Sérgio Ricardo: the scarecrow of sameness

Hélio Cabral (Journal de Resenhas)


Brazil, and its people, have lost one of our greatest translators.

One day before his own birthday, composer and writer Chico Buarque participated in a live in honor of the 88th birthday of the composer, singer, performer, poet, filmmaker, artist and writer Sergio Ricardo. On that occasion, Chico spoke of missing his friend, who was hospitalized, said that he learned “everything from Sergio” and arranged a meeting between him, Chico (Comendador Sem Vergonha), Mohamed (João Bosco) and Turco (the honored of the night) to “as soon as we get out of this virus trouble and as soon as we get out of this President of the Republic’s trouble, the trio will celebrate together.”

A little over a month later, the meeting was canceled due to the fate that took the life of João Lutfi, Sergio Ricardo's birth name.

Sergio Ricardo is undoubtedly one of the greatest Brazilian artists. Acting as an announcer, composer, singer, instrumentalist, actor, poet, filmmaker, artist and writer; wherever he went, he left his particular and universal stamp of tone and participated in the construction of a national-popular identity. From bohemian piano and samba-canção nights; Sergio Ricardo became one of the forerunners of the then innovative bossa-nova, transitioning to social and protest music, frequenting political militancy and festivals, recreating northeastern rhythms and cadences in southern chords. His lyrics and poems retain an unusual power and harmony, typical of large constructions.

Sergio Ricardo composed musical scores for six theater plays, including works by Ziraldo and Guinfrancesco Guarnieri and is the author of more than sixteen anthological albums, some of which are seminal. In the visual arts, he left his innovative mark on twelve cinematographic tracks, among them those of God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun quality earth in trance, by Glauber Rocha.

released his first film, This world is mine, on the exact day of the 1964 Military Coup and with Scarecrow's NightTo road movie rural with touches of psychedelia, with Alceu Valença and Geraldo Azevedo, Sergio Ricardo was consecrated as a great filmmaker. In his colorful and everyday paintings you can see the face and curves of our people.

The unique and transformative character, quality and relevance of his works are unquestionable, as well as his political-practical commitment to democratic freedoms, to the interests of the oppressed and exploited, and to the concerns that haunt all of humanity. Organic intellectual and popular activist, above all Sergio Ricardo was always up to his time and, for that very reason, marked Brazilian history. Aware of his size, Sergio Ricardo was also a giant of respect, attention and affection towards his fellow men.

We will all feel the throbbing nostalgia for the piece of Brazil that is gone. And, together with Chico, we will continue to carry forward the dreams and certainty, the indignation and delicacy of Sergio Ricardo. After all, as he himself taught us, in life it is necessary to have “the search as a measure, / the encounter as an arrival / and as a starting point”.

*Savio Bones, the “mineirinho”, journalist, is director of the Sergio Miranda Institute (Isem) and of the Clodesmidt Riani Brazilian Trade Union Observatory (OSB-CR).

  1. S. Sergio Ricardo, more than once, spoke of the composition “Do Lago à Cachoeira”:

I know it's hard to change
When the course is our life
And much worse is if we
See that there is no way out

I went out looking, I don't know if the wind
Or if the sound of the waves
Speaking in the ways
sprouted in my hands
Rising source and swelled

without me noticing
took up all the space
And the knot untied from the noose
When I saw myself without ties
I left waving my arms

I turned the river that breaks the dam
That comes out licking the earth
The kills the bed on the bank
I just know that there I was
From Lake to Waterfall




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