Leitura: 7 min

When art inspires art

When art inspires art

A visit to Inhotim translated into music. That’s what went on: in late 2012, singer-songwriter from São Paulo Marcelo Jeneci spent a few days in Brumadinho/MG to visit the Institute. He loved it. “I found it unbelievable that Brazil has such a rich place, so well structured, with a clear proposal and with so much beauty. It invites you to see the universe in a different way”, he says. The experience paid off when it comes to his compositions. His new album, “De Graça“, released in October 2013, features the song  “Pra Gente se Desprender“, inspired by the work Forty Part Motet, 2001, by Canadian artist Janet Cardiff, shown in one of the rooms of Galeria Praça, at Inhotim. Check out our conversation with Marcelo, part of a new group of artists that has brought new color to the music scene.

Blog do Inhotim – Marcelo, how did the story with Janet Cardiff’s work go on ?

Marcelo Jeneci – I went to Brumadinho and stayed five days in the city to visit Inhotim. I found  Janet Cardiff’s work with the coral amazing [referring to Forty Part Motet, 2001]. Listening to that in 360 degrees as we hear the sounds of everyday life… This liturgical and Baroque music relates to a part of my life, my childhood. It brought back a primitive affective memory to me, when I used to go to church. When I was there I thought, “Wow, I have to bring a liturgical choir to convey the emotion I’m feeling here for my next album.”

BI – So that is how “Pra Gente se Desprender” came about?

MJ – Exactly. I created the instrumental theme at the end of the song thinking about the feeling I had when I visited the installation at Inhotim. I wanted to make people feel what I felt there. This experience had an actual interference in the song. Interestingly, since the reviews of “De Graça” began to be published, this song is the one most often mentioned as a favorite! It was received differently when compared to the other songs, and it always gets some special attention in texts about the disc.

BI – Was that your first visit to the park?

MJ – No, I had played with Arnaldo Antunes there once. I think all Brazilians should visit this place, it is marvelous, a unique experience that influences people. Everyone talks a lot about it, but since Brazil so huge, in some places sometimes people still haven’t heard of it. Wherever I go, I tell everyone they should visit it.

BI – Amid such diversified production we see today, how do you perceive yourself as an artist?

MJ – I think art is an affirmation of life. As an artist, I feel that an exchange happens in my day to day life. It is as if the circumstantialities of life, the way I was raised and how music is presented to me have trained me to be able to synthesize and share some of my views, feelings about the world, sorrows and joys. It’s like the work of someone who writes a letter: my feeling is that I give a response about some issues back to people. We are living a very rich moment in art, music and in the history of mankind.


BI ­– You once said when you make music your intention is to improve the people’s lives right from the first chord. How do you see this relationship between art and life?

MJ – I try to spread a positive message, a positive outlook, encouraging the idea that a dream always gives place to another dream. I emphasize the bright side of things, the one that is for free,  for everyone. Sometimes, when we face  the cruelty of the nature of life, we feel very distant from this other point of view. This characteristic is present in the structure of my work and comes from my family, the combination of my parents, a man from northeastern Brazil and a woman from São Paulo, living in the outskirts of São Paulo. Both of them always have a smile on their faces, they see the beauty in life. That’s how I was brought up, aware of this positivity and there are moments this attitude is quite suitable. One of the most interesting things in life is to add: the things we talk about, learn, teach… friendship, man, woman, sex, what is intrinsic to our instincts. The relationship between human beings is very important and it is essential to talk about it.

BI – How you feel your new album, “The Graça“, is being received?

MJ – I feel that the launch is starting to happen. Things haven’t speeded up, but I have received very positive feedback. I perceive a difference from the first to the second album. This has a more radical, acid proposal, which was not there before. There is more pain, more crying out, more ”beating up”, and this has been well received, even by those who felt closer to the sound of the previous album. Still, there are songs that touch the heart. For me, the difference is that, in this work, I feel very clearly I’ve had an encounter with myself, and, then,  the opinion of others doesn’t really matter. It was  cathartic, a trance that has healed me, made ??me feel horribly well [laughter]. Because of all that, any frustration that might come will not be as heavy. This encounter with myself moves me.



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