COMPOSER, WRITER, VISUAL ARTIST
6th, 1948 – Baptista is born in the city
of São Paulo to pianist, concert performer and
composer Clarisse Leite Dias Baptista and journalist,
poet and opera singer César Dias Baptista.
to 1979 – He takes different courses:
Music: experiencing classical piano with his mother
Clarisse Leite throughout his childhood and adolescence,
and takes classes with Zilda Leite Rizzo (1955-1958);
classic double bass, acoustic guitar, jazz-rock piano.
Dance: modern dance and classical ballet at Ballet Stagium
dance company (in the 1970s); classical ballet with
Eugênia Feldorowa (1974-1979). Languages: English,
German, Esperanto, as well as Russian with Igor Valesvisky
to 1967 – Arnaldo participates in the
creation of various groups as musician and composer;
such as Só Nós, Wooden Faces, Sand Trio,
Six Sided Rockers, and O Konjunto.
1966 – He founds the band Os
Mutantes with his brother Sergio Dias and Rita Lee.
1967 to 1973 –Os Mutantes participate
in various music festivals, alongside Tropicalists Gilberto
Gil, Caetano Veloso, Rogério Duprat, and others.
He goes on tour with his band around the country and
1970 and 1972 – Baptista is the
record producer of the first two Rita Lee solo albums:
Build Up and Hoje É o Primeiro Dia do Resto de
Sua Vida (Today is the first Day of the Rest of Your
1972 – He records the album O
A e o Z with Os Mutantes, of which Rita Lee was no longer
1973 – Arnaldo leaves Os Mutantes.
1974 – Baptista launches his
solo album Loki?, acclaimed by many critics as one of
the most influential and important works in Brazilian
1977 – His only child, Daniel
Mellinger Dias Baptista, whom he had with actress Martha
Mellinger, is born.
1975 to 1978 – He founds the
band Patrulha do Espaço (Space Patrol) and continues
to compose classic rock repertoire. In 1988, the band
launches two albums with the label Vinil Urbano: Elo
Perdido (Lost Link) and Faremos uma Noitada Excelente
(We Will Make It an Excelent Night Out).
1981 – Arnaldo records another
striking album Singin’Alone, playing all the instruments
and also acting as record producer. The LP was launched
in 1982 with the label Baratos Afins, and was later
re-launched in CD by EMI-Virgin (1995), including the
bonus track “Balada do Louco”, re-recorded
in Arnaldo’s voice.
1981 – He does a solo show, Shining
Alone, at TUCA-SP Theater, recorded by Luiz Calanca
and launched in the digital environment in 2014.
1982 – Baptista moves to Juiz
de Fora city, in Minas Gerais, with his wife Lucinha
Barbosa, where they currently live. In this period,
he begins to produce more as a visual artist, devoting
himself to this as much as to music.
1984 – Launch of the album Disco
Voador, with BaratosAfins.
1990 –First paintings and drawings
exhibition, at theCultural Center of the Federal University
of Minas Gerais, curated by FabianaFigueiredo.
1992 – Paintings and drawings
exhibition in São Paulo, curated by Paulo Maluy
and Paula Amaral, and at the Cultural Center of the
Federal University of São Carlos, curated by
Fabiana Figueiredo. He begins to paint t-shirts and
2000 – Arnaldo makes a special
appearance with Sean Lennon at the Free Jazz Festival.
2001 –He participates in the
CD Tribute to John Lennon, Dê Uma Chance à
Paz, with vocals for two versions of “Give Peace
a Chance”: one with Charles Gavin and Andreas
Kisser, and the other with Miko Hatori, Timo Ellis and
Duma Love (Cibo Matto), produced by Yuka Honda.
2004 – Launch of Let It Bed, produced
by John Ulhoa. The album received acclaimed reviews
and won the “Prêmio Claro de Música
Independente” award. It is also included in the
top ten albums of 2005 by UK Mojo magazine.
2006to2007 – Arnaldo goes on
an international tour with the reunion of Os Mutantes.
2008 – Canal Brasil TV channel
launches the documentary Loki! Arnaldo Baptista, directed
by Paulo Henrique Fontenelle. The film wins over 14
prizes in national and international film festivals.
2008 – Baptista launches, with
Rocco publishers, the novel Rebelde entre os Rebeldes
(Rebel Among the Rebels), written in the 1980s.
2010 – He enters the official visual
arts scene, represented by Galeria Emma Thomas gallery
(SP), participating in the collective exhibition Arsenal.
2012: first solo exhibition, Lentes Magnéticas
(Magnetic Lenses), at Galeria Emma Thomas. The Gallery
began to present the artist in various editions of the
SP-Arte international fair. 2013: he takes part in the
collective exhibition Ateliê dos Músicos,
at Sesc-Vila Mariana. 2013: collective exhibition Brasil:
Arte/Música, at Zacheta National Art Gallery,
Warsaw, Poland, curated by Magda Kardasz. 2014: Baptista
is invited by curator Rodrigo Moura for the Solo Project
of the SP-Arte. 2014: Holds his second solo exhibition,
Exorealismo, at Galeria Emma Thomas, curated by Marcio
Harum. 2015: participation in the Projeto Solo em Arte
e Música at Epicentro Cultural, curated by Mariana
Coggiola and Cassiano Reis.
2011 – Arnaldo Baptista returns to the
stage at Sesc Belenzinho Theater, São Paulo city.
He went then touring with his concert Sarau o Benedito?,
in which he sings and plays a grand piano, after 30
years without performing in this format. Baptista perform
at renowned theaters and events, such as Theatro Municipal
de São Paulo (8th Virada Cultural); Teatro de
Santa Isabel, Recife city (MIMO 2012); Salão
de Atos da Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
(2012), Centro de Cultura Lúcio Fleck, Sapiranga
city(2013); Teatro Cine Brasil Vallourec, Belo Horizonte
city (2014), Festival Psicodália (2015), and
the strong Sesc theaters circuit.
2012 – His short story “The
Moonshiners” is translated and published in the
“Ilustríssima”, Folha de São
2013 – He creates live and at
the piano, the soundtrack for George Méliès’
short-film A Trip to the Moon in the event “Noite
Branca”, Palácio das Artes, International
Short Film Festival of Belo Horizonte.
2013 – Arnaldo voices The Mad
Hatter for the play Alice in Wonderland, performed by
Giramundo group and its puppet theater.
2013 e 2014 – He launches, with
cdbaby.com, his entire solo work in the digital environment.
2015 – Baptista and Canal 3 launch
a box with five albums of his solo career, in Compact
2016 – Arnaldo Dias Baptista
is selected by Caixa Cultural São Paulo to hold
the individual exhibition Transmigração
(Transmigration) curated by Marcio Harum. Web site:
- Polysom record releases the classic album Loki? (1974)
in vinyl 180, all original, with insert with lyrics
(unpublished). The disc was specially mastered for vinyl
by Ricardo Garcia in Magic Master from the original
tapes provided by Universal Music. The text for this
launching was signed by renowed music journalist Jotabê
Medeiros. Portuguese version available here in Discography.
geniality inside a valve
Rogerio Duprat, in his interview for the documentary
`Popular Bad Boy: Arnaldo Dias Baptista`, by Patricia
Moran, was very emphatic: “The Mutantes were the
most important thing in Tropicalismo. And none has made
that clear. But I know this only too well, and I know
that the brain of it all, the brain of Mutantes was
that of Arnaldo Baptista. I insist and I resume: Arnaldo
is responsible for all that happened from 1976 onwards.”
Kurt Cobain, in his travel to Brazil, sent Arnaldo a
note of praise.
which is the bridge between the archaeological opinion
of Rogerio Duprat (the maestro responsible for the Tropicalista’s
albums arrangements) and Kurt Cobain’s note? Is
there a mystification of a mad artist? Or is this another
version of an old history?
as well as Rita
Lee and Sergio
Dias had their life and work cut into two phases:
the glories of Tropicalia and Mutantes times and, in
Arnaldo’s case, the further madness. But what
to say about his five solo albums? And how could an
artist be called mad just because he rather plays in
amplifiers run by valves, especially nowadays when a
lot of people praise their supremacy over the disposable
transistors? Could it be called madness Arnaldo’s
choise for Gibson guitars instead of Fenders, preferred
by his brother Sergio? How could Arnaldo write two science
fiction books being mad? And painted hundreds of paintings?
true is that the geniality of Arnaldo could only be
called madness by the Brazilian mediocrity. Even a possible
death, announced various times, would not be adequate.
If so, we would have had our Syd Barret, our Arthur
Rimbaud, our Antonin Artaud. But against this stigma,
just listen to Arnaldo’s work.
first album solo `Lóki?` is, without doubt, the
master piece of Brazilian pop-rock. `Lóki?` was
launched in 1974 with the participation of The Mutantes
Rita, Liminha and Dinho; arranged by Rogerio Duprat;
and came with a stamp: ‘this album is to be listened
in highest volume’. It brings songs such as ‘Am
I turning into mildew? (Será que eu vou virar
bolor?)’, ‘One only-lonely person’
(`Uma pessoa só`, which implies double meanings
in Portuguese: ‘a lonely person’ and ‘one
person only’ - both songs from the last breathe
of Mutantes. This double meaning exercise is recurrent
in Arnaldo’s lyrics and humour). There is also
‘I don’t care’ (Não estou nem
aí); ‘I will dive into the lingerie’
(Vou me afundar na lingerie); ‘Do you think I
am mad?’ (Cê tá pensando que eu sou
lóki?); ‘Believe me: I love you’
(‘Te amo, podes crer’ being podes crer the
equivalent to ‘believe me’, but actually
sort of a slang and therefore funnier in its meaning).
There are more. After recording `Lóki?`, Arnaldo
moved from São Paulo city to Rio de Janeiro to
shape the band Unzioutros, with Lulu Santos, a successful
Brazilian pop star nowadays.
1976 Arnaldo joined Patrulha do Espaço (Space
Patrol) with John Flavin (guitar); Osvaldo Gennari (bass)
and Rolando Castello Junior (Drums). In the next year,
Arnaldo recorded an album in Vice-Versa Studio, which
was not released until 1988, when Osvaldo and Rolando
remasterised the original tape and launched the LP `Lost
Link` (Elo Perdido) with songs such as ‘Sunshine’;
‘Sexy Yours’; ‘Corta Jaca’ (Cut
Jaca – being jaca a Brazilian fruit); ‘Trem’
(train); ‘Emergindo da Ciência’ (Emerging
from the science); ‘Raio de Sol’ (Sumbeams);
‘ Um Pouco Assustador’ (A Bit Frightening)
and ‘ Fique Comigo (Stay with Me).
1980, Arnaldo launched the album ‘Singing Alone`.
It was the first record of the independent label Baratos
Afins, owned by Luiz Calanca. Arnaldo played all instruments.
There are songs such as ‘I fell in love one day’;
‘O Sol’ (The Sun); ‘Hoje de Manhã
eu Acordei’ (This Morning I woke up); ‘Sitting
on the Road Side’; ‘Ciborg’ (Cyber);
‘Young Blood’, among others.
the beginning of 1982 he is admitted in a psychiatric
clinic and suffers an accident. Arnaldo’s reputation
of madness and suicidal tendency was back to the spot
1987, Rolando Castello launched new songs from Patrulha
do Espaço with a few live tracks from shows they
toured in 1978. The album ‘Faremos uma Noitada
Excelente’ (We will have a great night out) brings,
basically, songs from ‘Elo Perdido’ and
‘Singing Alone’, being Singing a piano solo
by Arnaldo. In the same year, tBaratos Afins’s
label launched a limited edition of Arnaldo’s
home made album `Disco Voador` (UFO). It was originally
recorded in two channels by Arnaldo and masterised in
Vice-Versa studio. The album brings two versions, one
in English and another in French, of the classic Balada
do Louco ‘Balad of the Mad’ totalising eight
1989, Eldorado’s label launched the album-homage
‘Sanguinho Novo – Arnaldo Baptista Revisitado’
(Youth Blood – Arnaldo Baptista Revisited). Produced
by Alex Antunes and Akira S, two independent musicians,
the album featured versions by the most important independent
bands of the Brazilian rock-pop scenario of that time,
such as Sexo Explicito (Explicit Sex); 3 Hombres (3
Man); Vzyadoc Moe (a name by a ballot of letters); the
internationally acclaimed Sepultura; Último Número
(Last Act); Akira S e as Garotas que Erraram (Akira
S and the girls that went wrong); Ratos de Porão
(Rats from the basement); Fellini; Atahualpa Y Us Panquis,
Maria Angélica, Scowa and Paulo Miklos.
this day, Arnaldo Baptista’s coin went back to
circulation in various versions by various Brazilians
pop stars and bands, such as Kid Abelha, Lobão,
João Penca & Os Miquinhos Amestrados (João
Penca and the domesticated little monkeys); Paula Morelembaum,
Pato Fu among others. They showed the monumental and
so far unknown work of the Gepetto run by a valve living
in the small city of Juiz de Fora.
Translation by José Eduardo Mendonça and
Sonia Maia (recent updates)
My special thanks to Lucinha Barbosa,
for having invited me to write this text and for her
untiring determination to search and to provide me with
information without which I wouldn’t be able to
complete this honoured task. I also thank Marcelo Lopes
for his invaluable contribution in all moments of this
Arnaldo Dias Baptista
Data de Nascimento: 06 de julho de 1948
Local de Nascimento: São Paulo - SP
Filiação: César Dias Baptista
e Clarisse Leite Dias Baptista