Rodrigo Leao & Cinema Ensemble
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Rodrigo Leao & Cinema Ensemble

Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal | MAJOR

Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal | MAJOR
Band World Pop




"Rodrigo Leao is Portugal's Brian Eno"

“Boffin genius mixes high and low cultures with panache
Rodrigo Leão is Portugal's Brian Eno. He is a musical journeyman who has balanced a successfull career in two of the country's most commercial successfull bands – Madredeus and Sétima Legião – with developing a reputation as a serious composer and musical inovator.
Pedro Almodovar has called him “one of the most inspired composers in the world” and he counts Portishead's Beth Gibbons, the Vox Ensemble and Ryuichi Sakamoto amongst his admirers and collaborators.
This CD is a rectrospective of his career from 1993 up to 2006, just after the release of his crtically acclaimed O CINEMA album. Leão's music is influenced by the evocative ideas that began with programme music in the 19th century Romantic period and wich extended through vaudeville and music hall into contemporary film composition. He is also deeply rooted in church music and portuguese folk. Leão mixes electronica with string quartets, Latin choirs with music hall, and tango with church music, and his songs are likely to be sung in English, French or Spanish, as Portuguese.
Every track on O Mundo is unique and everyone's a gem. It's hard to pick highlights, but they would surely include Beth Gibbons music hall Trip-Hop “Lonely Carousel”, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Ana Carolina's delicate and tender “Rosa” and Leão's sweetly sad tone poem, “Ruínas”.
Alex Robinson in Songlines, Jan-Feb 2009”
- Songlines Magazine - UK

"One of the most inspired composers"

“One of the most inspired composers in the world”, Pedro Almodovar (Spanish film director winner of 1 OSCAR) - Pedro Almodovar

"A serious composer"

“A serious composer and a musical innovator”, Songlines (UK) - Songlines (UK)


“As understated as a Latin lover…irresistible”, Songlines (UK) - Songlines (UK)


“Sublime”, El Mundo (Spain) - El Mundo (Spain)

"...émotions cinématographiques dues à Visconti ou Lynch…"

« Rodrigo Leão promène sa barque au fil d’une rêverie musicale où se reflètent des émotions cinématographiques dues à Visconti ou Lynch… Une mélancolie bien à part. », LES INROCKUPTIBLES (France) - LES INROCKUPTIBLES (France)

"… L’équivalent d’un Yann Tiersen ou d’un Ryuichi Sakamoto..."

« … L’équivalent d’un Yann Tiersen ou d’un Ryuichi Sakamoto, capable des mêmes envolées. Sa musique, savante et visuelle, sait se faire aussi accessible, et pas besoin d’être né au bord du Tage pour être sensible à ses beautés. », VIBRATIONS (France) - VIBRATIONS (France)

"The more relevant and consistent.."

«O mais relevante e consistente músico português», In Time Out (Lisboa) – “The more relevant and consistent Portuguese musician” - Time Out (Lisbon)

"Music of undeniable beauty"

«Música de inegável beleza», In Blitz, Lisbon – “Music of undeniable beauty” - Blitz (Lisbon)

"A movie with a happy ending"

«Um filme com final feliz», In Correio da Manhã, Lisboa – “A movie with a happy ending” - Correio da Manhã (Lisbon)


2009 - A Mãe (SonyBMG - Portugal)
2007 - Portugal Um Retrato Social (Sony BMG)(Limited Series)
2006 - O Mundo (SonyBMG) (Compilation)
2004 - Cinema (Sony)
2001 - Pasión (Sony)
2000 - Alma Mater (Sony)
1996 - Theatrum (Sony)
1995 - Mysterium Ep (Sony)
1993 - Ave Mundi Luminar(Sony)



Rodrigo Leão has a singular and extremely rich career connected to some of the most important moments of the Portuguese music scene post 1980. Rodrigo sees it almost as a book or a film with different chapters, but always connected. His beginnings date from the pop band “Setima Legiao” and then became co-founder and main composer for “Madredeus”.

With the solo debut, Rodrigo started to explore new sounds getting closer to some contemporary classical music, to minimalism and started a journey that has led him to many different sensibilities: «In my music you will find Michael Nyman, tango or French music», he says. «O Mundo (1993-2006): The Best of Rodrigo Leão» was released internationally at the end of 2006 to a unanimous applause. Collaborations with people like Beth Gibbons (Portishead) or Ryuichi Sakamoto, both featured on the album «Cinema».

The new CD called «A Mãe» it’s an ambitious work with the contribution of such artists as Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon, Tindersticks’ Stuart A. Staples or Melingo. The new record features songs that were written in such places as The United States, Italy or India: «I recorded street sounds, children playing, birds singing. And sometimes even with my mobile phone», he says.