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Yrupa Purahéi: songs by the riverbanks

Yrupa Purahei is a project carried out by the Purahei Trio based on an original concept by Romy Martinez.


Following the trio's first album, which based itself on popular Paraguayan music, the new project is a departure for the group leaving its starting point and heading towards new landscapes.

Travelling along the river’s paths, from the mountain to the sea, the poetics runnning through the full imagery of this route is built around water. Water as it flows. Water as a way of survival. Water as time goes by.


The end of this journey is followed by new landscapes, new perspectives, but also by longing and nostalgia. New images of a dreamed past are recreated, whether  experienced by us or not, memories and feelings of childhood, from family, the village and the people. These portray idealisations of a profound Brazil which, even for those who did not live it, are carried, perhaps, through a collective shared memory.


The starting point of the project was to research the songs of a region which is hardly known, and which has little representation within the notions of existing Brazilian cultural identities. However, this wide region of Brazil shares borders with two countries: Paraguay and Argentina, more precisely through the Brazilian states of Paraná, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul and Mato Grosso do Sul. Although these lands have a cultural heritage, and by this, we refer specifically to music - which was extremely popular at different times in Brazilian music history, there was little acknowledgement that it is representative of a Brazilianness.

Far from the stereotypes of carnival, samba and the tropical country (as sung by Jorge Ben Jor) this music and its poetry are linked to the calm images of the pampas and riverbanks, they depict words and expressions which derive from Spanish, Guarani, and are shaped through musical genres such as guarânia, chamamé and milonga. All of these are ways of expression which are as Paraguayan and as Argentinian and Brazilian.


Thus, the repertoire was chosen and arranged considering different musical genres, regions, contemporary and traditional composers. In turn, it unifies the chosen repertoire in the sounds of these lands, which is sung through the lyrics and the musical forms, rhythms and genres.  The arrangements aim to re-signify and renew this repertoire occasionally forgotten within the Brazilian popular music songbooks and repertoires.


The outcome of this research work is presented on this website: five videos from five songs of the chosen repertoire, where each one is accompanied by a brief explanation of the musical genre it illustrates, its composer and the score arranged and transcribed by the trio. In addition, a total of eleven tracks were recorded in the studio, which can also be downloaded for free from the website. The physical disc was distributed to public schools and public libraries and a number of them can purchased free of charge at concerts and workshops hosted by the trio.


This project was funded by the Government of Santa Catarina State, Brazil and Catarinense Culture Foundation, through the 'Elisabete Anderle' Cultural Incentive Award / 2014. It was selected among an approximate total of 900 projects and awarded on the first place in the music category.

Yrupa Purahéi - Songs from the Riverbanks is a project carried out by Purahéi Trio and funded  by the Government of State of Santa Catarina, Brazil, 'Edital Elisabete Anderle 2014/FCC Prêmio da Música Catarinense' - First place winner.

Purahéi Trio

Romy Martínez: original concept, voice, Guarani versions and translations (Paraguay)

Chungo Roy: piano and arrangements (Argentina)

Maiara Moraes: flute and alto flute - in G (Brasil)

Artistic direction: Purahéi Trio

Executive production: Purahéi Trio and Marcos Moraes

Photography: José de Holanda, Elga Moraes, Marina Casagrande

Web and album design: Maisa Felippe

Watercolour illustrations: Fabio Dudas

Guarani versions revision: Gilberto Santacruz

Texts and research on the selected songs: Romy Martinez, Prof. Dr Evandro Higa (ethnomusicologist), Prof. Dr. Allan de Paula Oliveira (historian/anthropologist), Prof. Ms. Guilherme Howes (sociologist), Cinthya Dávila (journalists) and Maiara Moraes


Videos shouted at 'Instituto Casa Nobre' by Novelo Filmes. Lucas de Barros and Marco Martins

Special thanks to Luiz Felipe Nobre, Guarda do Embau, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Costume design: Alice Assal


Album recording and mixing: Estúdio Arsis. Adonias Junior, Daniel Tapia Rodrigo Panasolo, São Paulo.

Mastering: Carlos Laurenz em Carlos Laurenz Mastering. Buenos Aires, Argentina

*Except “Estrangeiro”Bonûs Track recorded by Gabriel Vieira, Estúdio Móvel Araruna – December 2015 at 'Instituto Casa Nobre' and piano in "La cautiva" and "Tres hermanos" recorded at Estudio Doctor F by Agustín Silverleib

Videos (album release teaser): José de Holanda and Marina Casagrande at Estúdio Arsis, São Paulo

Social media management: Renan Mittermayer


Special guests:  

Lea Freire: bass and double bass flute

Carlinhos Antunes: viola caipira

A corda em si: Fernanda Rosa and Mateus Costa, voice and double bass

Alessandro 'Bebê' Kramer: Accordion

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