Brazil / France
Unsatisfied with the inherent dynamics of music production in Brazil at the time, the intention was to secure a
safe point and from there to release exploratory music, away from the ferocity of the intermediaries. However,
the idea was still, a bit more than that. It was about taking a risk, and it was about bringing in one’s own hands
the control, that so seldom was granted to artists. It could be argued that; it was even more than that. The initial work was aimed at combining an experimental and improvised approach to music with similar ways to register and to promote that same music.
It was then, while still slowly getting used to the idea of a new millennium that, in 2005, A. Fernandino, B. Nunes, D. Nunes e A. Veloso decided to consecrate that familiar space and call it La Petite Chambre. The name came almost inadvertently when A. Fernandino suggested it as a joke. He referred to the local already used for rehearsals and recordings, where friends would gather and lose track of time.
It was an old house, the dog was often alert, and La Petite Chambre started to transmit from that tiny room. The room was at the end of the corridor, through a side entrance. The house was always welcoming, so what more natural than serving to gestate so many dreams and projects, embracing new ideas and motivating those friends?
It did not take long for that small room to acquire a multitude of meanings. All of them, nonetheless, referring to ideas and experiences of freedom, experimentation, and autonomy. Their releases quickly stood out for the aesthetic care, impossible to separate from the art they presented. The music became deeply connected with
the visuals that gave its strength, as well as the artistic gaze informing the label’s identity.
The music started to escape through the window, escalating over the wall, to finally spill over the ocean that was the sky of the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The history of La Petite Chambre Records had started.
However, similar to organisms in which cause and effect cannot be distinguished from one another, the group Constantina was born out of the same energy that gave life to La Petite Chambre. The feeling was clearly of urgency. They turned to the improvised and the makeshift, to the slow circuits of machines already outdated by the time that, back then, was starting to run. From that energy came the need to develop ways to articulate those sonic registers. They need it to be independent, or rather, their philosophy presupposed them to have the necessary autonomy to support their releases as meaningful manifestations of personal and collective strategies. So, nothing more natural than having Constantina as the first release of the label.
There was no way to make time stop and the label continued with its activities. The work put out by the label
since its beginnings rooted in the modus operandi suggested by the “do it yourself” philosophy, did not stop to flourish and the releases kept on coming. Each release accorded a space for dissonant voices to be articulated. From their place of enunciation, these releases began to be the most natural of the water springs. Motivated by sweat and smiles, they built stalls in concerts. The interest was, though, not merely in selling commodities, but rather to open, extend and multiply dialogues about music, creativity, and resistance.
More and more sound pieces were inventoried in that small room. Flesh and bones, gave the label a very distinct substance, making it as real as they needed to be in order to continue with their activities. It was in 2008, though, when an accident marked a real turning point for the label. After a fire that attacked the small studio, only the conviction to continue with La Petite Chambre wasn't turned into ashes. Thankfully, from moments of crisis it is possible to rise again, and full of new ideas, pointing at directions, previously not even considered. So then, after a few months, some fresh paint on the walls and many hours of talking, the label/studio was finally back on its feet, now facing a thousand new possibilities. The fire in a certain sense, served to reinforce the pertinence of the label’s objectives, just as the crisis it has imposed allowed new ideas to be accommodated.
Feeling the label stronger and productive, more projects were incorporated and very proudly La Petite Chambre had managed to extend its activities, giving birth to the music festival Pequenas Sessões. The festival marks an important moment in the label’s trajectory, it points to a moment of openness, of dialogue. Dialogue with both the city and other musicians. The first editions of the festival happened in the city of Belo Horizonte, offering a place for unexpected and fruitful meetings between art and music. It didn’t take long for the festival to grow and expand, with further editions taking place beyond Belo Horizonte and featuring incredible national and international artists.
After these more than ten years, La Petite Chambre has gained more confidence and conviction. The label has accumulated priceless experiences, seen unforgettable places and met new people. However, much of that primordial energy is still at work, and it continues to confabulate sonic conspiracies independently. The sounds and dreams that it has been releasing over the years assure and renew La Petite Chambre’s engagement with free and experimental music. Currently, the label is represented in Belo Horizonte/ Brazil, and Paris/ France.
That force, responsible for gathering those friends in the back room, still reverberates the motto that represents the posture of La Petite Chambre Records – Saravá!
― Julio Pattio, Autogenesis Magazine
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