It was born little by little. And also to be released little by little. In Busca do Sol, Azores singer-songwriter Luís Alberto Bettencourt’s latest album was born during the pandemic and gradually saw the light of day singles during the imprisonment that dictated it. The first, Don’t Take It Badly, was released in July 2020 and the most recent, Rosemary Tea, was released in January 2021. Now it’s time for the album Em Busca do Sol, the 11th in its own name, to go digital platforms and also on CD, this Friday.
“In this prison room I presented track by track,” says Luís Alberto Bettencourt of PUBLIC. Born on February 22nd, 1948 in Ponta Delgada, he was not only a songwriter and composer, but also worked as a cameraman with Zeca Medeiros in the Azores for several series that he performed for RTP. In search of the sun alone, he had already recorded ten albums: Há Pode Coisa (1982), No Vapor da Madrugada (1986), Chuva dos Meus Sentidos (1987), Cruzeiro (1992), Contemplations (1997), Há Não Coisa (2000), D’Azul e Negro (2003), O Silêncio das Horas (2007), Perfume of the Islands (2010) and Acoustic (2015). This in addition to a collection of songs, on double CD (2017).
Electism, fatigue and memories
The album confirms the author’s campaign in its nine songs, mixing rock (in Don’t get it wrong), bossa nova (in Jobim), fado and morna (Amores suffered) and even Brazilian xote (Ultramar). “As a songwriter and composer, I’m a bit versatile. I can go through rock, bossa nova, that’s how I’m comfortable with my way of being. In this room of captivity I had the opportunity to reflect – but without discouragement, because discouragement is the weariness of the soul – and to approach my own conscience to analyze what I wanted to do. And I composed music for music, without the aesthetic concern of staying true to a particular trend. “
Don’t get it wrong, open it and say: “Leave me alone, I don’t want any noise, I have to think. I don’t want to hear any more news from the financial market. “It was the right start for Luís Bettencourt:“ The result of this period of imprisonment reflects all this tiredness and this unknown that a not too dark future is rediscovering or thinking about. Covid-19 stole my freedom, but not my hope. “Ultramar, the last theme of the album, recalls the time when he was a soldier in Guinea-Bissau (1970-72):“ These are roots that germinate and stay. My time in Guinea was a must, but strangely enough, I had time to play my role as a musician there. I made a lot of friends and I still miss the good times I spent there but not the bad times. Therefore, those roots are forever within: the good and the bad. “
More bridges, fewer borders
Even so, the topic of love is the one that has the greatest presence in your songs. And this record is no exception: “It’s the theme that I most identify with in terms of composition. When it comes to building a song, the topic raised may be a city, an island, or a social inequality, which also worries me a lot, but it is in love that I find the balm that I can write. So it is natural that most of my songs are photographs of the soul that have to do with love. It is the only sedative that has no side effects. And it’s worth portraying because we have to build more bridges and fewer boundaries every time. “
For this album, Luís Alberto Bettencourt (vocals and guitar) showed the musicians Paulo Bettencourt (guitars and cavaquinho), Eduardo Botelho (bass, guitars and production), Mário Raposo (keys), Cristovam Ferreira (keys) and Ruben Torres (cavaquinho) Brazilians ). And with two invited voices: Marisa Oliveira (In Search of the Sun) and Cacau Cruz (Labirinto). Marisa Oliveira is Azorean like him. Born in Brittany in the municipality of Ponta Delgada on the island of São Miguel, she is 31 years old, singer in the band The Code and took part in The Voice Portugal program in 2019. Cacau Cruz, Luís Bettencourt discovered her in virtual space: “It’s a very funny character. She is a Brazilian who decided to live her life on Terceira Island. As well as being a singer, she is also part of a bossa nova project in Angra do Heroísmo and has done an interesting cultural activity in theater and social areas. “
Now that the album is out, its live presentation depends on the eventualities of the pandemic: “The Azores are practically clean, with the exception of my São Miguel island. I had already planned and postponed three concerts. The last one I had was in the Coliseu Micaelense in Ponta Delgada, the largest room here. It was planned for April 17th and has already been postponed. I have the concert ready to be presented, but at least here on the island I am waiting. Then we will see on the other islands and also in the national space. “