June 18, 2012
Catching up on email after my weekend away, I discover Marcilio can see me to help with the harmony on my new compositions on Wednesday. I love working with him, as he has such a colorful palette of chord forms to suggest that often support my melodies in a more interesting way than my own harmonization does. But this means I have 2 days to get my 3 tunes in shape. Yikes! I work hard all morning and after lunch take a break to head to the “Cupula dos Povos” (Dome of the People), the local part of “Rio +20″. My landlady has a booth there with her group “Rede Ecological,” and I know it is in the park at Flamengo, so I think I’ll stop by. But when I arrive I find a massive event, well over a mile of domes and tents with lectures and exhibits running along the shoreline. I never do find Miriam, but there is no lack of things to see. The first clue that this is not your usual craft-and-pamphlet fair occurs crossing the bridge to enter the site, as I pass groups of indigenous Brazilians in tribal dress, there to participate in the dialogue. I eat an “organic” sandwich (undefined but delicious), drink an Acai from Bahia, gather pamphlets, take pictures, and walk. There are venues for concerts, children in trees, capoeira demonstrations, Balkan-sounding participatory folk dances, recycling+art activities for children– everything seems well organized, and optimistic about the power of us all to bring about environmental change. I hope the world leaders, meeting in their more formal setting, will pick up some of the energy from this grassroots level. Back at home I work far into the night, not saving the planet but trying to make it a more harmonious place, one note at a time.