Sulinha Boucher, an Arlington musician of 30 years and a native of Brazil, has recorded her fourth children’s album, “We Should Be Kind.”
You may have heard her at the Robbins and Fox Libraries, where she has been performing for under-5 audiences for many years.
In her own words, she is the origin of “We Should Be Kind”, born in the spring of 2020:
When the pandemic hit, my more than 30 guitar and piano students stopped coming to my home studio for their lessons, and all of my trio’s upcoming concerts were canceled.
I played a lot of music during this time and also became more aware of what I saw around me, especially in nature. I looked out the window on a windy day and saw trees and leaves dancing. It was the beginning of “This Is What I See”, the first song I wrote for the album.
“That’s what I see”:
I asked my friend Kate Leary what she noticed, and she wrote lyrics for a second verse and contributed some lyrics for other songs as well.
When the world slowed down, I thought of my students and myself, always mindful of the clock, going from one thing to another, and wrote “Here it Goes the Clock Again”. I started writing phrases and chord progressions. I put sticky notes everywhere. I decided that any idea I had, no matter how small, I would collect. I was writing an album!
In May 2020, I started meeting my producer, Eduardo Mercuri, on Zoom every week. I played him what I had, and he always instinctively knew what the song needed. Things started to develop rapidly.
I remember when he came up with the intro guitar part of “Moving Everything”. It’s a fun movement song. Can’t wait to play it for a group of kids and get moving with them! As I come from Brazil, I also recorded a version in Portuguese.
cool chord progression
“We Should Be Kind” started with a cool chord progression that Eduardo and I were playing along to. He encouraged me to write a song with that groove, and I thought about how the world has so many bullies, but it also has so many nice people.
I wanted it to be a duet, because kindness is about relationships, and I wanted the texture of another voice. Alastair Moock is a local children’s musician whom I admire and have always appreciated the distinctive quality of his voice. We had never met, but I contacted him with the song and invited him to sing on the track. He kindly agreed and we had a great time recording the vocals in my home studio.
We have found new check-in methods during the pandemic. Eduardo recorded basic tracks in his home studio in New York, then sent them to Diego Joaquim Ramirez (drums). He recorded his tracks in his home studio and handed them over to Eduardo, who then added electric guitar, bass, cavaco banjo, cavaquinho, mandolin, keyboard and vocals. There were also wonderful contributions from Julio Santos (percussion), Louise Grasmere of Arlington (vocals) and Marta Roma (cello).
“Here’s the clock again”:
“This Old Man” is the only album cover. I recorded it for my first album, featuring one of my best friends, Alexandre Carvalho, who died suddenly at 56. I wanted to pay tribute to him and I decided to make a remake of this song on my new album. We re-recorded all the tracks around his beautiful electric guitar solos. He’s gone way too soon, but I smile every time I hear his music and I’m grateful for his contribution. Julio Santos contributed with his incredible talent on percussion.
Once I had all of these musical contributions, I went to Wellspring Sound Studio in Acton to lay down my acoustic guitar, piano and vocal tracks.
I wanted children’s voices on the album, and my students were happy to add this last track in my home studio. By then, many of my students had started taking in-person classes again, and I’m so happy to be with them again. “We Should Be Kind” was an absorbing and healing project for me, and it taught me new ways to collaborate with other musicians. I hope you enjoy what comes straight from our hearts.
March 28, 2013: BrazilArlington’s Lian Rhythms Musician Wins Award
This extended news announcement was posted on Friday, May 6, 2022.