Lino Guerreiro Interview

[ML] Hi Lino thanks for taking the time to speak with me. Shall we start by talking a bit about your work and career so far? You’ve studied saxophone performance and composition in your native home (Portugal) with many great teachers including Christopher Bochmann and António Pinho Vargas. Tell us more about what you do, and what you’re trying to achieve overall as an artist.

[LG] I develop my activity in composition more within the area of wind and percussion instruments, most probably because these families of instruments have different timbres and combinations, I consider them more interesting and challenging. Obviously it also has to do with being a saxophonist, and in a certain way, know wind instruments better. Percussion is a passion, and the rhythm for me is one of the most essential elements in music. As for the strings, although less present in my work, I greatly appreciate all that they do, but I regard them as a “island" a family of instruments apart from all others, and of a very great specificity.

I also develop a project mixEnsemble that has "as a philosophy to serve music and artists, within different musical contexts, for the most varied purposes" where I am responsible, working as arranger and producer in discs from Portuguese artists. Projeto Michel Giacometti (in partnership with João Pedro Silva and the ARTEMSAX) can be an example of this project, mixEnsemble.

“The Portuguese cultural identity and a new and contemporary musical approach are the two main ways that this work tries to link. The Portuguese popular songbook (Cancioneiro Popular Português), by Michel Giacometti and Fernando Lopes Graça, is the genesis of this disc and the research object, used to select the musical themes, where, now, it is possible to listen the crossover between the tradition and the modernity, with the new and fresh orchestrations by Lino Guerreiro. “Projeto Michel Giacometti” is a partnership between ARTEMSAX Quartet and the composer Lino Guerreiro.”

As an artist, I intend to create a portfolio of Portuguese music for wind and percussion instruments (where the saxophone obviously is in first place), in order to enrich the repertoire of these instruments. The Concertos a Solo/Solo Concerts project will be a good example. Since very early one of my projects as a composer consist in the creation of a solo concerts portfolio, for all instruments in the concert band, where they present themselves as soloists “& concert band.” 

O Saxofone Pedagógico/The Educational Saxophone/Le Saxophone Pédagogique, is a project in partnership with João Pedro Silva. This also portrays a part of my goals as an artist, although within a more pedagogical area. This book The Educational Saxophone is intended for preparatory level students.”

[ML] We look forward to premiering your piece ‘Less but not Last ’ for the full ensemble of 12 tenor saxophones in Zagreb! What can you tell us about the piece in terms of influences, concept, the inception of the piece etc?

[LG] The piece is born from two "seemingly" distant worlds, that for me are intrinsic to each other! There are two quotes throughout that come from these two worlds. Each of them influences me in different ways. The different musical parameters are treated according to each of these worlds. However there is one parameter that remains unalterable, and for me it is common to the two worlds. This common element, the groove, is what establishes the unification and gives coherence to the piece.

[ML] You compose a lot for saxophone often for João Pedro Silva who plays in the TSC! What in particular do you enjoy about writing for saxophone and João?

[LG] I think I have answered before but reinforce that the saxophone will always be highlighted because it is my instrument. João Pedro, is a musician, who (in a certain way) I know very well, and with which I have already worked for some time. He is a very unique musician, and I appreciate him as a musician very much. So our partnership has become more and more frequent and growing stronger, I think.

Last But not Least  we are great friends!

[ML] To me saxophone repertoire often follows a set traditions and conventions with it almost an idiom of its own. As a fellow player composer I wonder how you see it?

[LG] I realize this view, and I know that sometimes these conventions are intrinsic to instruments. In fact this has never been a concern to me. I think all the instruments are capable of playing any idiom, just as I think that all musicians should try out all musical languages, however different they may be.

[ML] Before we finish up, is there anything you’d like to plug?

[LG] Thank you very much for everything, and congratulations for your project.

Join us for the premiere of 'Less but not Last'  as part of our WSC extended recital. Saturday 14 July 2018 | 14:30 Theatre & TD Big Hall Zagreb World Saxophone Congress. Please check out the media below and also Lino's website for more info.