Rodrigo Leao at the Off Festival, Macedonia
June 5, 2010
Some music can have so much poise that it simply radiates. It expands both one's musical and emotional landscapes. Such is the music of Rodrigo Leao, one of Portugal's finest musicians and producers. Supported by his band, the Cinema Orchestra, as well as the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra, Rodrigo Leao journeyed to all points of his rich musical landscape during a recent show at the MNT, as part of the Off Festival .
Since Leao's performance was the last of the festival's programme, the place was packed, and the crowd was abuzz with excitement. Rodrigo Leao is a musical genius who is not afraid to explore sounds from various genres, instruments, instrumentalists, and ensembles. Leao's background is as equally impressive as his music. He is one of the founding members of Sétima Legião, as well as Madredeus, if not the greatest then the most popular band ever to come out of Portugal. Upon leaving these two bands in 1993 and 1994 he embarked on a journey that saw him successfully dwell in the world of film music (Leao is Pedro Almodovar's favorite film music composer).
His music simply flourishes with ideas and there was a rich and creative outpouring of good music that night. Along with a very distinguished collection of excellent musicians, the collective furnished the appreciative audience with a memorable show filled with "straight from the heart" affection. Collectively, the Rodrigo Leao experience is a brilliant model of musical exuberance. He set his musical course in between Argentinean tango, Portuguese fado, europop and Morriconesque emotional and evocative orchestrations. One of the highlights was singer Ana Vieira whose voice and charms gave another dimension to this unequaled set of melodies. Her range is amazing and her interpretive powers are stunning as she sang her way into the heart and soul of the audience.
The whole orchestra played their hearts out leaving the anticipating crowd begging for more. They could have played another hour more of this wonderful music for the appreciative audience. It was a fitting ending to an evening that transmitted beautiful poetic statements to the hearts of all in attendance.