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Ciro Pessoa
Ciro Pessoa 2010.jpg
Pessoa performing at the Ibirapuera Auditorium in 2010
Background information
Birth name Ciro Pessoa Mendes Corrêa
Also known as Tenzin Chöpel
Born (1957-06-12)June 12, 1957
São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Died May 5, 2020(2020-05-05) (aged 62)
São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Genres Pop rock, post-punk, psychedelic rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, lyricist, guitarist, screenwriter, journalist, poet
Instruments Vocals, classical guitar, electric guitar
Years active 1981–2020
Labels Voiceprint Records, Rosa Celeste
Associated acts Titãs, Os Jetsons, Ricotas do Harlem, Cabine C, Ira!, CPSP, Ciro Pessoa & Ventilador, Nu Descendo a Escada, Flying Chair

Ciro Pessoa Mendes Corrêa (12 June 1957 – 5 May 2020), also known by his Dharma name Tenzin Chöpel, was a Brazilian singer-songwriter, lyricist, guitarist, screenwriter, journalist and poet, famous for being one of the founding members of the influential rock band Titãs and for his later work with pioneering post-punk/gothic rock band Cabine C. He also formed numerous other short-lived and lesser known projects throughout the early to mid-1990s before beginning a solo career in 2003.

Early life and education

Ciro Pessoa was born in São Paulo on 12 June 1957. When he was seven years old, he learned how to play the classical guitar. At the age of 12, he began to perform in music festivals around the city. As a teenager, he studied at the Colégio Equipe, where he would meet Arnaldo Antunes, Paulo Miklos, Nando Reis, Marcelo Fromer, Branco Mello, Tony Bellotto and Sérgio Britto.



Being united by the similar musical tastes of Antunes, Miklos, Reis, Fromer, Mello, Bellotto, and Britto, in 1981, they would form, alongside André Jung, the rock band Titãs do Iê-Iê, whose name would be shortened to only Titãs later on. Pessoa never recorded anything with Titãs during his stay with them, but co-wrote some of the band's most famous hits, such as "Sonífera Ilha", "Toda Cor", "Homem Primata" and "Babi Índio", among others. He left Titãs in 1983 due to creative divergences which culminated with a falling-out between him and André Jung. Shortly afterwards, Pessoa formed two concomitant new bands: Os Jetsons, with Branco Mello and Charles Gavin, and Ricotas do Harlem, a soul duo with Fernando Salem. Both bands were very short-lived however, and wouldn't record any albums or even perform any shows.

In 1984, he formed Cabine C, one of Brazil's first and most well-known gothic rock bands, alongside his then-wife Wania Forghieri, Edgard Scandurra of Ira!, Sandra Coutinho of Mercenárias (who would later leave the band and be replaced by also Ira! member Ricardo Gaspa) and Charles Gavin. They recorded some songs and performed some shows with this line-up, but with the exception of Pessoa and Forghieri, everybody would leave the band afterwards, to focus on their respective alternate projects. Scandurra, Gaspa and Gavin would be later replaced by former Akira S. e as Garotas que Erraram members Anna Ruth dos Santos and Marinella Setti. With this new line-up Cabine C released their first (and only) album, Fósforos de Oxford, in 1986; despite being well received by the critics and the public alike, it was a commercial failure. The band would come to an end in 1987 due to judicial problems with their label, RPM Discos, which was founded and managed by Paulo Ricardo and Luiz Schiavon of the eponymous band. Prior to their disbanding, Cabine C was working on a second album, which would be called Cotonetes Desconexos; four songs were already recorded for it, but the album would be eventually scrapped.


Alongside Forghieri, Pessoa also composed the soundtrack of the 1993 film Oceano Atlantis, which was written by him and starred Antônio Abujamra. The film, however, never received a wide release.

As the 1990s went by, Pessoa wrote some songs which would eventually be performed by Ira!, such as "Efeito Bumerangue", "Tantas Nuvens", "A Natureza Sobre Nós", "Mistério", "Correnteza" and "Inundação de Amor" (which he originally co-wrote with Júlio Barroso of Gang 90 e as Absurdettes for Cabine C in the early 1980s, prior to Barroso's death), and in 1990 he formed Ciro Pessoa e Seu Pessoal ("Ciro Pessoa and His Personnel"), or CPSP for short, alongside Kiko Nogueira, Roger "Vapt-Vupt" Lima, former Ira! member Fábio Scattone and Abrão Levin. Contrasting with the dark, gothic sound Cabine C had developed, CPSP moved towards a brighter and more pop rock-inflected direction which was, according to Pessoa, influenced by Jovem Guarda singers such as Odair José, Roberto Carlos and Jerry Adriani. They never recorded any albums, but toured extensively around the state of São Paulo before disbanding. ..... Most of Pessoa's articles and poems are compiled on his official WordPress blog, "O Mundo de Mantraman", as well as on his Tumblr page.

In the mid-1990s, Pessoa formed another short-lived project, Ciro Pessoa & Ventilador, alongside former CPSP bandmates Kiko Nogueira and Fábio Scattone, and new members Tchelo Nogueira (Kiko's brother), Laudir de Oliveira, Serjão and Boris. It retained CPSP's pop rock sonority, albeit adding more experimental elements. They recorded an album, Batuca Aqui, in 1996, but it was only released in 2019.

21st century

In 2001, Pessoa and Branco Mello wrote the music and lyrics for a children's concept album, Eu e Meu Guarda-Chuva, about a boy named Eugênio and his trustworthy umbrella. The album was adapted into a book (written by Mello alongside Hugo Possolo) in 2003 and into a full-length film (directed by Toni Vanzolini and starring Lucas Cotrim, Paolla Oliveira, Daniel Dantas and Leandro Hassum) in 2010; nor the book or the film had Pessoa's involvement, though.

In 2003, Pessoa began a solo career with the release of No Meio da Chuva Eu Grito "Help" on the Voiceprint Records imprint. In 2010 he signed with independent label Rosa Celeste to release his second album, Em Dia com a Rebeldia. A heavily psychedelic and experimental album, it was intended by Pessoa to evoke the 1960s and 1970s bands he grew up listening to, most notably The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Os Mutantes, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and Secos & Molhados, and the œuvre of Surrealist painters and poets such as Salvador Dalí, René Magritte and André Breton. A huge concert promoting the album took place at the Ibirapuera Auditorium in São Paulo in the same year.

Beginning in the mid-2010s, Pessoa became an outspoken critic of the Brazilian petista government and of left-wing politics as a whole, and started to promote a series of video chats disserting about his views on Brazilian politics, frequently accompanied by also musician Lobão and journalist Claudio Tognolli, among others.

His debut book, Relatos da Existência Caótica, came out on October 23, 2015, by Chiado Editora; it is a compilation of five poetry anthologies Pessoa wrote during his early career, but until then remained unpublished: O Labirinto do Sr. Eno, Ecos de um Encantamento Distante, Manual das Mãos, Patagônia Mentalis and Os Emblemas.

..... In 2016 he formed the more pop rock-influenced project Flying Chair. They self-released a 4-track EP in December of that year, available on SoundCloud and physically released on February 11, 2017; it counted with a guest appearance by RPM drummer P. A. Pagni. A second 4-track EP was uploaded to SoundCloud on April 5, 2017, and physically released on May 2. The band's debut full-length was released on July 29, 2017. On March 9, 2018, Flying Chair released their first live album, Ao Vivo na Cena. Their final release was the 2018 single "Sem Orientação", featuring Cachorro Grande keyboardist Pedro Pelotas.

Personal life

Pessoa became a Vajrayana Buddhist in the late 1990s, thus obtaining the Dharma name Tenzin Chöpel, which he used to sign most of the articles he wrote for the magazines and newspapers for which he worked for.

Between the 1980s and 1990s, Pessoa was married to his Cabine C bandmate Wania Forghieri. He married a second time in 2011, with Isabela Johansen, having with her a daughter, Antônia (born 2013). They divorced in January 2016.


On 5 May 2020, Pessoa died after contracting COVID-19 during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil while being treated for cancer.


With Cabine C

Year Album
1986 Fósforos de Oxford
  • Label: RPM Discos
  • Format: Vinyl

With Flying Chair

Year Album
2016 Flying Chair (EP)
2017 Flying Chair II (EP)
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Streaming, CD
2017 Flying Chair
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Streaming, CD
2018 Ao Vivo na Cena (live album)
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Streaming, CD


Year Album
2003 No Meio da Chuva Eu Grito "Help"
  • Label: Voiceprint Records
  • Format: CD
2010 Em Dia com a Rebeldia
  • Label: Rosa Celeste
  • Format: CD
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