30 Years of Originals

by Pedro Alsama

My mother used to say that when I was 2 or 3 years old, I was a little pest, but when music was on the television, it was silent; it was peaceful at home. I was absorbed in what I was wanting to do forever. Music.

I started my sound adventure learning sounds; I created them around me with a k7s recorder. I walked around the house reporting where I went, something like: “And now this is the sound of water, and let’s all listen…” turned on the bathroom faucet “listen, it’s the water singing…”

Listen to the album while reading the text.


In my first musical recording, which I still have, my sister, also minor, made a “Free-jazz” with a flute with a horrible sound. My cousin, also small, transformed the keyboard of the MSX (equivalent to the spectrum, but it was possible to write lines of code with MSX) on an organ, and I would sing immediate things that came to mind…

Something like “Fall, fall to follow…”

My first live performance was at school, a band called “Rupture in Society”, we played heavy industrial music and I also sang “Black” by “Pearl Jam”, a concert that took place on the big break at school in the middle of the morning.

I had an acoustic guitar that I played every day at home for several hours and sang melodies that never disappeared from my head, there was always one more new rhythm in my brain. I have a big bag of K7s with the melodies that I sang in a row, I only stopped singing when I filled the K7 on both sides (60 or 90 minutes each), my uncle was upset because I stole the K7s from bands he liked a lot, but I didn’t even listen to them, it was to record and listen to my evolution as a singer.

Another of my passions was writing, but even though I even release books nowadays, I never liked using written lyrics in what I sang; they were just improvisations… it was always just improvisations.

Another band, it was going well, but someone decided to break up. I went to study philosophy at university, but I only felt like a musician, with “infernal” melodies constantly in me.

I literally did almost 1000 jam sessions. Any band I went to see play live in bars, I would always ask, can I sing one song with the band? And so it was; the receptions were extraordinarily positive. I don’t know how, but even without knowing what happens with the band’s rhythm, no musical note was missed.

I was like that in the jam sessions, trying to find a band as a vocalist…

I sang with various bands and instruments, some I don’t even know the name of, from Portuguese guitar and accordion to the typical rock ensemble, passing through jazz, metal, or calm and romantic songs.

Despite recognizing my talent, I ended up not getting into a band – although the drunkenness I caught, with all the drinks paid for by the listeners who congratulated me. I lived in a small town where art was not valued.

“So, the best I do is work solo.”

Pedro Alsama, the Anti-music Machine

A project in which I wanted to change the habit of sending K7s models with the usual 3 songs.

I decided to make three albums with 20 songs each.

At the time, I was listening to the psychedelic phase of Julian Cope, Pixies, Jane’s Addiction, 4AD Sounds, Galaxie 500, Miles Davis, Philip Glass, Fausto Bordalo Dias, etc., etc.

At 13, I worked in a vinyl record store; at 15, I started working on the city’s radio station. This was essential to refine the desire always to discover music of different styles, as I exhausted one musical style to the limit of finding another one, so as not to get bored listening to music. I learned many different rhythms.

In this project of the 60 songs, they asked me to send the albums I had on the internet on a platform of Portuguese amateur bands to the radio stations, I refused, and I still don’t understand why…; I said that the graphic art wasn’t finished yet… I was told to send it even without the visual art – and, no, I didn’t send it either…

The trilogy was experimental music, where I tried to modify the musical styles of the time, starting the search for my personal style of making music.

Pedro Alsama

I experimented with the more commercial folk/alternative/pop/rock, and I won a contest to record a CD at a label that, in the meantime, disappeared. I decided to collect the most easy-listening songs I had made. It was an album turned around to build an audience.

“Pedro Alsama” and “Madrugada” were the first two CD albums released by the same label. I had live performances and played in good concert halls, but almost always it was not enough to be talented…

I have about 20 albums ready in my drawer and about 12 or maybe more distributed in stores, but now I have started making music just as a way to fill the need to do it as art…

One of the albums that best shows the diversity of sounds I make is called “Voices from Brother Nature” it is also distributed in store; in front of the name of each song, I add, between parentheses, the musical style of each theme, Hip-Hop, Rock, Alternative, Jazz, World Music, Metal, Electronica, Avant-garde, …

I work with loops, which for those who don’t know, are small musical phrases of instruments or isolated sounds in which we can build music as if it were a puzzle, as I have about 900 gigs of loops. I have never used the facility to create a theme from only one set of loops that represented only one style of sound; I traveled through the world of musical phrases or loose chords, and I produced my own things without being possible for there to be something similar or identical, I use, in some songs, about 40 different sounds. I sing. My great ambition was to be just a vocalist. Still, since I couldn’t manage to have a band, I opted to do everything, loops, guitar, djembe, harmonica, and the participation of other musicians in my songs (Portuguese guitar, accordion, electric and bass guitars, drums, …).

Of the approximately 300 songs that I have, maybe only 10 have text without being improvised; that way, I better reflect my pure state of mind in creation.


Artist’s Note
Rio Maior, Portugal
Alternative, Rock, Folk, Jazz
improvisation, cassette, solo, loops, radio

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.