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  • Amália Baraona

"Menescantando" is 4 today!

4 years ago today I was having one of the most joyful days of my life: the launch of my 2nd CD "MENESCANTANDO - A Tribute to Roberto Menescal".

"Menescantando" was the only CD that I published in Portugal, with the label Numérica. Ironically, the record label closed down (without a word to the artists under contract!!!) and the album had little distribution in Portugal and abroad. But compared to the fulfilment of my dream to record Menescantando with the support and participation of Roberto Menescal himself, the closure of Numérica is totally irrelevant!

Roberto Menescal with our "Menescantando" :-)

It all happened because on the 1st of October 2010 I had sent an email to Roberto Menescal, one of my "heroes" of the Bossa Nova movement, asking him for help to find recordings of some of his songs with names of women that I intended to use in my second album "Mais Mulheres".

Let's face it: what is the probability of receiving an answer from an icon of the Bossa Nova to a request made by an unknown Portuguese singer, singing Brazilian music in Croatia? None!

But Roberto Menescal is not a common man, he is exceptional. He is a man whose generosity, optimism, talent and openness of spirit to the world that surrounds him are well above average. Therefore, not only did he answer my message, but he immediately sent me recordings of the 3 songs that I had mentioned, and put in an extra one that I might like! Three months later, he simply wrote to me "if you want, I can jump in the recording of "Nara". Just leave a track free and I will add a little guitar. What do you think? "What do I think? I almost fainted when I read his email! Menescal playing in one of the songs of my album? As time went by and our correspondence grew, Menescal became a constant source of inspiration to me. The initial project with songs about women which was the continuation of my first album "Mulheres", slowly faded and Menescal's work naturally took its place. It was the birth of "Menescantando".

The cover of this album did not have enough space for me to express all there is to say about this Gentleman (I cannot say "Mr Menescal" because he doesn't like it! He says that musicians have no age!), about the man who one day wrote these words to me:

"Amália, sooner or later, there is always time to do everything that we want to do, and (apparently) if we dream about our wishes, they become true. Just knowing that you want to record a CD with my songs, makes me happy and grateful to you".

"Menescantando" is my tribute to Roberto Menescal, the man, the composer, the guitarists, the producer, the botanist, the wonderful human being who has changed so many people's lives just by believing in them. Obrigada Menesca.

PS: My deepest wish is still to become true... to meet Menescal personally! Trust me, I've been dreaming real hard for the last 6 years, but it's taking a while... I guess it will only make it more precious when it finally happens, right?

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