“Sequinho” is a tune I wrote last fall in an effort to lighten up my compositional process. At that time I felt like a bread baker that kept kneading the dough too long and creating something too dense and tough to handle. Out of near desperation I finally asked myself, “How can writing feel easy?” and “Sequinho” was born while engaging with that question.
At that time I also happened to be taking a course with the pianist André Marques on baião, a type of music and dance that originated in northeastern Brazil. What really inspired me about André's course was that he not only covered baião rhythm but melodic and harmonic language used in the style. I became enamored with the stout triads and how they interacted with the shifty, elusive lydian dominant melodies. Top that off with an irresistibly fun groove founded on the tresillo pattern, and I was hooked.
All the while André kept telling the students to play “tudo sequinho!” which meant to strike the notes with short accents, avoiding sustain. “Sequinho” literally translates to “little dry” and it seemed like a perfect name for a little tune that I would write over the course of a couple days, playfully experimenting with a two-chord progression and a modal melody.
The full arrangement of Sequinho actually came together when I was about twelve weeks postpartum. I distinctly remember writing parts with a sleeping baby on my lap, trying not to wake little Juniper as I was singing the different parts under my breath. Something about this new life in my hands inspired me to keep writing, and I was only able to keep going through the exhaustion because I wasn't taking it too seriously. With a lot of help from our bass player, Andy Powell, I composed an arrangement for Sequinho that features violin, triangle, flute, and alto flute along with the rhythm section. I hope you all enjoy this fun little tune, we certainly had a blast recording it!