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Mário Laginha

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MONGREL

During the time I was picking through Chopin’s pieces the ones I wanted to include in this album, I came to recall that the profusion of melodies and the myriad of harmonics are a constant presence throughout his music.
On the Scherzo, Ballad, Fantasy and even on the Nocturnes, I’ve only used parts of these melodies (at times just the one). I took many liberties. I changed bars, tempo, a few harmonies – even melodies, - I made room for improvisation. I’ve never kept myself of changing whatever I felt necessary to bring Chopin closer to my own musical universe. It had to be done. Ironically, covers of classical music pieces with a jazz or pop feel really get on my nerves. I would never do it. I wanted to preserve the musical source recognizable, but I did my best not to be so deferent to keep me for changing anything at all.
This record is a kind of heresy overflowing with respect to the author. And I feel almost indebted to pay homage to one of the greatest improvisers of all time creating music with improvisation as blueprint.

Just a final remark on the CD’s name – the music found here is not exactly the music Chopin wrote, it has been contaminated by others. In this sense this music becomes a melting pot (“música mestiça”). 
In the Portuguese common conscience melting pot has a strong connotation with Africa, I went in search for another one, in some other language, that would have the same meaning without the African connection. I found it – the word is Mongrel.

Mário Laginha 2010