Rodrigo Leão - O Método [LP]
Release Date: 1st June 2021
Genre: Classical, Electronic
1 Ideia 1
2 A Bailarina
3 O Método
4 The Boy Inside
6 Red Poem
7 O Cigarro
8 O Convite
11 Lula Mistério
12 Parte 1
Rodrigo Leão was one of the musicians and composers behind the extraordinarily successful Portuguese ensemble Madredeus. He was in the band for nearly 10 years before leaving to focus on his own solo career.
Yet, Madredeus was only one of the many stops of an incredible 30-year journey that has seen Rodrigo Leão invite internationally acclaimed singers such as Portishead’s Beth Gibbons, The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon or Tindersticks’ Stuart Staples to sing on his albums and live shows; and perform with Ryuichi Sakamoto or Ludovico Einaudi, with whom he toured in Portugal, Spain and Italy.
Rodrigo remains, though, the same quietly spoken, modest and talented Lisboner who started out as a bassist in indie-rock band Sétima Legião before moving into Madredeus’ chamber-pop, the neoclassical textures of his own early solo material and his own unique, wistful pop songs, with guest singers like alt-Fado singer Lula Pena, Brazilian star Adriana Calcanhoto, the São Paulo newcomer Thiago Pethit. Joan Wasser aka Joan as Policewoman, or the Australian singer Scott Mathew.
This quiet man has extended his talents into new and unexpected territories over the past few years. While performing live in some of the most legendary venues of the world - London's Barbican Centre, Barcelona's Palau de la Musica, the Parisian theatres Alhambra and Grand Rex, Amsterdam's Melkweg, Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro or Washington's Kennedy Center, he has also found the time to create three major film soundtracks, including for Lee Daniels' Oscar-nominated historical drama “The Butler” starring Forest Whitaker.
In 2015, the prestigious classical label Deutsche Grammophon released “O Retiro”, a collaboration with Lisbon's acclaimed Gulbenkian Orchestra and Choir. Rodrigo followed it by recording a whole album of songs with the New York-based singer-songwriter Scott Matthew. 2016’s “Life Is Long” followed after the two men recorded together a couple of songs and they realised their sensibilities matched perfectly.
For 2018, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his solo career, Rodrigo showed off the amazing versatility of his work, with the release of “O Aniversário”, a double-CD retrospective of his greatest hits and favourite compositions, and the reissue of “Os Portugueses”, the soundtrack he wrote for the Portuguese TV documentary series Portugal – A Social Portait.
At the same time, Rodrigo toured with a smaller band and started testing the material for his next studio project. This is “O Método”, his new album of all-original material being released worldwide by BMG.
“O Método” was co-produced by the acclaimed Italian composer and musician Federico Albanese, who helped Rodrigo find the leaner, cleaner sound he was looking for. More atmospheric and enchanting, while also simpler in its sound landscapes: mostly created around acoustic piano and electronic ambiences, with the presence as needed of a small string section, the 20-element youth choir of Academia Musical dos Amigos das Crianças, and assorted acoustic and electric instruments.
The album also features guest vocals from Efterklang’s Casper Clausen on “The Boy Inside” and Rodrigo’s regular violinist Viviena Tupikova on “O Cigarro”.
Rodrigo’s own daughter Sofia sings on the album’s first single “A Bailarina”, a gentle, uplifting lullaby sung in a made-up language, designed to fit in with the record’s more mysterious, spiritual sound.
For Rodrigo Leão, “O Método” is a new step forward in a spotless 30-year career and one of the highpoints of his musical development, an album that asks questions that may not have answers, but that helps the listener think, feel, become more human.
"An elegant piano set with a luminous electronics backdrop" Mojo ★★★★
“The Portuguese composer and pianist Roderigo Leão could be described as "contemporary classical", but this hardly does justice to the singular path he treads, a genre of its own, instantly recognisable....high quality mood music" The Arts Desk ★★★
“In his native Portugal, Rodrigo Leao is one of the giants of the music scene. His latest project introduces an artist who is both innovative, daring and spiritual” Look and Listen Music
(UK) 08/10 Soho Radio spotplay by James Endeacott of O Metodo
(UK) 28/09 Soho Radio spotplay of O Metodo by Marcus Agerman
(UK) 28/09 Brum Radio spotplay of O Metodo by Glyn Phillips
"Hypnotic & comforting... quite gorgeous" - Sam Hughes, Scala Radio