Composer, arranger and bass player
Born in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, Mateus Alves holds a degree in music from the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) and a master's degree in composition from the Royal College of Music, London, UK - where he also studied composition for screen. Since 2013 Mateus has been working constantly with soundtracks for films from Pernambuco. He recently concluded, in partnership with Tomaz Alves Souza, the original soundtrack for the feature film "Bacurau" by Juliano Dornelles and Kleber Mendonça Filho, which won the Prix du Jury of the Cannes Film Festival 2019. His work combines elements from the popular music of the Brazilian northeast with the textural techniques of composers like György Ligeti, with influences that range from John and Alice Coltrane, Clóvis Pereira, Sarah Davachi and Ennio Morricone to Soft Machine, Bernard Herrmann, Mica Levi and Giacinto Scelsi.
Music is a force that transcends the realm of sound. The composer Olivier Messiaen worked this ability by suggesting that we listen to the "color of time" in "Chronochromie". Similarly, Mateus Alves aims to reveal the "sound of the image" in the album "Music for Cinema".
As the name implies, the album compiles the composer's soundtracks for films such as "Rodolfo Mesquita e as Monstruosas Máscaras de Alegria e Felicidade" (2013, dir. Pedro Severien), "Amores de Chumbo" (2017, dir. Tuca Siqueira) , "Brasil S/A" (2014, dir. Marcelo Pedroso) and "Aquarius" (2017, dir. Kleber Mendonça Filho). With the latter two, Mateus Alves received the award for Best Soundtrack at the Brasilia Festival of Brazilian Cinema and at the Brazilian Cinema Grand Prix, respectively.
If cinema is the music of light, what the Pernambuco composer presents with this album is a sort of film of music. The tracks have a synaesthetic vitality that evokes characters, places, smells, colors, moods, images and situations full of nuances. With martial rhythms and imposing brass, "Marcha das Máquinas" translates into sound the inequalities of a country that industrialized too quickly, as portrayed in the feature film "Brasil S/A". A violent industrialization that undermined the distribution of wealth and the civil rights of the poorest. In a more textural and subtle treatment, "Lançamento do Operário Espacial" ("Brasil S/A") and "Casa de Detenção I" ("Amores de Chumbo") materialize the solitude of the worker and the melancholy of incarceration.
Synthesizing the jazz of Coltrane, the romantic music of Wagner and Tchaikovsky, waltz, minimalism, the music of northeastern Brazil and even rap, "Music for Cinema" points to a polyphonic and plural portrait of Brazil. The soundtracks of "Music for Cinema" are also the tracks for the complex scripts of our society, with their political, social and aesthetic inequalities and contradictions.
Text: GG Albuquerque
Art: Clara Moreira
Obs: for technical details of the album go to mateusalves.bandcamp.com