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Laura and Marcelo created original music for the video element in “How would you like to be remembered?” We recently were able to ask them about their process in creating the piece and about the music they create with their band in Portugal, Xerife.
When and how did you first become interested in music? How long have you been playing music and singing?
We have loved music since we were born! But in my case (Laura), I only started to sing a few years ago, in 2008. Marcelo started to learn classic guitar and piano when he was 15. We had different jobs but now we are trying to live from the music only. It’s a really hard work in our country (Portugal).
What are your musical influences?
We have so many influences… Metallica, Queen, Guns’n’roses, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Joe Bonamassa, The XX, Patti Smith, Foo Fighters. It’s difficult to nominate just a few because we love many kinds of music and artists.
When you create your music, what do you usually begin with for inspiration?
Our life, our experiences and everything that surround ourselves: people, places, a conversation, a night out with friends… everything can inspire us to compose a new song.
What do you feel is the state of musicians in Portugal? How would you describe the music scene?
It’s complex as Portugal is a small country. We work very, very hard. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work at an international level as our main goal is to spread our music around the world. We have many dreams to accomplish and we don’t give up easily! Portuguese people are melancholy and nostalgic, but also like to celebrate life! I think those are qualities that give us a unique feature in our musical scene. We can’t talk about Portuguese music without speaking about Fado, that I like to compare with the Blues. It’s the way that we have to express our deepest feelings. We are intense, for good and for bad. And I like to think that our music has this unique essence. In some Portuguese cities people like to go to the clubs and watch live music, but I think that It’s not a tradition yet. However, Portuguese people love live music and all festivals and big concerts are always full up and every musicians love to play here because we are warm and loud!
How do you contextualize yourself as an artist?
We are trying to do our music in a balanced way. Do it for us and for the audience. But we like to explore different sounds and experiences, so we work in a few projects at the same time. But our goals are always the same: to do something full of passion. That’s the only way!
Composing for film and video is it very different of composing for an album?
Yes, it’s a little different because, when we are composing for an album, we just have to do what we like and what we want. For film and video we have to understand the real feeling of it, the message that the producer wants to give, what he had in mind… It’s like to be in his head and try to transform his ideas in a song. But there’s nothing more fulfilling than to compose a song for others and to meet their expectations.
How did your work with Clara and Joelle begin?
Clara was telling us the story of the couple Eduardo and Odete who are the subject of this exhibition… We fell in love with them. A true love story! She challenged us to compose a song about them, inspired by the letters. And as we like challenges, we accepted, of course! It was a pleasure to do something totally different of what we are used to.
What was unique about working on How Would You Like to Be Remembered?
The love story! To know that we are working about a real couple, who lived a suffered love story and that do not exist anymore… There were also connections between their story and Clara‘s story when Joelle found the letters… It’s a big responsibility!
What do you hope your music communicates?
We hope it can transmit all the torment and anxiety that Odete was feeling at the moment she wrote the letters. I think we can feel her heart when we listen to the song.
What is next for your band, Xerife and for yourselves?
We are trying to reach the global media with Xerife, but it’s a long way. Right now, we are promoting our last EP called “Histórias” (stories, in English).
For ourselves, we expect to do more things like this one because it is a different and deep way to express ourselves. It helps us learn new things with new experiences.
What are you plans for the future?
We want to continue composing and to be successful in our career. And we would love to visit the exhibition, of course!
Photography credit: Cláudio Marques