" A Estranha Beleza da Vida "
For almost ten years Rodrigo Leão was part of the successful Portuguese ensemble "Madredeus". In 1994 he decided to leave the band to dedicate himself to his solo career. But Madredeus was only one of the many stations of the musician and composer.
During his incredible 30-year journey, internationally acclaimed singers such as Beth Gibbons of Portishead, Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy and Stuart Staples of The Tindersticks accepted his invitation to sing on his albums and at his live shows. He has toured with Ryuichi Sakamoto as well as with Ludovico Einaudi in Portugal, Spain and Italy.
Yet Rodrigo Leão always remained the same quietly spoken, modest and talented Lisbon native. His first musical successes came as the bassist of the indie rock band Sétima Legião. He then turned to the chamber pop of Madredeus and finally to the neoclassical textures of his early solo material and his unique, wistful pop songs. The latter featured guest artists such as alt-fado singer Lula Pena, Brazilian star Adriana Calcanhoto, newcomer Thiago Pethit from São Paulo or Joan Wasser aka Joan as Policewoman and Australian singer Scott Mathew.
With his many talents, the quiet man has been exploring new and unexpected territory in recent years. While performing live in some of the world's most legendary concert halls - including the Barbican Centre (London), Palau de la Musica (Barcelona), Alhambra and Grand Rex (Paris), Melkweg (Amsterdam), Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro or the Kennedy Center (Washington) - he composed three major film soundtracks, including for Lee Daniels' Oscar-nominated historical drama "The Butler" starring Forest Whitaker.
In 2014, he was invited to serve as artistic director for the 40th anniversary celebrations of the 1974 Portuguese Revolution. The free concert on the steps of Lisbon's National Parliament resulted in the live CD/DVD "O Espírito de Um País".
He created the music for the installation "Underwarter Forests" by the late Japanese artist and aquarist Takashi Amano and for the exhibition "Brain - Vastet than the Sky" at Lisbon's Gulbenkian Museum. He also produced the electronica album "A Vida Secreta das Máquinas".
In 2015, the renowned classical music label Deutsche Grammophon released his album
"O Retiro", a collaboration with the famous Gulbenkian Orchestra and Choir from Lisbon. Rodrigo then recorded a full album with New York-based singer-songwriter Scott Matthes. The second joint album "Life Is Long" followed in 2016.
To mark the 25th anniversary of his solo career in 2018, he released the double CD "O Aniversário", a retrospective of his greatest hits and favorite compositions, revealing the musician's amazing versatility. Furthermore, a new edition of "Os Portugueses", the soundtrack he wrote for the Portuguese TV documentary series "Portugal - A Social Portait", was released.
At the same time, Rodrigo Leão toured again with a smaller band and began writing new material for his next studio project. "O Método" was co-produced by acclaimed Italian composer Federico Albanese, who helped him find the lean, clean sound he was looking for.
The album was released in February 2020, but a few weeks later the Covid 19 pandemic forced the world to a standstill. The planned world tour had to be cancelled and Rodrigo retreated with his family to his country house in the Alentejo. While he spent many months surrounded by nature, new ideas gradually germinated in him.
In the year and a half since the beginning of the pandemic, Rodrigo created and published material, which he summarizes under the global title "A Liberdade" to mark the "before", the "during" and the "after" of the lockdown.
"O Método" represents the "Before." "During" Rodrigo recorded alone the EP "Avis 2020" inspired by the sounds of nature, which was released exclusively digitally. "After" is his new unexpected album called "A Estranha Beleza da Vida", with guests such as Kurt Wagner (Lambchop), Michelle Gurevich, Martírio, Surma or Suso Saiz.
The new album will be released worldwide in October via BMG, accompanied by the "A Liberdade" box set, which includes all three albums. With the release of "A Estranha Beleza da Vida" and "A Liberdade", Rodrigo will also finally return to the stage.
An event of A.S.S. Concerts.