I FEEL IN THE SKY is the 2023 solo album by Lê Almeida of Oruã, released on his Brazilian label Transfusão Noise Records. Here is his statement about this work:
"I wanted to find words that would define what it feels like to be in heaven. Regardless of belief and any religious orientation, just the free sensation of feeling light enough to be as high as the sky. I couldn’t find those words exactly, but I found a world of thoughts, notes, and insights on how to create and record outside of a violent environment, directly influencing my musicality and creating new social contours in my way of thinking.
"Recording an album sometimes becomes a game with patience. Letting a sound mature in the mind while having it take multiple shapes and figuring out how to make sense of it all is part of the experience.
"I spent ample months traveling with my band ORUÃ and had this material churned up into recordings that were eventually formed into an outline for an album. It was during the 2022 tour in the United States that I realized that the only title I had thought of until then had a direct connection with the road and the dreamy state of mind that touring caused within me. I FEEL IN THE SKY.
"Someone had commented at some point that I always looked happy when I was touring. This matched my excitement with performing as a professional musician every night, but beyond that I think the happiness of experiencing new things gave me a lot of inspiration that only time made me notice. Leaving my reality in Rio de Janeiro was very freeing.
"I grew up in a violent neighborhood. I lived there for most of my adolescence, locked in my room recording music, flying kites on top of my house, riding my bike and running from violent street fights. In one of these fights, I took a stone to one of my eyes and witnessed (for the first time in my life) my father threaten someone with death. Even though I knew he would never do this, it became clear to me that we lived within an explicit philosophy of 'a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye.'
"I left this neighborhood in 2018, after my father died. Needing some form of release, I went on long tours with ORUÃ through Brazil and left the country for the first time, playing with the American band Built to Spill in 2019. Living on the road made me absorb new ways of understanding and expressing art. These new notions made me realize that the music I created had helped me escape my reality but it indirectly had a violent and defensive tone built into it. I began to feel a need to change this.
"I FEEL IN THE SKY was recorded during the breaks in between tours. I was looking for a calm and constant breath to mature these songs without any kind of pressure, including mine within myself. Basically, I wanted the tracks to sound visibly different from each other, as if they were purposely made and recorded in very different environments. This happened spontaneously as I carried some recording equipment with me on the road and took advantage of any opportunity to record randomly.
"As the concept for this album was being developed, I realized that the energy of each recording environment directly affected the formation of the tracks. Until 2019 I had spent a long time recording in a commercial room in the center of Rio de Janeiro. This place has become known as Escritório, a space intended for production and shows that I and a few friends had helped to maintain since 2013. In this space I made numerous recordings, both mine and several different bands. In those years I acquired many skills, but I was always working in the same room on an old computer and sometimes with cassette tapes. After leaving the country for the first time, I had acquired a new portable soundboard, a notebook, and a new recording program. With this new setup I started experimenting on the road, using any space and any instruments available.
"During the period at the end of the pandemic, I lived in Búzios on the coast of Rio along with two friends, João and Bigú. They were my music partners for a long time, but living together was new and allowed us to exchange knowledge more often. Our initial focus in this house was to mix and record overdubs for the new Built to Spill album but it also became a collaborative space that eventually formed the ORUÃ album Íngreme and more solo material of my own. Some drafts of more serene melodies emerged during the mornings I was quietly strumming calm chords and recording on a Tascam 4-track."