a competition. artist, the young man who, with some clothes in his bag and guitar in his bag, boldly decided to “set foot in the profession”, the made man who crossed the Atlantic, taking the Brazilian song with him to the world, Jaime Santos never gave up. And you never gave up because you knew, always knew, what came into this world.
CD Romã, his “opera prima”, is the result of years of learning. It is, therefore, the definitive and decisive moment when the apprentice reveals himself as a teacher to those who have ears to hear. They say you have to travel to tell stories. Because Jaime walked through Brazil, and in Romã presents us a good part of the sounds and themes that cross the country: from the coast to the interior, from the northeastern intent to the urban south, through the southeast, transversality is the highlight of this work. Pomegranate recognizes, inventories, sublimates and presents in sounds and words the Brazil we love.
With elaborate harmonies and catchy melodies, the songs follow the trail of the best strain of our prestigious MPB, while the lyrics (from Jaime himself or his partners) rave us and surprise us at every moment with the sound and meaning that the words make in the world. unique context of the song.
There would be much to say about this inspired flow of sound words, but let's just take a few representative lines: “The movement of the street / It is already seen / And the silence outside wants to die” (The color of the day); “Good and tasty fruit / Who looking at me wants” (Pomegranate); “If love is part of me / The sea is the beginning and the end” (Porto quay); “The heart beats, stops / Then hears bull talk / The bull Cala-Boca complains about the boss / The man was never stronger than the bull (Bull talk); “Aligned our lighthouses / I wait for you a signal / The ships, our ports / The storm has passed (Lighthouses); “We weave light and shadow / Paths to get lost” (Oil on canvas).
These verses (and there are many others of equal value), already in themselves of great artistic expressiveness, gain a sublime meaning when sung - and this is, we have said, the art of song.
It cannot be concluded, however, without mentioning one of the most poetic excerpts:
She awaits me, your restlessness
I have no time
Spice the yearning
When I get in the middle
Quem És (Who are you)
The restless waiting, restless by someone who, for reasons we don't know, has no time to return, this anxious waiting is tempered (understand: it is modeled, adjusted or, if you will, "tuned" as if it were an instrument) by the poetic self, which, after all, arrives in the middle, that is, when, although expected, it was not known that it arrived.
For we were waiting for you, dear James, and very restless. With no right time to come and having tempered our yearning, you finally arrive and hit us in the middle. Right in!
Conrado Abreu Chagas
Literature teacher and musician
Master in Language Studies
The pomegranate is a fruit that has always attracted me since childhood, the beauty of its tree and its color, because it is a fruit full of seeds, with a huge symbolism for me. When I spent Christmas and New Year at Grandma's house next to my mother, I had a fruit table and I was curious, I wanted to know what the meaning of life was there. My mother explained, "Son, this is a very old fruit, it has little flesh, and it is symbol of fertility because it has many seeds, because whenever there is a tree, there is life." I liked the name. I did research for "pomegranate" and found associations with passions and Aphrodite, the goddess of fecundity.