Philippe Meyohas - A Arte do Retorno


Meet Brazilian composer, Philippe Meyohas. He has a remarkable ability to adapt and explore his ever-evolving musical talents. He continues to shape and unfold an array of styles you cannot put in one genre. From Jewish Liturgical to Polyphony in Baroque and Contemporary Minimalist. To Traditional Folk and Rustic Brazilian styles. A key point to mesh culture and shift beyond convenient comfort.


Philippe's second EP, A Arte do Retorno, means The Art of Return in Portuguese. Inspiration Philippe says, comes from the incomplete work of German Composer, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750). A Arte do Retorno explores minimal instrumentation to express reflections on experimental classical works. 

Continue reading below. You will discover a more in-depth discussion. A conversation meant to dig deeper into the mind of a brilliant producer.  As you may realize by now, I don't care for the word "interview." This exchange is much more than slapping standard information and facts together. It is an opportunity to converse about what matters. The creative process. Enjoy.



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You started your second EP, A Arte Do Retorno, with a different approach from your debut EP, Alvíssaras. You can hear minimal and experimental elements throughout A Arte Do Retorno which is quite an evolution I must add. Was this your inner motivation or was it influence?

It was completely intended. After releasing a singer-songwriter EP hugely based on the Brazilian and the Portuguese folk song, deeply involved by its form, by its language, by its repertoire, my only wish was to break up with the song itself and with me as a songwriter. And I did it through the exploration of the compositional procedures of classical music, something that I was already into while arranging the songs. Then, unlike arranging a simple theme with a lyric, I’ve put to myself that I should compose a big and dense piece of music with only 1, 2 or 3 melodies, no lyrics, just implied harmony or tonal counterpoint or “post-counterpoint” of 2 or 3 parts. The minimalistic and sometimes modal features have occurred during the process as a reverberation of my musical interests at the time and maybe some perennial personal aesthetic tendencies.

To quote you, "The Art Of Return is not only a title very pretentious as it is also a pun." I'm curious, can you tell me about the individual reference or perspective that led you to this witty insight?

If I was a listener and I got to a musical release that named itself as the art of something, I would certainly find it the most pretentious and obvious name someone could possibly put in work. But “A Arte do Retorno” or “The Art of Return” is just a wordplay with Bach’s “The Art of Fugue.” Just like in his work but it in an extremely different way, I’ve dealt with polyphony in mine — not the most traditional or strict polyphony — and with the constant presence of the return. I can say the whole EP is actually based in a rudimentary rhythmic cell, that repeats and repeats, comes and returns.

I've gathered you became a composer so as not to present yourself. Does this mean you were a performer first? 

After releasing “Alvíssaras” I’ve made some tiny solo concerts during 2015, adapting the arrangements to just acoustic guitar and voice, playing its songs alongside “Terra dos Bravos” and “Nesta Rua,” a Portuguese and a Brazilian folk song which I also had guitar and voice arrangements. But I confess these were very painful experiences.

What are your primary impulses to compose music?

It may sound disappointing, but I consider musical composition as metaphysical art. What a composer does is basically articulating concepts, intentionally or not. There is no difference between what is physically and linguistically felt and what it is conceptualized about it. And I’m a very methodical composer. So the primary impulses for me to compose are just vaguely articulated concepts and every day during the composition I work on it. And naturally, during this development, my feelings and sensations flourish in the work.

Can you tell me one of your fondest musical memories growing up?

I guess the first song or piece of music that I have ever truly enjoyed, that have been kept in my mind, that touched me, etc. was the musical theme of Disney’s Tarzan by Phil Collins when I was like six years old or something. I didn’t know what was that before.

I very much adore the cover you've chosen for A Arte Do Retorno. In fact, track III reminds me of a pleasant and charm-like atmosphere. Can you describe the creative concept behind the album artwork?

This photograph has a really strong and important meaning to me. And the cover itself, simulating and old photo album, has to do with the title, with the “return,” with the nostalgia, something that I experienced during the composition.

As I previously mentioned track III above (which is my favorite), there are candid moments. I cherish the laughter and conversing toward the end. It makes my smile grow wider with each new listen. What can you tell me about track III? 

I guess “III,” especially the second half of it, is the most lyrical and intense track. Everything that precedes it is actually a big preparation. It’s common people telling me this track is their favorite. It was certainly the apex of me as a composer of musical narratives until now. And it’s just tonal music narrative. A very emotional tonal music narrative. Which ends with a cellphone recording with my mom improving a song with me.

Can you reflect on the relationships between yourself and the players of the music you compose? 

Victor and Murilo are just excellent performers. Not only technically but as artists that perform a score. And, of course, during the rehearsals and recording, I try all the time to go beyond the score with metaphors, explaining feelings that I have wanted to pass, explaining a big sense of the piece, etc.

Your music is on Spotify.  Some musicians choose not to be on Spotify or only decide to put up a few songs and want the listeners to buy the entire album. What’s your general perspective on streaming?

I can’t have any problem with that. All my music background was based on illegal downloads and streamings during years and years and years. Not only my background but to all my generation. Today I know a relatively big repertoire in music thanks to illegal downloads and streamings. Frankly, the best thing musicians could focus to earn their money is in concerts. Or in an academic career like me.

Do you feel it’s necessary for listeners to derive the meaning from your music? 

Absolutely not. It must be only a curiosity.

Say you were to ask a question of a musician you admire. What is one thing you'd most like to know and, most importantly, from whom?

I guess I would have questions to every composer or any composer that I could get in touch. Technical and artistic questions. But I think I don’t have a big and only one question to someone.

Lastly, you must choose a song that is not your own to conclude this chat, think of it as a closing theme.

Melodia Sentimental” by Heitor Villa-Lobos, during his “Bachian” times. There are really few themes that are so devastatingly beautiful to me as this one. And I recommend you Olivia Byington performance.

Philippe's Links

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Album Review: Before The Birds Start To Sing - Neo & Neo

Swiss indie-folk band NEO & NEO inspire beyond measure with their first album “Before The Birds Start To Sing.” Upon my move to Switzerland, I thought it'd be difficult to seek and discover Swiss musicians, but as it turns out, it's been a zephyr.


There is more to the Swiss music scene than yodeling and the Alphorn. You just have to dig deeper. Or other times, the musicians get in touch with you - which is the case here. I always appreciate when the artists turn to the fans. There is another Swiss band I put in the spotlight, Neo & Neo saw this on Facebook, and the rest is history. When you can easily connect with artists you listen to in this day and age and share the love of music together, it is an immensely humanizing experience. Well rooted and musically entwined. These are the layers in the music world today.

Without further ado, my latest review begins.

Before the Birds Start to Sing is more than a music album. It's an opportunity to feel authentic emotions and create new perspectives. Listen carefully to the lyrics; they're simple but enlightening in a universal way. When it comes to real folk music, it's about the stories. You want to burrow yourself inside every note, become the song and prevail. Neo & Neo reveal a powerful energy in their music which makes this album all the more memorable. Every song is created to be something tangible. You can tell Neo & Neo are not in a hurry and take each moment slowly to create a quality experience. You can also hear experimental sounds throughout the entire album. They maintain this sense of poetic light in a slightly dark room. You know, the sliver of a curtain slightly open while sunbeams sneak through and highlight particular parts of the table, an armrest or a vase. It's like every song blooms into a natural light at the end of an exhausted tunnel. 

Below, you will find my commentary about each song from "Before The Birds Start To Sing." I've listened to each track three to five times. (Or more, I lost count.) When I admire an album, I like to take my time. Not only for me but you, too. If you'd like to listen to bits of each song while you read, click here. Now, let's begin, shall we?

Wild At Heart... contemplative yet carefree at once. It encourages you as if you're on your way but not quite there yet. High spirits hang high or low at any given moment. Where to begin, where to start? 

I'll Never Learn... is an intense and serious love song. It starts slowly as a low tide and turns into a chaos of choppy waves. It's entirely crazy yet normal. Just as true love.

I Lost My Heart In San Antonia... makes you want to move to the dancefloor with its hypnotic chorus. It's a going for it and see what happens kind of tune. Meeting someone new and all the mish mash of feelings from San Antonia brought back home. To not know what might have been but always kept in wonderment.

Boxes From Holland... is slow and beautiful. Lovers you hold onto even when they're no longer yours. Lifelong memories in a frame of lyrics wait for the other side if ever to return.

Come Close To Me... has this lovely repetitive tone throughout the entirety of the song. A cinematic soul waits for a certain someone to take hold.

High Spirits... brings me to tears. I've been there, no, I am there quite often. It's that fight between the highs and lows of life. This song is my favorite track on the album.

My Only Truth... those rumbles of drumbeats are sure to get your adrenaline aflow and accelerate your heartstrings. A rhythmic energy of a song to stimulate the body and mind.

A Big Black Box of Questions... puts your body in a trance to get up, dance, tap your feet and clap your hands. If you want to feel good to the bones, listen to this one! Such a fine and lively tune.

Hotel Room... coffee blues and set my mind on fire. A classic folk my soul kind of song with a booze in hand. Along for the journey even if to say goodbye.

California Sun... a dependable song to walk out into the fray. Beckon and comfort. You feel the heat on your face with an ongoing sense of possibilities buried with each sunrise and sunset. 

Broken Glass... raw with dusty sonic trails. Such a rustic, all-ages sort of sound. No fluff, no gloss. A real singer-songwriter guitar gusto. 

Are you still here? Great. Wow, what a beautiful musical trip. Neo & Neo play music in a way that invites you along for the ride with them. They uplift and keep you curious. This band is the kind you don't realize you've sought but needed. That is why I am here, and you are reading this, to show you what you didn't find. A goddam beautiful album. Wunderschön!

Neo & Neo's Links

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Stream: Soundcloud | Spotify | YouTube

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"Don't Look Back" - Dia

Top Tune tODAY.png

You know that flicker of a moment in a song. Where you fall hard on the feelings provoked? How the song becomes your own as much as the musicians? Together, the cells in your body dance to the jolt of pulsing new blood flow? It turns out that that moment becomes your entire life soundtrack. A song this strong starts as a garden. Then, becomes an eternal paradise. Forever beautiful and new every time you hear it. As I type this, tears swell and sail down my cheeks. It's the awe of Dia's wounded strength. Her syntax helps us experience Don't Look Back more deeply. Dia sings the words we've thought throughout our entire abbreviated lives. Not a constant current but a good part of a capricious movement. Those times we are humans in love. Who choose waves crashing any way the wind blows during storms of unstable emotions. If you don't steer away, everything will be okay. You have to face the current that flows for us all.

"Golden Years" Water Color by Vil Luangraj

Who: Dia Frampton

Where: St. George, Utah

What: Single from latest Album Bruises

When: Album Released 3 March 2017


Stream: Spotify

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Five Songs You Might Otherwise Miss

Sometimes you hear so many good songs in one day. They might not be the newest, but when you listen slowly, you can hear above the noise. I hope you enjoy these earful discoveries. Five vital songs/artists to get you through each day this week. Consider these tunes your music prescriptions.


It's nice when the artists themselves message me to listen to their music. Always a great appreciation and honor on my part. I learned of this tune below, only today. (Yes, us music bloggers miss music, too.) Countless times, I can recount when I ask myself how the hell did I miss this beaut!? And this is yet, another one of those times you get to witness. Mind you; it isn't unfortunate; it's an exciting moment nonetheless. Yep. I'm causing chatter. Let us get into the tunes below.

War begins with a sultry-folk voice by Mercy Weiss - featuring the talents of Christopher and Erin Pellnat.  Weiss wrote this song after conversing amongst two intoxicated & homeless Veterans. Don't you admire knowing the quirky story behind a song sometimes? If you listen a few times, this song sticks with you. It's deep, it's sad, it's essential to our nature.

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Be Mine by Campfire Sky has been in my queue since Monday. It reminds me of those times where I love to be most, mingling over a bonfire under a starry sky. Preferably in good company. I like to curate music playlists for everything. Be Mine is going to be the epitome of my By The Fire Playlist. Very fine-vibes await you.

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Upon seconds of the first listen to Stop Moving by Simian Ghost. I am reminded of Daft Punk and know right then and there. I claim to love this beat without even finishing the track first. There is music, like when you first meet someone, you just know. Stop Moving is electric and a dance-all-night kind of jam. I dare you to stay still.

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I keep tabs on a lot of music blogs and online magazines that feature music, too. LADYGUNN introduced me to the song Matter by Shallows, and I am ever so thankful. I have a major soft spot for smooth rock sounds with a bit of 80's appeal. And also, Space references, "Tell me I'm not just Matter, tell me that I Matter." I'm impatiently waiting for their debut EP.

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Puzzled by RYI is one of those songs you would rather keep to yourself. Hey, we music fans can be greedy sometimes. It's that much of a stunner. I'm even more selfish because I'd like it even longer than 7:31. Such a rad tune, I am sure this will be on repeat for many of you.

"Running Mate" Dreems & Von Party

Cover Art via Dreem's FB

Running Mate is such an excellent vibe. It reminds me of a festival or a friendly party where everyone from everywhere is welcome. You can hear global influences throughout but cannot put these sounds in one box. Trippy like a stimulant and eclectic. Running Mate will bring you to your feet and make you dance to a psychedelic atmosphere.

Thank you Dreems & Von Party, a perfect beat for my summer playlist and social gatherings. 

Who: DJ Dreems and Thomas Von Party

Where: Australia or Montreal

What: Single from latest Album Running Mate

When: Album Releases 27 March 2017

Record Label: Multi Culti 

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