„Epistola“ is the Greek and Latin word for „letter“. And as every letter does the album “Epistola” transport a message. Carmen Souza’s and Theo Pascal’s message to their fans is: everyone shall receive their message whoever is open to their music and lyrics. The album has a fancy cover showing the artists on a stamped letter. It was recorded at different places in the world - in Portugal, Great Britain and New York.
The fact that Theo Pascal is the producer and composer of 50 % of Carmen Souza’s music, led them to their decision to change the duo’s name from Carmen Souza to „Carmen Souza & Theo Pascal“.
Carmen Souza’s biggest challenge with this album was to present herself to the public as an instrumentalist. She is de facto increasingly noticed as a guitarist. So was she hired to play at the opening of the “Zevener Gitarrenwoche 2014”, a German guitar festival. But still she is noticed as a singer to most of her audience.
Carmen Souza says that music should be understood as continuous process. This process consists of the willingness to take risks and to move beyond his or her own comfort zone. That is the only way to develop. On the album “Epistola“ Carmen Souza shows her abilities at the piano.
Besides eight own songs the album contains two cover songs „Moonlight Serenade“ by Glenn Miller and the „Cape Verdean Blues“ by Horace Silver. The duo chose “Moonlight Serenade”, because the song evokes beautiful childhood associations of big band sounds from old movies, ball rooms and dance. They decided to create a reduced and intimate song version – only vocals, guitar, bass and percussion.
The Carmen Souza project has covered Horace Silver songs in the past. This time they decided on the “Cape Verdean Blues“, because they love the spirit of the song. Carmen Souza therefore wrote lyrics about the Cape Verdean liquor “Grogue”.
She also proved her creativity in lyrics writing in the song “Oui ou non”. The song is about a country where an election takes place in a special ceremony. All the participants dress up and are happy. But in the end the people must realize that happiness and beauty is just a fading illusion.
There is also an interesting background behind the song “WPFL”. The title is put together from the initials of four different songs by Theo Pascal who wrote similar arrangements for them. He compares the song with a collage. It reflects the beauty, greatness and purity of nature.
Carmen Souza has Cape Verdean roots and also won several prices on the islands, but she anyhow doesn’t really feel like a part of the Cape Verdean music scene. She rather feels like an outsider, since she was neither born there nor did she ever live on the Cape Verdean islands. Although she doesn’t deny Cape Verdean influences in her music she says that she was mostly coined by Jazz and traditional Portuguese music.
“Epistola“ will be released on August 14th 2015 on Galileo MC. The tour with new musicians on board has already started and Carmen Souza and Theo Pascal elate new and old audience. Featured musicians are the British drummer Shane Forbes, the pianist Matt King from New York, the saxophonist und clarinetist Craig Yaremko and the drummer Zoe Pascal.
Carmen Souza: piano & vocals
Theo Pascal: double bass, e-bass
Shane Forbes: drums
Matt King: organ
Craig Yaremko: saxophones & clarinets
Zoe Pascal: drums (Track: 1, 8)
Producers: Theo Pascal & Carmen Souza
Executive production: Patricia Pascal
Arrangements & music: Theo Pascal
Lyrics: Carmen Souza