Metal na Madeira (Metal on Wood) is more than a portrait of two artists carrying out a project together. It is a portrait of Brazil, more specifically the Brazilian Northeast. The album art was developed based on a traditional Northeastern art called Xylography, in which the artist develops an image by engraving wood with a metal object. Likewise, Ian Faquini and Paula Santoro engrave their music into the listener’s heart as the metallic harmonics of the voice interplay with the wooden tone of the guitar.
The album features all original compositions by Faquini and presents a fresh take on traditional Northeastern rhythms such as Maracatu, Frevo, Baião, Xote, and Toada, maintaining a foot in the past while stepping towards the future with modern harmonic and melodic structures. The lyrics of the CD describe the exuberance and poverty of that region of Brazil –the joy, colors and natural beauty, but also sadness, drought and longing of a people who are accustomed to extremes.
Metal na Madeira counts on an All-Star cast of collaborators and special guests who helped develop the album’s unique sound. It features Saxophone extraordinaire Spok, who arranged the explosively joyous title track and plays soprano sax alongside Harvey Wainapel on alto sax and clarinets on his own beautiful and soulful arrangement of Pinhem-Pinhem, Jeff Cressman on trombone, Vitor Gonçalves on Rhodes and accordion, Scott Thompson on bass, Rafael Barata on drums and percussion, Sergio Krakowski on pandeiro and Sandy Cressman and Viven Monica Golcwajg on backing vocals.
Paula and Ian first met through the Brazilian composer Guinga, with whom Paula collaborated on a record and tour around Brazil and Europe in 2007, launching the composer’s album titled “Casa de Villa”. Ian met Guinga when he was 16 and this encounter changed his life. Ian fell in love with Guinga’s music and began devoting himself deeply to composing and exploring his own Brazilian roots through music.
In 2014, when Paula and Ian were both part of the faculty at California Brazil Camp- a performing arts camp focused on Brazilian music and dance, Paula fell in love with his compositions and their partnership began. The mutual admiration sparked a desire to record an album together and they did so at the famous Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA in September of 2015.