GIL & MILTON 2000
I have always been asked why I hadn't worked with Gil yet, and I would answer: because things have their own timing. Even though we've known and admired each other for such a long time, life set us up with this surprise now: in 2000, in the waiting room of Aquarius.
And so it started slow, being shaped in Bahia (after having come to me like a lightning in an airplane over Minas Gerais) and building up here in Rio. Our Rio, land of Saint Sebastian. And here they are, old notes, new songs, sounds, hearts and bands brought together by these two alchemists who are still to come. The alchemists are coming.
A year after our first meeting at Milton's place, here we are, with an album out, a concert rehearsed, the public invited to our bigger meeting. We head to the spectacle which brings together our songs, our stage stories, our roads in life.
With the same joy and emotion which have always been present in the work that brought us so far, now we play and sing for you and for us. So that everything can be turned into life, a flower bed, filled with flowers, hearts filled with light, souls filled with love!
This show was weaved and threaded by Milton Nascimento and Gilberto Gil, by four hands, since the end of 1999.
During all this time, the entire production team's, technical crew's and band's participated in this threading. Today, we thank both Gil and Milton for this oportunity and privilege. Thanking, furthermore, all other hands who, direct or indirectly, were with us along the way.
More than a partnership based on taste and apretiation, more than a historical encounter, 'Gil & Milton' is the brilliant outcome of a baiano-mineiro conjuration in favor of music, or what the french critic Véronique Mortaigne called the marriage between "two conceptions of brazillian barroque" - maybe not so much due to their style, but for enbodying a certain means of expression, both private and universal.
In fact, one could say they are barroque because of the mixture of aesthetic present in their work, a mix between misticism and reason, shadow and light, the coexistence of the holly and the profane and because "they capture the suffering and feelings, life and death", as said by a specialist in the genre, the also frenc Germain Bazin, when he characterized the two songwriters's colonial ancestrals.
The record made by Gil from Bahia of All Saints and Milton of the General Mines is the poetry and soundtrack of a generation born in the War and that soon will turn 60. Artists who bring diversity together and who fight exclusion, infusing with no prejudice or descrimination all rhythms, colors and sounds: the baião and the samba canção, bossa-nova and electronic rock, reggae and samba, the harmonica and the electric guitar.
Brought to light four years after a conversation in a plane flight, the record was destined to be, itself, a journey - a procession or a crossing through Brazil in the last decade, stopping here and there, finding ones and others. Sometimes it is 'Maria's Ary Barroso, or 'Dora's Dorival Caymmi. Sometimes it is 'Baião da Garoa's Luiz Gonzaga and Hervá Cordovil, 'Xica da Silva's Jorge Ben, 'Something's englishman George Harrison, or 'Yo Vengo a Ofrecer Mi Corazón's argentinian Fito Paez.
In those stops along the way, there are echoes and reflexions of our musical History classic characters - the cafuza queen of frevo and maracatur, the black empress of Tijuco, owner of Diamantina - and of the country's chronic pains: the draught saga, people fleeing from the northeast, the dry land, the waiting for rain, the hard labor to have some form of life. Those are malices that don't actually make the record a lament: it is of singing, not weeping.
When in the midst of these cherishing reencounters, Gil and Milton turn to themselves, comes the biggest surprise in the record: five never before heard songs, some already classics. Listen, for example, to "Sebastian"
It is a poignant, hurt homage to the "so punished and so beautiful" Worderful City (Rio de Janeiro), made as a prayer to it's patron Saint Sebastian. May the protector and his protegé, once all wounds are healed, cry only of love. Milton even offers his verses in sacrifice, suggesting that harm be done to the singing:
"Eu prefiro que essas flechas
Saltem para minha canção"
"I'd rather these arrows
Jumped at my song"
From another song, "Hospital Home", comes a cry of resistence to the post-modern desenchantment, a 'no' to those who believe "life is but pure damnation" and that therefore nothing is worth it. Against this impatient pessimism, this useless desire for "hospital cleanliness" (cousin of ethics), Gil's poem is raised, with the finest irony.
"Eu que moro onde o pecado mora ao lado(...)
Eu que já fui preso por porte de baseado
É baseado nisso que eu lhe digo não, não, não".
"I who live beside where sin lives (...)
I who have been arrested for possetion of a joint
It is based on that that I say no, no, no"
For all, the new and the old, "Gil & Milton' is a fascinating journey that, like Barroque had done before, connects not only Bahia to Minas, but Brazil to Latin America, Brazil to the world. When, starting from October 25th, the disc is being sold simultaneously in Brazil, Europe, Japan and the United States, there will be nothing more baiano, more mineiro, more brazilian, nothing more foreign than this african-barroque-baiano-mineiro synthesis.
Holy conspiration, holy encounter of these two companions who, as said in one of the songs, "fate brought together".