Juçara Marçal



Commentary on the tenth anniversary presentation of the album “Encarnado”

It was on a Friday that Juçara Marçal celebrated ten years of one of the most significant albums of the late – and eventful – decade of 2010 in São Paulo. I speak of your incarnate, launched in 2014, and whose first decade anniversary was celebrated with a presentation on March XNUMXst, at Sesc Vila Mariana. Dressed in blood red, Juçara Marçal was accompanied by Kiko Dinucci, Rodrigo Campos and Thomas Rohrer, in a spectacle (that's the exact word) that deserves to be highlighted in the always alive, but somewhat dormant, cultural scene of Paulicéia.

After all, the quartet that took the stage, after a gap of considerable years, was no longer the same; probably precisely because of this interval. But not only, given that the country of 2014 incarnate, whatever, it’s already over. What's the point, then, in returning to the album? Ultimately, what can he say even today beyond the ephemeris, itself a mere abstract temporal landmark that justifies these retakes from time to time? I will try to offer more questions throughout this comment, given that my oracular tent is definitely unable to provide answers.

However, let's see. Juçara Marçal, born in Rio de Janeiro, a Uspian by passing and Brazilian by vocation, has established herself as the voice of an era. Not necessarily a mass voice, but a voice that provides a precise diagnosis of the present, and points out paths for the future; so that whoever knows how to listen can take away precious things from their work. I think that the acumen of someone who begins his cultural maturity by singing traditional music, in groups like “A Barca”, under the strong inspiration of Mário de Andrade, and studying Pedro Nava (“in which Antarctic foams / does the navigator sail?”) and today awaits the release of an album by remix of his last breath-taking work, the heavily electronic Delta Estacio Blues (2021), which has on the team remixers Everything that the classic idea of ​​USP would immediately reject, classifying as integrated, really deserves attention.

For some time now, Encruza, a group that brings together (or brought together) the bands Metá Metá and Passo Torto, should deserve centrality among those who think about Brazilian matters through the prism of culture (these agonizing heights, this valley of the dead). The first, formed by Juçara, Kiko Dinucci and Thiago França; and the second, by Kiko, Marcelo Cabral, Rodrigo Campos and Rômulo Fróes, I believe that only the messianic dissonant voice of Douglas Germano (which I studied on another opportunity) should be added. It is they – who, in a very different way to the Fora do Eixo group, who would have their SP lighthouse in the already buried Studio SP – who have been building a path for the pieces (!) of Brazilian Popular Music (this swallows everything, this aberration, this political party).

And it was precisely in incarnate from Juçara Marçal that an action program was put together, was fermented, to later be surpassed by its programmatic results; as if the MPB institution was taking an urgent leap forward, albeit in a very respectful way with its past glory, which would not mean, however, playing its game.

Again, I return to the question: what incarnate have to say about today? At first, nothing. But if everything obsolete were to be abandoned there would not have been The woman at the end of the world (Elza Soares, 2015). The great thing about the whole thing is precisely the ability of the obsolete to become current. As Walter Garcia rightly noted, in a pioneering and rare article on the subject of this text, incarnate is the work of Jornadas de Junho 2013. His rehearsals, his preparation for entering the studio, which took place simultaneously with the event month; and the subsequent recording, capture the mental oxygen of a larger scene. Perhaps, then, the question is: what does this scene have to say about today? As I said, the answer is more and more questions. “Confusing to clarify”, the mystery is that the ten years of “Encarnado” filled the second largest theater at Sesc São Paulo and drew emotional applause, on the one hand, and, on the other, making people remember what the launch performance would have been like on that same day. stage, in April 2014.

The PT euphoria announcing the World Cup that one June said there shouldn't be; the cultural effervescence that ran parallel between intellectualized circles while the megazord of Grande Goiás was forming the “new middle class” – who will remember those debates? So many ideas, so many dreams, right? Well, maybe the great earthquake lives right there. incarnate.

Juçara Marçal came from Padê, from 2008, shared with Kiko, who released that same year, with Bando Afromamacarrônico, Nagô Pastiche, the result of his sound experiences at night at Ó do Borogodó. Padê, perhaps more contemporary to us from a certain perspective than incarnate, due to the strength of his ancestry that unknowingly foreshadowed the identity tribes, he dreamed more, and even musically he seemed to be more tributary to the periphery of MPB, but still appeared to speak from within it. It is true that Metá Metá's first two albums (namesake, 2011; MetaL MetaL, 2012), they already announced something; but it was more the boiling cauldron of June than the wreckage that awaited us before the fall.

The “I never dawn the same” that ends Vias in fact (Kiko, Douglas Germano and Eduardo Luiz Ferreira, from the album meta meta, 2011); the “in search of beauty” of “Tristeza não” (by Alice Ruiz and Itamar Assumpção, from the album MetaL MetaL, 2012), they foreshadowed that an irresistible rupture of the era was coming. And it came. However, it wasn't as dazzling and enchanted as that, which incarnate, hot, managed to capture.

If its high point is the bankruptcy of something, as Walter Garcia attests in his aforementioned article, which, moreover, we can identify, at the limit, as an idea of ​​Modern Brazil, affirmative and enchanting, its implication is that, then, it was necessary to carry out a turn of the tables, capable of “tickling tradition”, which would come with the Delta Estacio Blues of the pandemic and Bolsonarista 2021. In this sense, the resumption of incarnate ten years later, given that, after all, it is an album about death (which Walter also noticed). Remorse the dead? So now, that Lulism has returned just like D. Sebastião sailing across Lake Paranoá to save us from uncivilized barbarians (the image is by Paulo Arantes)?

I confess that precisely for this reason the presentation excited me, and I was at my wits end waiting for how Juçara Marçal would interpret the apex song of the death of Modern Brazil, “Ciranda do Aborto”, by Kiko Dinucci. As the title itself says, an abortion; something irreversible, with something still non-existent. “Country of the future”, “condemned to modern”, which “still needs to deserve Bossa Nova”. Wound never stopped. None of this resulted in effective popular emancipation, much less the annihilation of latent Brazilian inequalities. All of this, in fact, only worsens the extent of the grief, which can even lead to melancholy (Rômulo Fróes says so), as the impression that remains is that it is useless to dream about this country.

incarnate demarcated this, and the ten years that separate it from 2024 only proved its diagnosis. A good example of this are the directions that this and The woman at the end of the world, from 2015, now nine years old, took. The voice that would “sing until the end”, in the song of the same name by Alice Coutinho and Rômulo Fróes, died, not before surfing the institutionalization of the identity agenda. Indeed she sang until the end, but the end came; which only demonstrates the utopian dimension, perfectly identified with the ambitions and ambivalences of the modern Brazilian XNUMXth century, that the aesthetic proposal to which Alice and Rômulo's song alludes.

I believe that the same cannot be said when we think about “Abortion Ciranda”. There is no attempt to reverse the abortion, to sanctify the stillborn fetus. It is rather the opposite. The irreversibility of something is recognized, imposing the question that was the title of the film in which Vladimir Safatle acts, ironizing the adversities of his persona: #and now what (Jean-Claude Bernardet and Rubens Rewald, 2020). Like this, incarnate creates an agenda: what to do with Brazilian cultural heritage that died without being born?

It was no surprise that Juçara Marçal, also debuting as an actress in the middle of these ten years, first in Joana de “drop of water {preta}” (Jé Oliveira, 2019), and later as the Mother of the opera Café (libretto by Mário de Andrade, directed by Sérgio de Carvalho, 2022), he sang the “Ciranda do Abortion” theatrically, embedding something more gestural than lyrical in the song. She finished the song screaming. It was oclimax. I enjoy an angry sex, caressed immediately afterwards by the “Lullaby Oxum” (Douglas Germano). Don't be hateful for having died before the summer. Brazil's alive and alive, what to do? It was in this tone that Juçara Marçal amended a version of “Comprimido”, by Paulinho da Viola. Diagnosis of the present, with some distance, just like in the song, accompanied by minimal lighting, highlighting the shadows of those on stage that appeared on the walls. From the audience, we were biting our nails with no flower to smell. No lilies, no carnations and not even silent roses emerging on the horizon.

Ambiguous path, real crossroads. At one end, resume incarnate Today, if his diagnosis proves to be correct, on the other hand he really feels a masochistic relief about it all. The time of death seems to be even better than putrefaction. As we are already in this second moment, the first seems more beautiful, especially because the decade of 2010 that Rodrigo Campos' cavaquinho was announcing in his samba “Velho Amarelo” had its doses of Passion and Faith (“I want to die one day soon / I want to die on a blue day / I want to die in South America”).

It seems that it was even good, on the one hand, to bet on Brazil's redemptive powers, and, on the other, to say that they switched sides. What was perhaps not so clear was that what lay ahead was more blood. Here and now, in the putrefaction of Modern Brazil, seeing something go down the drain with no return, the feeling actually becomes a bit ambivalent. But it is worth remembering that Juçara and company were not satisfied with the correct diagnosis.

I really consider it a heroic stance, of not giving up the game when the game is already over (and we were defeated, artificial intelligences say so), which Juçara Marçal did of incarnate further, with emphasis on the Delta Estacio Blues. There, in the lyrics, there is remembrance, the joining together of the pieces of Modern Brazil, many of them long forgotten, like those fixed in Estácio's bambas (“Bide, Baiaco, Ismael”). On the other hand, the electronic sound, made by the machine, the digital, the artificial, the chucro. As we know, the sound always weighs more than the letter; After all, there are people who don't believe that all of Roger Waters' work is on the left, capable of shouting for Bolsonaro, president of Brazil, at his 2018 shows.

Thus, Delta Estacio Blues is a tributary of the contemporary paradigm launched by incarnate. He goes to the game, trying to compete for space with the reels of Instagram, with the tiktok endless, and with the thousand and one stupid arguments about X that suck time from progressives hostage to progress (ah, “pogress”…). There are those who can see, with some dose of lucidity already in extinction and with which I tend to agree, that the proposal goes beyond the point, placing itself too integrated with something that no longer has any notion of the past.

But then, what to do? Cross your arms, climb the ivory tower and watch the final salute of machine guns announcing that it is really over, with all the implications that this brings, including to us, humans, passing through life, across the planet? A question that, I confess, I would not like to ask. But what is left for me to do precisely because I don't have the answers. If anyone has them, as the survivors on the winning side say at the end of a war: “we are saved!”. Or not.

*Vitor Morais Graziani is a history major at the University of São Paulo (USP).

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