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Três trópicos da tropicália

torquato, torquato

Where was the poet Torquato Neto, at the ‘67 Festival, the fiery moment when Tropicália erupted? Absent – as a lyricist, a songwriting partner? Absent. I have no other choice than to arrive at a scary and paradoxical conclusion: “Domingo no Parque” (“Sunday in the Park”) was tragic news for Torquato Neto. Gil did the lyrics himself! My God, what a contradictory and crazy thought. Gil revealed himself to be an innovative writer of lyrics. The good news for Brazil, like it or not, for Torquato Neto spelled loneliness: his “exclusion”. And to top it all, wasn’t it ironic that Gil’s poetry, just to increase its contradictory pain, was really beautiful and, according to the critics, brought cinematographic planes and takes to the context of popular song, etc?

What could be done? Forbid Gil from songwriting, from expressing himself? Complain about Elis Regina, who sold records with Gil’s “Louvação”? Other partnerships? But with whom? (Brazil was already split between Tropicália and Antitropicália.) Go over to the other side? Ah Torqua, your greatness left you no choice! And even when, tossing and turning on your pillow, you tried out the hypothesis, Ana, your courageous companion, reacted with common sense: “Look Torquato, you’re committed to the future” – and there you have it. And, what’s more, fortune was not smiling on poets in ’67. Capinam, upon sharing the prize with Edu Lobo for first place with “Ponteio”, was also the target of a jibe from the latter’s manager “Edu was such a good musician that he didn’t need anybody’s lyrics to win the festival”.

“Tom, I’ve already spoken to Guilherme Araújo, I want to sing”. Well, everybody wants to sing, but I, in my life as a musician, have only known three people who couldn’t sing a note in tune: Augusto Boal, Jamary Oliveira and Torquato Neto.

Not singing obscured Torquato’s visibility, just when the singer image was becoming ever stronger: his vocal silence meant he didn’t feature in the annals of behavior and performances that characterized Tropicalism. This erasure of Torquato is one of the possible root causes of the way in which he left life. Roots-history – just one facet of the polished stone, which has as many angles as the eyes can see. Neither angles nor eyes are exact: the imprecision of the Rashomon effect.

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Três trópicos da tropicália