Early last year, I had the opportunity to premiere an exceptionally lovely piece of music called “Peixe de Água Doce” (‘freshwater fish’) by Brazilian musician Bruno Nunes Coelho recording as El Conejo, an alias he chose for a project inspired by the first chords he played on his grandfather’s old guitar and the memories of places he has lived. I was struck with the purity of his sound – the pristine, delicate acoustics combined with sheer poetic beauty of expression with classical guitar serving as both focus and fulcrum. While Tempestade Tropical remains the last full-length El Conejo release, there has been some precious new music this year, a pair of tracks in the spring as part of an ‘At Home With…’ series curated by La Petite Chambre Records (which Bruno helped found) and now a new EP on the fledgling Mailbox label recently launched by James A. McDermid called A Lullaby for Elisa.
The release comprises a single, but deeply affecting composition called “O, Elisa” in both original and reprised form, accompanied by an adaptation of a poem by Mary Oliver that hints loss and healing with devastating poignancy. Recorded at the artist’s home, the music admits the listener into a quiet space of plaintive reflection where fluttering sweeps and splayed arpeggios of guitar radiate a warm light giving comfort and soothing repose.
‘Here is a lullaby
for all the angels
who never make it to the earth.
Here is a lullaby
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world’a free adaptation of a poem by Mary Oliver