The Bandolim Trio is formed by musicians Daniel Migliavacca, Tiago Santos and Vitor Casagrande and, in this album, they present ten new tracks that explore a variety of rhythms and sound influences, including choro, samba, baião, waltz, tango, maxixe and fox-trot . The name of the album, “Ludamente”, is also the name of an unpublished piece signed by the mandolinist and Prof. doctor from UFRJ, Paulo Sá, which was composed especially for the trio.
The idea of forming the trio came up in 2018, while Daniel, Tiago and Vitor were studying together in the master’s program in music at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. With a unique formation, with two traditional 8-string mandolins and a 10-string mandolin with a pair of lower strings, the arrangements seek to merge the chamber music sound of concert music with the sound characteristics of the Brazilian mandolin, influenced by masters such as Jacob do Bandolim and Luperce Miranda.
Daniel Migliavacca, born in São Paulo and based in Curitiba, is a musician with eight albums released and has won awards as an instrumentalist and composer throughout Brazil. He holds a BA in Popular Music from UNESPAR (2011) and a Master’s in Music from UFRJ (2019). The artist is preparing the release of two more albums for this year: one with his quartet dedicated to trombonist Raul de Souza, with the participation of flutist and saxophonist Eduardo Neves, and another dedicated to solo mandolin.
Vitor Casagrande is a member of the Água de Vintém and Batuqueiros and its people groups, with which he recorded four CDs. His most recent work is the album in partnership with cavaquinist Lucas Arantes. In addition to teaching mandolin at the Escola de Choro in São Paulo, Vitor has taught workshops on Brazilian music in countries such as Belgium and Germany and studied for a year at the University of Lund (Sweden). He is also the author of the ebook “Brazilian notebook for mandolin: the study of picking”.
In turn, Tiago Santos has already released four albums: “Chorobosssambando” (2013), “Nosso Tempo” (2017), “O Bandolim Polifônico de 10 Cordas” (2019) and “Afinidades” (2021). He has given concerts, classes and workshops at national and international festivals in 14 countries and is currently touring the interior of the state of São Paulo with the concert “Afinidades”, in partnership with saxophonist Jorge Nascimento and guitarist Marco Papa. Check out the interview!
Bringing together instrumental music talent, you are promoting your debut album “Ludamente”, which will feature concerts in São Paulo and Ribeirão Preto. How are the expectations for the project to reach the public?
We are very happy with the result of the work and looking forward to showing everyone the finished album. We really liked the result of the arrangements, which were divided between us, and the sound of the album is also impeccable. We hope that the audience enjoys the trio’s compositions and sound.
The songs in this project explore different rhythms and influences, such as choro, samba, baião, waltz, tango, maxixe and fox-trot. Could you talk a little more about the creative process that led you to create the album?
From the beginning, the idea was to cover several rhythms and have a chamber music repertoire working with written arrangements. From there, we decided to make a first album with our own compositions and we shared the rhythms that would be explored by each one of us in the compositions and arrangements.
Speaking a little more about your trajectory, the group formed while studying together at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, in the master’s course in music. How did the three of you meet and how did music come into each of your lives?
We already knew each other from music festivals, but we weren’t very close yet. At UFRJ we met again on the day of the master’s exam and it was already agreed that day that if the three of them passed we would assemble the trio. It ended up working out and we took advantage of the meetings in RJ to rehearse and assemble the repertoire.
Featuring a wide variety of instrumentals, the song arrangements seek to blend a chamber music sound with Brazilian mandolin sounds, influenced by Jacob do Bandolim and Luperce Miranda. What were the paths that led you to seek inspiration from these two artists?
Jacob and Luperce are the biggest mandolin references in Brazil. They will always be inspiration for those who study the mandolin and Choro. As much as we seek to do a rhythmically eclectic work, we chose to make these influences clear by emphasizing the beauty of the Brazilian mandolin and its unique nuances.
What is the main message you want to convey to the public with this release?
When we release an album, we expect people to be as moved by that sound as we are when we are composing, recording and producing. But art is something subjective and so special that it allows each person to have their own impression. In our life as instrumentalists we try to balance technique with feeling, virtuosity with reflection, and that’s what we try to convey.
In your story, it is very clear that music plays a huge part in the group’s daily life, so much so that it is a profession, however, have you thought about what your paths would be like if you hadn’t found this art?
DANIEL MIGLIAVACCA: I started at 12 with the cavaquinho and playing a lot of samba. At 18 I discovered the mandolin and then I started listening to choro and all kinds of music. And it was with the mandolin that I started wanting to become a professional musician. Before music, I worked as a computer technician and was preparing for a course in statistics or mathematics. Today, if it weren’t for music, I think I would study nutrition.
TIAGO SANTOS: I was influenced by my parents and from an early age, around 6 years old, I started playing the cavaquinho, then mandolin and guitar. And little by little the mandolin became my main instrument. Today I dedicate myself to the 10-string mandolin. If I had to work on something else, it would probably be related to administration, teamwork and production.
VITOR CASAGRANDE: My interest in music started at age 12, when I discovered the sound of the group Fundo de Quintal, and started playing the cavaquinho. After about 4 years I switched to mandolin and started dedicating myself more to choro. If he wasn’t a musician he might have been a cook. I love to cook!