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    Humanity is creating a more and more interconnected world. In less than 50 years, we have developed new forms of communication, not only much faster and more accessible, but also with an increased capacity of conveying what we want to express and say. Apparently, the space for misunderstanding should be smaller. However, there are still moments when we are unable to express exactly what we want, lacking words that serve the purpose. These would be extremely precious for the clarity of our speech.

    If it is a fact that there is, and probably always will be, a gap between meaning and interpretation, emotion and intention, it is also true that by expanding our lexicon, we automatically increase our expression capacity. However, if there is no such word in our language, it does not mean that there isn’t in another.

    This is how the so-called untranslatable words entered my world and inspired me to write a new cycle of compositions titled “Lost in Translation”. These words can be the solution to things we have always thought, but never knew how to name them. Or, they can even mean something we never thought of, opening up our mind for new perspectives and cultivating the imagination.

    Words are without any doubt a tool and, like any tool, they are born after a certain need. That’s why it is so curious to notice that a given culture doesn’t have a word for a certain idea / object / action even if this is present in their lives. At the same time, another culture felt the need to create their own word. It is also extremely curious and sometimes hilarious to observe that some of these untranslatable words are occasionally associated with the lifestyle, the geographical location or even the philosophy of a particular culture. A great example is Karelu, a Tulu word that means the mark left on the skin by wearing something tight.

    Although we want to systematically differentiate and leave our mark in the world, the truth is that we are all made of the same material. That’s why languages have an enormous weight and are responsible, in large part, for acculturation. It is in this process that the identity of a civilization is created. For me, these unique and distinct characteristics make the world so special and Human civilization so interesting.

    It’s unquestionable that music is a language and curiously an universal one. From the most remote tribes of Papua New Guinea to the cosmopolitan and avant-garde movements of large cities, music serves as a "vehicle" for communication and interaction. It’s this link between language and music, unique words and unique musical moments that “Lost in Translation” explores. If learning a new word is, by itself, already a rewarding and exciting thing, if we add music to this learning process, the experience will surely be enhanced.

    Wittgenstein said that "the limits of my language mean the limits of my world". I truly believe this. This does not mean that the world is not bigger than what we know. In fact, it is bigger and deeper than what we really know and the mental projection we create of it, that is, our reality. That is why, I believe that as we learn new words, our conscience becomes more sensitive to others, we become more empathetic and our world becomes richer.

    The same happens as we are in contact with unfamiliar music. That’s also why “Lost in Translation” embraces the unknown, by having a very strong improvisational and spontaneous component, making each performance very unique.

    Musically, this new cycle was inspired by the influences that I have absorbed in recent years, not only because I am exposed to the New York Jazz scene, but also because I travel regularly to other countries. The relentless search for new sounds has led me to discover and explore musical areas such as improvised music, experimental music and contemporary classical music.

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from Lost in Translation, released October 15, 2021


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André Carvalho New York, New York

Portuguese bassist André Carvalho is an active NY freelancer whose works AllAboutJAzz described as “both in bounds and out of this world.” Nate Chinen of The New York Times dubbed André a bassist “you should get to know.” He’s played with Chris Cheek and Will Vinson and his performance credits range from the Colors Jazz Festival and Jazz Festival Ljubliana, to Blue Note and Barbican Center. ... more

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