Three years after the release of Fang i núvols (2020), the duet formed by the singer Magalí Sare and the double bassist Manel Fortià has returned with their new album, Return (Microscopi). An album with ten songs from different places, from Portugal to Brazil, Cuba or Latin America, and that build maritime routes that mix cultures and their rhythms and melodies. Two months after the release of the new album, the singer advances to La Vanguardia exclusively the premiere of the video clip of the traditional Portuguese song, Senhora Do Almortão, one of the ten overseas trips.
Somehow you end up doing a flamenco of the traditional Portuguese song, 'Senhora Do Almortão'
Right, it's great because it's from a region of Portugal very close to Castilla, and the lyrics of the song say "senora d'Almortão, don't want to be Castilian". It's a very inside joke but it's still funny.
The video clip comes out after the release of the video for the song 'Guantanamera', also on the album
This is the second part of Guantanamera, we recorded it the same day and live, since it didn't make much sense to playback music so lively and made at the time.
In the video clip you can see how you work and experiment beyond the voice-double bass duet
There is a moment when I pick up some mallets and hit the double bass, and suddenly you realize that the instrument is also a source of sounds. Being alone is like a whole orchestra focused on him. If you imagine it, you can feel it.
Among your duet appears a percussionist, David Domínguez
Manel and I have always played a lot with small percussion elements, but also with the double bass itself. And it was for this album that we said, what if we invited a real percussionist? We weren't worried either that the album would sound very different from the live one, because in the live one there is also a performative, visual part, which is not on the album. What happens is that the real percussionist, who is David, has stayed in some concerts. Now we are incorporating him as a collaborator in the most important or presentation functions.
Senhora Do Almortão is not the only song on the album in Portuguese, there is also Barco Negro, by Amália Rodrigues, as well as songs from other countries
Each song comes from a quite different place, but deep down they are themes that we like and that fit within the story. Senhora Do Almortão was recommended to us by Manel's wife, who is Portuguese. At one point in my life I also have a very strong crush on Portugal and I know Barco Negro, by Amália Rodrigues. There is also a bolero called Verdad Amarga, which his teacher taught Manel Fortià. El Cambalache, for example, I heard it from a colleague and I said, what a strong theme.
Many of the songs on the album are in different languages. What does it mean for you to sing in several languages?
I love that there are many languages on my records, in this case, Catalan, Spanish and Portuguese. They are a bit the genres of the countries we play, the Iberian Peninsula, Brazil, Argentina, Cuba and Mexico. Whenever I go to a foreign country I ask for a specific song from the place or city. The more specific, the more illusion it makes the public. I learn a song with whatever language it is, I try to listen to the pronunciation very well, I write it and I do my translation. With Google Translate and dictionaries you can translate any song and understand the words.
Different rhythms from each country are also fused in the songs. How was the process of creating the arrangements?
Manel and I play a lot, our essays are experiments, games. We do a lot of stupid things and suddenly we say "this is great!, we put it". It starts out as a joke but, in the end, we decided that "this is in the arrangement forever". The concerts themselves also help us to know if the arrangements work, if they are long or short. Before releasing this album we were already playing some songs at concerts. They are the perfect laboratory, the truth is, playing live gives a lot of opportunity to play, since creativity awakens and many artistic ideas come out.
Is it difficult to choose rhythms that fit? Or is it to try?
It's testing, and that's great. Suddenly you realize that a melody from one end of the world works perfectly with a melody from the other end.
All this experimentation reminds a little of the style of Rosalía
I am quite impressed with Rosalía, each album she makes is very different, and within it she experiments a lot with musical genres. I think so, that is a good point in common. We try to do many genres and world music but with our language. From here arise some very crazy mixes, which are still a reflection of how well fused we are with each other, especially in Latin-speaking countries.
What inspired you to build an album as complete as Return?
I don't know, because in other albums I could tell you that I have been inspired by artists and their sound, but to make this album we have been very much ourselves. Everything has come out of our heads, we are inspired by a thousand things. Every day we come across something, when you're making a record or in a creative process, every input is gold. That's what happened to us, because we made this album in winter and we recorded it between January and February. In March we were already mixing it.
It has been a very fast launch considering that his last work, Esponja, came out the year before.
My intention was not to release a record every year. I wanted to give a broad life to Esponja, who is my main son, in whom I have invested sweat and tears.
Do you have a concert scheduled soon?
We have three concerts in Portugal this week. Actually right now we don't have many dates in Catalonia. Starting in the fall we will start doing a lot of concerts with this project, but right now we are going outside.
And in Barcelona?
We hope to present the album in the city in the fall, we are trying to close some things. We don't know yet, but it's our intention.