Sinfonias de Pagode

Is it pagode or symphony? Should you dance or contemplate? Feel free to choose, it's music. Classical, popular, erudite, Brazilian, Bahian, in a fusion of spontaneity and sophistication. Nice to meet you, we are Sanbone Pagode Orchestra.

Yes, it is pagode, but it is symphonic too. It is music in its essence, with the rhythmic richness of Bahia in dialogue with all aspects of concert music. It is a musical experience not only to listen to but to feel and to participate in as well.

Sinfonias de Pagode (Symphonies of Pagode) is the first album of Sanbone, an orchestra designed in 2007 by multi-instrumentalist, composer and conductor Hugo Sanbone. The album features eight compositions by the musician himself, who worked with more than 20 other musicians during the recordings, at the Massa Sonora Studio in Salvador.

The first chords may even cause some kind of surprise, but that´s exactly where you´ll find the quality of the compositions of the conductor, who adds melodic and harmonic overlays of erudite music to the rhythm clef of pagode.

His compositions transform the various melodic tessituras and address emotions and sensations. In Sinfonia Número 7 de Pagode (Symphony Number 7 of Pagode), Hugo translates the frenzied movement of people at Lapa Station - the largest bus terminal in Salvador. The song follows the pace of the hustle and bustle on busy days and, at the same time, take the ears to the solitude of nights and weekends at Lapa.

In Sinfonia Número 11 (Symphony Number 11), the protagonist is the conductor himself, who brings out the feeling of despair, anguish and agony of the time when he almost drowned in the sea. His return to life was transformed into new sensations of music.

In Sinfonia Número 3 (Symphony Number 3), the insight to compose a pagode song, mixing groove arrastado with samba de roda, came from an action movie scene. That is: everything and anything around Hugo Sanbone becomes a reason to come up with heavy percussive beat in orchestra.

At the concerts - and now on the album - Sanbone presents to the public an authentic aesthetic investigation. With each composition, he dissolves the prejudice expressed by those who view the pagode genre as a musically poor style. In the ‘sinfonias-quebradeira’ (heavy percussive beat symphonies), the sound richness of the pagode from Bahia emerges, with its polyrhythmic and polyphonic characteristics in tune with the refinement and the preciousness of erudite music.

In Sanbone’s path, the influences of Harmonia do Samba and Bach, Psirico and Stravinsky, É o Tchan and Beethoven walk together. It's all there, like a symbolic musical bridge between Bahia and the world.

Funded with resources from the Gregórios Public Call, published by the Gregório de Matos Foundation - FGM / City Hall of Salvador, the album is born through a partnership between conductor Hugo Sanbone, who is also musical director of the album, and production firm Baluart, responsible for the project.

Dive into the creative universe of Sanbone Pagode Orchestra. And when in doubt whether you should enjoy it as classical music or dance like crazy to the sound of heavy percussive beat, feel free to choose. You can enjoy it in any way you feel like.

O Maestro

Who would dare to say that the combination of popular and erudite music would result in a Pagode Orchestra?! He dared to: Hugo Sanbone, 41, multi-instrumentalist, composer and creator of Sanbone Pagode Orchestra.

"I do not see music separately. Music is music, whether it be carnival music, pagode, erudite, chamber music, concert music. And it is expressed as befits each person.", explains the conductor.

Created in 2007, when Hugo composed the First Symphony of Pagode, Sanbone Pagode Orchestra intends to apply new textures on pagode, presenting creations that converse with erudite music and jazz.

The idea of mixing popular music with symphonic pieces has always been present in the work of Hugo, who began his studies as a young boy, at age 9, in a social initiative of a philharmonic in Aracaju, his hometown.

The musician emphasizes, "I always thought of music the way I think of it today, but when I got into UFBA (in December, he will complete the Professional Master’s in Music Education) in 2013, I was able to reflect better on my creative process and make more conscious choices. The new techniques have helped me in terms of an attitude towards composition, but without losing the creative process, without overcoming the new knowledge to the old one, but with more technique to work the aesthetics of pagode",

Having gotten acquainted with the clarinet "by imposition of the teacher", a young Hugo ended up choosing the trombone instead. "I found the clarinet to be odd. To go against it, I picked up the trombone that was laid aside there, but God knows best. That was my intuition, for sure", he says. He also learned how to play the trumpet and the saxophone, "I felt that the more instruments I knew how to play, the more opportunities I would have. So, I was studying to increase my professional options".

Between Sergipe and Bahia, where he settled down in 1999, Hugo Sanbone has played in brass bands, fanfares, philharmonics and pagode, salsa and forró bands – by the way, that’s what originated the nickname Sanbone: "It's the combination of accordion with trombone. “I found it beautiful, both in how it spells and how it sounds”, He says with a smile. And it was precisely at the invitation of the forró band Melaço de Cana, that Hugo moved to Salvador.

Since then, he has joined, on stage or at the studio, artists or groups such as Ivete Sangalo, Carlinhos Brown, Maestro Zeca Freitas, Jau, Edson Gomes, Harmonia do Samba and Psirico. Hugo was also part of Orkestra Rumpillezz's first lineup, from where came part of the inspiration to take his own step towards his original work.

"To play well, you need technique, focus, and especially living. Playing, we develop various skills, such as perception which the school is not able to give you. With this, your database and your musical memory are built”, advocates the artist.

And it is with this attentive look, on the music and on the sensations that it awakens, that Hugo composes his pagode symphonies. "My inspiration comes from the musical aspect, but also from the expressions that I believe can be transformed into art."

For him, any situation can become a reason to compose. "Sometimes I'm walking by the street, I listen to a car that suddenly stops and frights someone, and then I’m feeling some kind of anticipation and I think how interesting it would be to convert that situation to music. Or someone who passes by and whistles a beautiful melody, two people talking to each other, a painting or a landscape can also trigger that feeling, that click".

By connecting himself to both popular and erudite genres, Hugo advances in his journey within the music universe, without chaining himself to any labels. From this freedom comes the power of the Sanbone Pagode Orchestra.