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Tiago Sousa

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Pianist and composer Tiago Sousa has become, in the last six or seven years, one of the most interesting and intriguing Portuguese musicians.

Having been the main force behind pioneering local netlabel Merzbau, Tiago’s first solo release, Crepúsculo (2006) paved the way for an intuitive approach to composition whose evolution was dazzling: after Noite/Nuit (2007), a collaboration effort with French artist Sandra Reignoux, The Western Lands (2008), composed after William S. Burroughs’ homonymous novel, signaled Tiago’s first foray into a conceptual sphere that has been one of his trademarks ever-since. The Western Lands, released on the German label Resting Bell, managed to secure Tiago’s first European tour, sharing the stage with luminaries such as Shannon Wright, Vic Chestnutt or Paul Metzger.

Insónia (2009) took the pianist to new heights (it was recorded as a trio, alongside percussionist Baltazar Molina and clarinetist Ricardo Ribeiro) and established Tiago firmly in the Portuguese music scene, securing a place in most of the country’s main year-end charts, grabbing critic’s and public’s attention alike and anchoring his first widespread national tour and his second venture into European stages.

2011 opened-up yet more possibilities: Tiago co-founded the Pão trio, alongside experimental and improvised music key-figures Travassos and Pedro Sousa, and toured extensively promoting Walden Pond’s Monk, his second conceptual work, inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s writings. Released by the American label Immune Recordings, and distributed worldwide by Thrill Jockey, this album signaled Tiago’s exceptional and unique take on a neo-classical vision that took his music further close to the paths opened up by Satie or Debussy.

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