I am a lover of sound and music - both experiencing it and creating it. I love the way it has the capacity to envelope you in a myriad of emotions. The way a single note can say more than words. The way the sound of a mere typewriter can be reconfigured to sound frightening or sinister.
I was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil. There is no such thing as silence in São Paulo. It is a beast of a city, heaving in an audible landscape of grumbling trucks, whizzing motorcycles, parties, gunshots, fighting, crying and laughter. Music is everywhere, and my ears were exposed to all manner of tunes – tropicália, samba, bossa nova, forró and Brazilian rock and punk bands.
My introduction to playing music came via the trumpet, which I picked up at the age of 9 and pursued for several years. Then, just before the dawning of my teenage years, my cousin introduced me to Nirvana and Sepultura. I started to play bass guitar at 13. From there I worked as an assistant engineer in a recording studio based in East São Paulo.
Throughout my teenage years I was involved in many projects.
From the age of 18 I started collecting various instruments and teaching myself the accordion, xylophone and harmonica.
I began studying photography in 1998, but after a year I realized that sound and music was where my real passion lay.
I formed Musique Concrète and Industrial groups like Prendedor using a giant clothes peg percussively, Nonfone and Vazio and Minimalist rock band Similar.
In 2001 I left Brazil and ended up living on the streets of Barcelona, busking with two friends. I eventually made my way to London. The only English word I knew was ‘holiday’ because I’d heard it in the song ‘Holiday in Cambodia’ by Dead Kennedys.
It took me some time to get into the swing of things in the UK. I worked terrible jobs, washing dishes and cooking in busy kitchens. But music was always there. At one point I was playing in 5 bands.
In 2004 I saw an ad in NME asking for musicians it said: ‘technical ability is less important than creative ingenuity’. I replied saying I played the typewriter and the matchbox. I then met up with Fyfe. We talked about music for hours and were buzzing on espressos. Our first rehearsal, with Greg on drums, was held in a dark room in Denmark St, Soho. For two hours we improvised non stop. Arista soon joined on bass. Guillemots was formed.
Playing with such a diverse and talented group of musicians was an incredibly rewarding experience – I learned so much. During my time in Guillemots I further explored my interest in using everyday tools and objects musically. Things like power drills on my guitar and playing the matchbox, typewriter and elastic band percussively. And continuously experimenting using digital and analogue effects units to create otherworldly soundscapes.
There were some remarkable highlights during my time with Guillemots – being nominated for the Mercury Music Prize and the BRIT awards felt like a real achievement, and taking part in the BBC Electric Proms was amazing. My absolute best moment was performing with Daniel Johnston at his Union Chapel show in London. He is a childhood hero of mine. A close second was meeting Tom Zé during our South American tour.
Alongside the band I’d always had a passion for cinema. I directed an arthouse film in 2008 and three Guillemots’ music videos. With the band we had the fortuitous opportunity to do live re-scores of films such as Eraserhead and Oldboy. And our music was used on soundtracks for films and TV shows. These experiences encouraged me to pursue composing for film with more rigour.
In 2013 I left the band to focus on Artrock project LUNGS. This gave me the chance to hone my production and engineering skills, and it was during this time that I started writing for advertisements. In 2015 I scored my first short film - Boris in the Forest, which went on to win several awards. This was followed by Thinking Out Loud, Alchemy: The Gold Plate, Dose and video art collaborations with artists like Suzie Blake and Gus Aroson.
Now I’m based in Melbourne, Australia - a long way away from the whirr of London and São Paulo. It’s given me space to breathe and time to contemplate. When I’m not scoring films I’m playing in my Noise rock band BRXTS, or trying to stop my kids from messing around with my (elaborate) pedal boards.