Music Keeps Us Together

Artist´s name: Fernanda Cabral, Júlio Gonçalves and Maxwell de Castro
Category: Youth work; Music
Key Words: youth, music, online video, inclusive performance, band
Instagram page:
Telephone number: +351 969731254 (Júlio Gonçalves)

Fernanda is 22 years old and has studied music since she was eight. She started at an academy, where she learned saxophone and had musical training in an ensemble class. Guitar and piano, she learned at home by herself, while her father taught her to play the accordion. From 2018 to 2021, she took a degree in Applied Musical Studies.

Maxwell is 32 years old and studied with Fernanda during his graduation in Applied Musical Studies. He comes from Brazil, where he has started his career in Music, learning clarinet at the Music Conservatory of Niterói. He is currently taking a Master’s in Art Studies at the University of Coimbra.

Júlio is the youngest of the group, he is 21 and still attends the graduation classes of the same course his colleagues have taken. He has also graduated in piano and music production at Viseu’s Conservatory.

Besides the undergraduate course, the three young people also shared the anguish during COVID in the period of their studies. Seeing themselves locked up at home and unable to rehearse or practice what they liked to do most as a group, they decided to take a chance on digital performance. That’s when they started recording some videos online, performing famous songs they like. According to Júlio, the recording process was the biggest challenge of this project, “The recording process was more complicated this way, since we couldn’t record together in the studio, for example, so we had to make guides and each of us had to record their part at home”. Additionally, Júlio points out that because he is visually impaired, the challenge was even bigger: “As I am visually impaired, I came across some difficulties that, of course, other people did not have. Computers are still not fully adapted and ready for people that are visually impaired, so, many simple tasks are very complicated for us, the simple decompressing of a transferred folder becomes a nightmare sometimes.”

When asked about the disadvantages of online format, the group’s answer was almost unanimous: the distance is the biggest issue, regardless if referring to their colleagues or the audience. The lack of remuneration in an online format is another disadvantage pointed out. On the other hand, in the virtual world it is possible to record, edit as much as needed, as well as reach a much larger audience, what they consider to be some advantages.

However, in what comes to what they believe to be the biggest challenge for artists in this new reality, the opinions vary. While Fernanda and Maxwell talk about prejudice and the lack of fair remuneration, Júlio refers to a more emotional dimension: “for me, the greatest challenge in art is to awaken sensations and emotions in people, secondly educating people and thirdly entertaining people, namely the audience and, amazingly enough, the performer.”

As a final advice for who is in the same path as them and want to have their art valued, Fernanda says: “Young artists, don’t give up! Keep studying and practicing what runs through your veins.”


Júlio Gonçalves

Maxwell de Castro


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