Celebrating a Year

Archive for the ‘March’ Category

March 31, 2017

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Ah, yesterday’s day at the beach didn’t work! I am truly sick today. I hold out hope that I will be able to rally to go hear R’s band perform in Lapa tonight, but when I finally venture out to get some groceries in the early evening it becomes apparent that I have a fever as well, so staying in seems the prudent option. Darn! But on the up-side, I do finish the melody of the first tune of my trip, and play my bandolim, snifflingly. There is no good option for chicken soup here, since my cooking possibilities are minimal, so I end up buying ramen-in-a-cup. Yep, really. Tomorrow will be a better day. I glimpse Cristo in the sunset on my way home.

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April 2, 2017 at 1:36 pm

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March 30, 2017

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Beach day! Fighting a cold, I head out to soak in some sun and lie on Praia Vermelha for awhile to try to get the warmth to chase it away. It’s very windy though, and the “Perigoso” (Danger) signs are up so I wade a bit but don’t swim. Afterwards I sit in my old-favorite go-to cafe from when I stayed in Urca, and have a delicious Acai. Although the outing doesn’t achieve the hoped-for ends, I am still sniffling, it is still feels good to have gone and enjoyed one of Rio’s great delights.

Written by mairmusic

March 31, 2017 at 12:19 pm

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week 442 ~ light on a passing breeze

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“Et la mandoline jase
Parmi les frissons de brise.” – Paul Verlaine, Mandoline (1869)
(And the mandolin chatters on/ In the shivers of breeze)

light on a passing breeze
wafts a most joyous sound
charged with lost memories

intertwined histories
laughter notes run to ground
light on a passing breeze

mandolin melodies
some unknown some renowned
charged with lost memories

across the centuries
sweet tremolos resound
light on a passing breeze

play the tunes as you please
they’re waiting to be found
charged with lost memories

now it’s your turn so seize
them they’re yours this time ‘round
light on a passing breeze
charged with lost memories

Written by mairmusic

March 31, 2017 at 11:57 am

March 29, 2017

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I’m heading downtown to meet with Paulo Sa today about arranging the class I will give for his students at UFRJ. We rendezvous at Carioca station, as we always do, to go for a coffee and talk. While I am waiting for him to arrive a tune pops into my head and I hum it into my phone. Still hoping for inspiration to grab me for more than a moment at a time, but the muse won’t ever be rushed. It’s good to see Paulo and catch up on his family, students, our mutual friends, his new plucked string sextet. We’re right next to a bookstore and, it turns out, a used CD store where I add some new discs to my collection after we part company. On the walk home a gorgeous hibiscus grabs my attention. Not wanting to rub in my good fortune, but wow– is it beautiful here in their autumn!

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March 31, 2017 at 11:25 am

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March 28, 2017

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I work on some new tunes today, without making alot of progress, just starts. The weather continues warm with the occasional downpour. In Rio it’s as if the sky suddenly opens and there is a deluge, then a few minutes later the sun is out again. On the right some of the gorgeous fall flowers blooming on my street. In the evening I go to play at a roda with two of my favorite guitarist– Luiz and Valle. Luiz is on the 6-string (left in the photo) and Valle on 7-string (center), and from years of playing together their parallel lines are effortless. They have moved to a new location, but it’s easy to find. Flautist Ana once again lets me piggyback on her amp, as the new one I brought isn’t working and my old one is still at R’s place. It’s a joyous night of playing. You can see my bandolim on the table as I took a quick break to snap this shot. I miss these informal sessions so much when I am back in the US, making each tune tonight a memory to hold in my heart.

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March 31, 2017 at 11:09 am

Posted in March

March 27, 2017

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Another beautiful day in the neighborhood. I stick pretty close to home today doing this and that, and in the evening go out to check out a new roda for me, in Flamengo. It was started by the bandolim class at EPM, and today marks their 2 year anniversary. Luciana A, who invited me, said there would be lots of people there to celebrate, and it’s a new destination for me so I leave my bandolim at home. I feel pretty confident of being able to safely navigate here in Rio, but when in doubt I always err on the side of caution. It’s an informal jam, as L. said, with more bandolims than I have ever seen at a roda, and they move in and out, playing sometimes, talking sometimes. Some old friends are here and its good to reconnect. I am just thinking of heading home when suddenly here’s Ronald do Bandolim! I say hi and we chat for a bit and then he grabs his bandolim and sits in for a set with the group. Sheila Zagury has also showed up and set up a keyboard, unusual for a roda, and later my friend Bia arrives with her clarinet. The roda jumps a whole level, but still includes the local crew. The 7-string to Ronaldo’s right is solidly in “the kitchen,” and there’s a good pandeiro player as well. It’s a cool evening of choro. I’ll be back to play with them next week.

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March 28, 2017 at 2:56 pm

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March 26, 2017

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Today I get by, with a little help from my friends. Up early to go play at the Sao Salvador roda, only to find out my amp isn’t working. Somehow it got messed up on the flight here, and I didn’t check it earlier so now there is nothing to be done. So I head out, with Iziane who has heard about the roda but has never gone. When I arrive, there is a cord and a slot in an amplifier for me– miraculous, and we have fun playing the tunes I miss so much when I am in the US. It is great to be back in Sao Salvador square, which has even more people and stalls selling crafts and food and drink and CDs than before. I see some old friends, make some new ones. Later in the evening I go with R. to a new roda at a bar right in our neighborhood. He plays, but I just want to watch the first time. Nice for me, the regular flute player is out, and they have invited a bandolimist I don’t know, Fredie, who has an interesting and original style. The music is good and it turns out that I know one of the players from a different context– we were both part of a festival in Rio where I played North American classical music. He makes me promise to play next week and I am happy to agree. Home late after a long and fun day of choro music.

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March 27, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Posted in March