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Travassos – life is a simple mess

Images: Travassos.

Inextricable elements – Jazz em Agosto with extra-concert activities and Jazz em Agosto with TravassosLife is a simple mess, to be released on August 4th, right after the show that puts together Larry Ochs with The Fictive Five. A book that, despite having in music its starting point and quintessence, paves the way to different sorts of realms – natural, oneiric, mutable and its relationship with other natures. It tells us stories or, better put, it invites us to carve our own based on its illustrations.

João Castro – What sort of criteria have you used to handpick the images, given that your work ranges from the covers of Clean Feed and shhpuma to the image of Festival Rescaldo?

Travassos – First of all, I took into account the profile of the label itself, Chili com Carne, and then I had to pick more illustrations to avoid ending up with something that would be way too dissimilar with its editorial line. On the other hand, I arranged them in order to build a story. To achieve that, I had the help of Nate Wooley. Nate Wooley is one of my favourite musicians, so if someone had to write it that person could only be him.

JC – You have structured the book in different parts…

T – The intention is to tell a story. The book is divided into three parts: life is simple, where the most minimal drawings emerge, and where I put my stakes on a certain simplicity. Next is life is a mess, where more factors have their say, and there is also the mish-mash, which is the almost boundless juxtaposition of elements that at first doesn’t seem to match.

JC – How do you bind your drawings with Nate Wooley’s texts?

T – The structure was divided along with him. We shared some ideas, he saw the images and had total freedom to write whatever he deemed relevant. Then we complemented both parts, his texts and my images.

JC – Some subjects are often approached – nature, birds, the cover’s chameleon, but through a oneiric and mutable perspective…

T – They are the ones that please and influence me the most. There’s some sort of catastrophic relationship between nature and the rest. The subjects keep emerging, without ever being afraid of mixing elements. For instance, the cover can have 60 to 70 elements chosen from a total of 200. I keep adding components that in my opinion make sense. Lately I haven’t had that much time to draw. So, the computer-based process is not only simpler but it also provides the results that I’m aiming for. Nonetheless, there are lots of drawings in the works that I do, but few of those are in the book, given that many are processed, tampered with.

JC – The book brings a CD with it, why did you decide to include it?

T – I picked songs from the most lasting and consistent projects in which I participate, such as Pão, Big Bold Back Bone and Pinkdraft. I was able to revive some gems like Flu, the first band of Gabriel Ferrandini, and some older tracks that should be released in a format with a wider reach.

JC – The book was presented at Jazz em Agosto, I assume that choosing this festival was something that came to you right away.

T – I always thought that this would be the perfect moment to present the book, given that there is a strong relationship between the artworks and the music that these images depict. I’ve been associated with Jazz em Agosto for 17 years now, so my relationship with the festival is almost family-like. It suits the occasion and is something prestigious.

Travassos – life is a simple mess

Further info

At age five, I saw a tale published – "Once upon a time there was a shoe-tie and a shoe, and the shoe-tie ran away." Around twelve a drawing of Snow White had a bicycle as a prize. From the hope of being a recognized writer or a brilliant painter everything has faded over the years. Spoken drawings, maps, begin to catch my attention. Graduated in Geography, with post graduation in Urban Planning and another in Innovation Policies. Everyday life assumes its natural course, not without scribbling the most varied deviations (Umbigo, Nariz Entupido, among others) and lots of nights out, because one never knows when the sun rises.

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