Gal Costa, piercing voice of Brazil’s Tropicália motion, has died at 77 : NPR






Gal Costa performs in São Paulo, Brazil in 2013.

Mauricio Santana/Getty Photographs

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Mauricio Santana/Getty Photographs

Gal Costa performs in São Paulo, Brazil in 2013.

Mauricio Santana/Getty Photographs

Gal Costa, the Brazilian singer and key determine within the Tropicália motion of the late Sixties, died Wednesday. Costa’s official social media channels shared the information; no reason behind dying was given. She was 77.

Maria da Graça Costa Penna Burgos, who glided by Gal Costa, was born Sept. 26, 1945 in Bahia, the northeastern Brazilian state that was additionally dwelling to influential Brazilian musicians Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Maria Bethânia and Tom Zé. As they moved to São Paulo, collectively this adventurous group of musicians fused conventional rhythms with the surging (and rebel) sounds of psychedelic rock within the Sixties.

Costa and Veloso’s 1967 debut Domingo was steeped in bossa nova, which was then driving essential and industrial success in and out of doors of her nation — there’s an airiness to her voice that displays the mushy affectation of the period. However by 1968, she was a featured singer on the collaborative compilation Tropicália: ou Panis et Circencis, not solely an introduction to those artists however a manifesto that challenged prevailing buildings of widespread tradition and politics. Costa’s candy coo stays on “Child,” a sweeping track that might turn out to be her calling card, however in these lush string preparations her voice additionally grew to become a pointy instrument able to slicing by way of the sweetness.


Costa was self taught, with ”no skilled coaching in any respect,” she informed the New York Instances in 1985. ”I did not examine music, and I do not learn music; I sing by feeling.”

Whereas she by no means deserted her roots in bossa nova, her self-actualization as a singer grew to become essential to a collection of albums launched in fast succession: Veloso’s self-titled LP from 1968, on which Costa visitors; 1969’s Gal; after which Costa’s self-titled album in 1969. It is the final of those three information, particularly, the place Costa made a madcap constellation of Brazilian pop music, psychedelic rock and the avant-garde, her voice not a lot the glue however the liquid gold swimming by way of uneven preparations and unconventional buildings by Veloso and Gil.

When her buddies and compatriots Veloso and Gil, thought-about too radical by the Brazilian dictatorship then in energy, have been exiled to London in late 1968, Costa would go to them and proceed to carry out their music, however remained in Brazil.

Costa would launch a number of albums and tour the world over within the a long time following. Her outdated collaborators have been by no means removed from thoughts or studio — 2011’s Recanto, most notably, is a re-energized outing with Veloso. And simply final 12 months, Costa launched a collection of duets known as Nenhuma Dor, that includes Rodrigo Amarante, Seu Jorge, Jorge Drexler and Caetano’s son, Zeca Veloso. She continued to carry out; nonetheless, after a current surgical procedure in September to take away a nodule from her proper nasal cavity, she canceled a efficiency at Primavera Sound Pageant in São Paulo.

“Departing along with her are the tender voice [and] the encanto do canto, which have been at all times her trademark,” Gilberto Gil shared in Portuguese through video. “Remaining for us is saudade, the disappointment, the grief.”

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