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ARRIGO BARNABÉ

RIO/Avant-Prog • Brazil


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Arrigo Barnabé picture
Arrigo Barnabé biography
Arrigo Barnabé is a Brazilian actor, composer and musician. He was born in 1951 and released his first album, ?Clara Crocodile? in 1980. During the seventies, he played in multiple festivals and TV shows. His music could easily be described as avant-garde rock. It should also appeal to fans of Zeuhl. In 1983, he composed the original motion soundtrack for the movie ?Janete?. He also composed music for the movies ?Estrela nua?, ?Santa Joana? and ?Vera?. He was awarded for all these soundtracks. Between these projects (in 1984), he released his second album, ?Tubarões voadores?, and another one in 1986 named ?Cidade oculta?. In 1988, he composed another movie soundtrack, ?Lua cheia?, and was awarded again. His fourth album was released in 1992, and was called ?Façanhas?. He made a play for Jazz Orchestra, rock band and string quartet, ?Nunca conheci quem tivesse levado porrada?, which was presented in 1994 in Sao Paulo. He released another soundtrack in 1997, Ed Mort.
His unique work in the Brazilian music, including characteristics of compositions like twelve-tone atonality, also called dodecaphonism, made contemporary classical and popular music in the nineties fit together and be a whole.

Biography written by Gabriel Rivest (Tsevir Leirbag)

Arrigo Barnabé official website

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ARRIGO BARNABÉ discography


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ARRIGO BARNABÉ top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.48 | 24 ratings
Clara Crocodilo
1980
4.50 | 19 ratings
Tubarões Voadores
1984
3.93 | 5 ratings
Cidade Oculta
1986
3.33 | 3 ratings
Suspeito
1987
2.50 | 4 ratings
Façanhas
1992
3.60 | 5 ratings
Gigante Negão
1998
4.00 | 7 ratings
Missa In Memoriam Itamar Assumpção
2006

ARRIGO BARNABÉ Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.78 | 5 ratings
A Saga De Clara Crocodilo
1999

ARRIGO BARNABÉ Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ARRIGO BARNABÉ Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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ARRIGO BARNABÉ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Clara Crocodilo by BARNABÉ, ARRIGO album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.48 | 24 ratings

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Clara Crocodilo
Arrigo Barnabé RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by GKR

5 stars Little can be said after the review of Votoms for this exactly album. I'am going to just thrown a little bit of my thoughts in here.

Oh boy, what would I give to put Arrigo Barnabé in contact with the RIO movement... him working with Henry Cow and all the crew would be something off the wall.

Anyway, I digress. Clara Crocodilo, for me, goes beyond simple music. It's art. As São Paulo is one of the biggest metropolis in the world, the bad results of this are also to be shown. The lyrics of Clara Crocodilo approaches this in a curious manner: even in the format of a newspaper article. Urban chaos is shown best exemplifies perhaps since Mário de Andrade's Macunaíma. Arrigo Barnabé do not only know this, he uses it for his own purposes.

A step way ahead of Tom Zé's Todos os Olhos, Clara Crocodilo is a essential album for understanting brazilian Avant-gard music.

 A Saga De Clara Crocodilo by BARNABÉ, ARRIGO album cover Live, 1999
4.78 | 5 ratings

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A Saga De Clara Crocodilo
Arrigo Barnabé RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by VOTOMS

5 stars Review nº 216

Arrigo Barnabé - Clara Crocodilo (late live version)

*please read my extended review for the original album if interested in more information

Exactly after 20 years, Clara Crocodilo was ressurected for a live presentation! This CD is somehow easier and cheap to get, since the original album is out of print and its copies (any format) could be found around 350-400 bucks. The composition is the same, but the line-up and arrangement got very different. There's no way to compare the albums. Each one has its own charm. Of course I prefer the original one, but I already heard it too much, so this live different piece sounds more interesting and enigmatic. A highlight point for me was the structure and distribution of the work. As you can see, the B-Side of the original album was listed as a suite divided by parts, and the even the Clara Crocodilo titled song was split in tracks. The tracklist is re-named but the songs are the same. The different vocal casting added a catchy and intriguing aspect for those who knows the late 70s release. Here is an alternative way to a classic masterpiece. But remains as excelent as before. How could I rate it lower?

 Cidade Oculta by BARNABÉ, ARRIGO album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.93 | 5 ratings

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Cidade Oculta
Arrigo Barnabé RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by VOTOMS

4 stars Review nº 215

Arrigo Barnabé - Cidade Oculta (original soundtrack)

This time, our great composer Arrigo Barnabé shows his talent writing the music for a brazilian b-movie starring himself as a main character. The album wasn't succesful as his previous two masterpieces, but it's still clear that if someone loved the unique sound of his past works, Cidade Oculta would be a nice try. Arrigo's work always had a storytelling thing. Clara Crocodilo was a concept album and a musical play. Tubarões Voadores came with comic strips about the album theme, similar to the giant monster on Clara Crocodilo, but the release topic are "flying sharks". Writing for a movie wouldn't be so different. Actually, it is better than loads of Goblin soundtracks. It features songs from his spin-off avant-post-punk project, Patife Band (their LP has some good tracks too). The music is closest to the previous album, mixing 80s music with his early RIO tendencies, dodecaphinism and epileptic lyrical plots. Have fun!

 Tubarões Voadores by BARNABÉ, ARRIGO album cover Studio Album, 1984
4.50 | 19 ratings

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Tubarões Voadores
Arrigo Barnabé RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by VOTOMS

5 stars Review nº 214

Arrigo Barnabé - Tubarões Voadores

After the long praising review for his debut album, I don't have many words to describe this. Following the great zeuhlesque concept album, obviously a masterpiece and one of my top 5 albums of all time, Clara Crocodilo, Arrigo returns with Tubarões Voadores 5 years later. And what about this one? I can't say it's better than the previous one. The direction changed but it's still genial as damn. The proposal of the album was introduce dodecaphonism, weird prog narrative, and other absurd techniques on popular and different music including 80s rock, ethereal, synthpop, MPB, samba, and more. The results are tracks even more inacessible to the common listener. Just like the first album, the whole band and the female vocals are pretty good and unusual. It's a must check to avant-garde fans, but I still would reccomend Clara Crocodilo at first (very different style though).

 Clara Crocodilo by BARNABÉ, ARRIGO album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.48 | 24 ratings

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Clara Crocodilo
Arrigo Barnabé RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by VOTOMS

5 stars Review nº 213

Arrigo Barnabé - Clara Crocodilo

Originally a musical play full of criticism and counterculture , essential for MAGMA & ZEUHL FANS.

First of all, let me praise this wonderful brazilian concept album, a masterpiece of the underground progressive, technical Rock in Opposition. Unfortunatelly we have only two reviews for Arrigo Barnabé's albums in the ProgArchives. But just check them and you will understand what I'm talking about. Arrigo is my favorite (even stronger than Zappa and Zorn in my inspiration list), and after my long research into music I couldn't say anything less than, the best, most creative and innovative composer into Twelve-Tone atonality tecnique, a.k.a DODECAPHONISM. Beware, folks. Into these tracks what you will find is the real, solid hard listening avant-garde music. Definitely speaking, not for kids or light hearted musicians. What Arrigo leads in his debut is an ironic agressive opera satirizing the degraded life in the big city of Sao Paulo, fulfilled with well worked tunes, hailed as the most inventive creation out of the mold of what is meant by traditional popular music, infiltrating the brazilian radio with a perfect mix of heavy/prog rock, jazz and dissonant classical. Also, I'm a saxophonist/guitarist and I play some keys. I can tell you all the scores here are totally brilliant, end to end. Wanna upgrade your prog level? Take this.

Second, let's take a look at the background. His name once was popular in TV, radios and big festivals. In 1979, Arrigo won TV Cultura's MPB Festival with the intelligent, visionary songs "Diversões Eletrônicas" and "Infortúnio", even with a line of booing conservationists against him in the crowd. At TV Tupi's MPB Festival, he got first place and some other awards with "Sabor de Veneno" (which aroused considerable polemics too). This first LP was released in 1980, followed by a national tour. In 1981 the album was awarded with the APCA (São Paulo's Art Critics' Association) prize. Next year, Barnabé participated in the Berlin Jazz Festival with his project. After this, he starts writing soundtrack for movies (he participates in some of the same films). He was founder of the Vanguarda Paulista music scene (urban classically trained musicians of the city of São Paulo who added erudite experimentations to pop music). I can't believe how most of his albums were buried so deep. I was searching for an original Clara Crocodilo copy and hell, it was the equivalent to 300 dollars! During a 79' interview with the brainchild, after questioned about his influences, he said his works were most inspired by comics (Robert Crumb, Will Eisner) than music. Well, if you can find any clue of the original musical play, you will find some original comics too. The lyrics, and even words, were carefully chosen too, making the plot ironic about the current brazilian settings of its time: military dictatorship. Unfortunattely, in our studio version some of the phrases had to be changed thanks to policy. It doesn't matter or affects the suite at all. The words Clara (feminine name) and Crocodilo (crocodile) were chosen to cause a grammar impact. The lyrics tells a story about an Office Boy and his saga until his Kaiju transformation into Clara Crocodilo. The rhymes and choruses are actually hilarious in a clever way. If you have the chance to dig the lyrics, throw it all in a translator and decrypt the phrases while listening (remember the brazilian settings of that time and figure the second thoughts), you will not regret and will enchance your experience with the album. The more you listen to, more you realize the details. For example, there was a short part where, at first, sounded like each wind instrument were playing random improvisation. After some time my ears dissected the track, sax by sax, so I noticed they're playing the same riff, but each one playing in a different speed.

Finally, the music, in itself. What can I say? It contains the most authentic narrative form into music. Arrigo Barnabé plays the piano and all the keys/synth, and have been introduced to the twelve tone method after a gift from his girlfriend: a pocket book about dodecaphonism, the classical composer Arnold Schönberg, this kind of things. The band playing together is called Sabor de Veneno. You will notice that Arrigo loves to blend his aggressive, harsh voice with high octave girls, with epic results. Some of the women featured in the album followed a succesful career in later years, as Tetê Espíndola. There are a bunch of... something like "vocal riffs": repeated phrases in a weird choir, which would be a big appeal for Magma fans, as I already said. Once those lines gets into your head, it will be stucked there. Acapulco Drive-In and Orgasmo Total are a sarcastic kick in the eye, what a freak intro for an album. They are a good warming-up for the coming suite. In the second track you will taste some of Arrigo's piano and vocal. It's a track that gets better until the climax. So we reach the first Zheulish suite, in opera style: Diversões Eletrônica. This track shows the reason why they came. The lyrical story is a great entertainment, and the way it perfectly mixes with the music takes the listener to a demented mental theater. The synth made the perfect atmosphere for the urban "arcade" mania of the late 70s theme. It's packed with instrumental jokes, like the saxophone "laughing" while you'll hear a woman singing 'bout a wicked laughter. B side. Sabor de Veneno is a short (3 minutes) of definitive Clara Crocodilo. I mean, if you wanna know the potential of the band, just listen to this track and you will be surprised: yes, this is only a short track. This was the track which introced me to this cultural shock, shocking as a dead male pregnant little baby dancing around ice cream bubbles. It's also a genial preparation for Infortúnio: a track where, in 5 minutes they could easily disable any other prog track I ever heard. It begins slowly and funeral, with a soprano voice telling a tale of a woman who lost her husband. The track grows freak to heaviness but technically, energetic as a Gentle Giant tune, while the letter shows the tragic drunk bitch end to the widow's life. So, the main suite, Clara Crocodilo starts here, with Office-Boy. The intro has a impossible multiple score sync. The following scene gives an eletric shower in everyone who sits to enjoy the show. Frames of random intrigues, common struggles in ordinary life and the plot border the ridiculous absurd. Clara Crocodilo, the great climax, stroke the surrealism with a pneumatic jellyfish jolt. After about a minute of presentations (some comedy here) Clara Crocodilo is released. Actually, Calra Crocodilo's moment of release is a rebellion anthem against dictatorship: "Quem cala consente eu não calo/não vou morrer nas mãos de um tira/quem cala consente eu desacato/não vou morrer nas mãos de um rato". It would be something like this: "Silence is consent, I do not/ I will not die at the hands of a (tyrant) cop/ Silence is consent, I contempt / I will not die at the hands of a rat." The original line to come after this was removed from the album due to even more explicit revolutionary. A sudden silence and Arrigo double dare you to resist the short weighty musical jab. The girls are asking for another short heavy punch. The suite proceeds to the labyrinth stage, and so on until a whole new brass oriented heavy metal anthem. Instante is the mystical ending theme, refreshing your brain after this cold psychedelic eruption without lose the volcano vomiting meltdown rainbow sense.

Arrigo Barnabé is still active. After Clara Crocodilo, he writes a lot of highly awarded soundtracks and albums, some of them listed here in ProgArchives too, including the masterpieces Tubarões Voadores and another avant-prog opera called Gigante Negão. He's currently working with Luiz Tatit and Lívia Nestrovski (amazing voice!). Being extremely out of any unimaginable boundaries, Arrigo's debut strikes down: An evidence that you can make weird stuff sound catchy, with good taste. Absolute classic, a must.

 A Saga De Clara Crocodilo by BARNABÉ, ARRIGO album cover Live, 1999
4.78 | 5 ratings

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A Saga De Clara Crocodilo
Arrigo Barnabé RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Leo Milani

5 stars Shame on all of you prog fans for not having heard this one!! This is a live album, containing songs from the totally Avant-guarde 1980 "Clara Crocodilo". I'll tell you: Zappa would think again if he heard this album, or any other Arrigo's. The level of expressivity and musical virtuosism (composition and execution) is something I had never heard before!!! As I Said, this is a live album arranged for string quartet, winds and rock band. Arrigo plays Piano on this one too. the composition are totally atonal, dealing with serialism and twelve tone technique. As a musician, I think it's out of any question trying to play it, unless you can read sheets as a maestro. Anyway, another very strong point of this album is the lyrics. Arrigo loved comix and based most of the themes of his songs (the form of the text really) on them. Arrigo's lyrics describe dark, smoky and dirty places, men with prostitutes, aberrations, sexual deprivation and so on. Its a very urban, apocalyptical scenario, but humoristic too. Arrigo lived in São Paulo, the biggest city in South America and one of the biggest in the world (4th or 5th maybe). Try to find the lyrics in english if you can, you will know what i'm saying. The album finishes with the Clara Crocodilo suite, the story of an ofiice-boy that turns into this strange monster. The arrangement of this part is an astonishing composition, with frightening, tense moments and explosions... An expressionist, I might say. This is an album for advanced prog (and music in general) listeners. I couldn't say more about it. Listen to it and tell me I'm wrong!! More than 5 stars!!!!!!

See Ya!

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