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JOCY DE OLIVEIRA Raga da Amazônia

It is rather fascinating Jocy de Oliveira's journey as a creative and sensitive inhabitant of our planet. She is a masterful composer, interpreter, multimedia artist, and storyteller. Her pieces are influenced by the avant-garde of the 20th century and all cultures and languages on Earth, emphasizing the importance of feminism, science, and the environment. Jocy started composing at the age of six and was introduced to piano studies at a very young age by her mother who was a poet and pianist. Her talent and dedication brought her to work alongside eminent 20th-century music masters such as Igor Stravinsky, Oliver Messaien, Luciano Berio, Claudio Santoro, John Cage, Xenaxis and Karlheinz Stockhausen. This became a vital experience in her artistic life and she performed world premieres of works by many of these great composers. Jocy witnessed and experienced the rupture of several paradigms of Western music. She incorporated serialism and electroacoustics, dialogued with ritualistic music and indeterminacy that boomed in the revolutionary 1960s. Along this path, joining her fascination with theatricality and the desire to tell stories, she immersed herself and subverted the language of traditional opera, following her heart and her instincts over nine operatic pieces. This album is dedicated to a production that goes from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s. That was a very troubled period in the artist's life in the face of the significant loss of her father, followed by health problems, accidents, and staying away from her main instrument, the piano. She chose to give up her pianist career and intensify her authorial production. She explored the multiple possibilities of multimedia and multidisciplinary language, composing and presenting, among other pieces, two "magical operas" of great relevance, from which we selected pieces and extracts to be part of this album. Fata Morgana (1987) is an electroacoustic opera that elaborates the imaginary and mythologies linked to the feminine sacred, associated with the cosmology of contemporary physics. The show features a collection of dream memories and images, giving emphasis to ritualistic gestures. “Inori – to the sacred prostitute” (1993) also rescues matriarchal values based on the diversity of languages, cultures, races, beliefs, and religions. The lunar set celebrates the mysteries of the unconscious through a language open to fate and experimentation. On side A, “Oniric” from the opera Fata Morgana (1987) presents electronic music performed in real-time along with voice. It’s interesting to note the presence of electronics in real-time unifying the album’s concept. Jocy uses a Yamaha TX and DX7 synthesizer, instruments that permeate all selected parts. The following pieces are two ragas : “Telling of a raga” from the same opera, and on side B “Raga in the Amazon ” plus “Solaris”, segments from the opera “Inori – to the sacred prostitute”. All tracks are unreleased on vinyl. During a conversation , Jocy told me: “Raga is used by me in the sense of emotion, color, not exactly as musical modes in Indian music, although there is a search for the universe energy and human being integration. This was very much what I felt when I heard Carnatic music in India. There is dignity and respect there which make us feel an integration with the cosmos.” As a curator, another of my focuses for this album is experimentation that confronts the limits between composition and indeterminacy. Speaking about Stockhausen in her book “Dialogue with letters” (SESI-SP, 2014) she says: “Mantra for two pianos by Stockhausen is one of his works that most fascinates me for certain qualities that sounds like improvisation and, are strictly determined. A challenge for pianists.” Jocy brings much of that focus to her Ragas. The first title for this release was “Extratos Oníricos”, but during production, the composer sent us the following message: “I was thinking about the project of LP from the ‘80s and I believe the best title could be “Raga na Amazônia.” I think the title would be more up-to-date, although I presented many concerts and events in the 70s and 80s focusing environmental questions, we still need to continue fighting for Amazon.” About experimental music, in her same book, Jocy clarifies that "John Cage said that the word experimental should not describe an act in terms of future judgment, as to its success or failure, but should be applied to an act whose result is unknown" During an interview at “Dialogue with composers” project, organized by the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra (OSB) in December 2020, Jocy spoke about the importance of music in her life: "I don't think of music as a career, but as a destiny. I express myself through music because this is my way of manifesting myself. It is my voice, my cry, my groan. ” Paulo Beto
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