Celebrating a Year

Archive for the ‘Rio’ Category

week 328 ~ embrace the whole

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me.328bembrace the whole
more true than parts
unlock your soul
embrace the whole
erase control
believe bold hearts
embrace the whole
more true than parts

Written by mairmusic

February 2, 2015 at 1:56 pm

Posted in January, Rio, rondeau

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January 19, 2015

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1.19.15We will leave today. It’s 104 degrees. We pack up everything, then walk to the Rio Sul Shopping, the location of the closest post office, to mail some postcards and have lunch. We locate the post office and, mission accomplished, I suddenly hit the wall. Sweat streaming down my face I am too hot and gritty to stand it for even another minute. Like¬† a mirage we round the corner and a bonafide Starbucks appears. We sink in relief into its leather chairs in almost chilly AC, drink ice coffee and listen to Miles 1.19a.15Davis for half an hour. Guess it’s time to go home. Taxi to airport, bags checked, and soon we are up in the sky. Adventure through, so many memories stowed away, we’re headed back to a world where the weather is cold and we are more in control of our day-to-day destinies.

Written by mairmusic

January 31, 2015 at 8:38 am

Posted in January, Rio

January 18, 2015

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1.18.15A last trip to the Feria do Hippie to buy some pequenos presentes (little presents) for the folks back home. To the right an outdoor vendor there making tapiocas– thin pancakes of grated manioc root topped with a variety of fillings from sausage and cheese to bananas and cinnamon. It’s kind of amazing to see the powdery granules melt together to form a tortilla right in the 1.17a.15pan. We are lucky finding things that will bring good wishes of Rio to those at home. We ride home on the subway, whose walls are newly decorated (see left) to greet visitors of last year’s World Cup and next year’s Olympics. In the evening we dress up and go out to a new swell restaurant right down the hill and have a last delicious dinner, with air conditioning, delicious in its own right.

Written by mairmusic

January 31, 2015 at 8:29 am

Posted in January, Rio

week 270 ~ waiting to transform

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me.270waiting to transform
summer lurches cold
I ride out the storm
waiting to transform
still pushing the norm
it never grows old
waiting to transform
summer lurches cold

Written by mairmusic

December 13, 2013 at 3:27 pm

December 11, 2013

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12.11.13I wake to torrential downpours several times through the night, and the day continues to be warm, wet and miserable. I spend it packing and finishing up the piece for my group– extracting parts and emailing them off. TaxiPaulo arrives to take me to the airport– he has been sick for most of my visit so we haven’t had a chance to catch up, which we do on the drive. And then I begin the long wait in a series of lines, and grab a snack of pao do queijo and OJ before boarding my plane and leaving for home, slightly before midnight. My month in Rio is over, and I am happy to have been here, and to have written and played and heard so much music. But so much also waits for me back in the USA, so I smile and move ahead with my life.

Written by mairmusic

December 13, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Posted in December, Rio

December 10, 2013

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12.10b.13My last day here, and I tie up loose ends, buy small presents for my family, and a bottle of cachaca to have for the holidays. I drop my amp at Romulo’s– he keeps it for me each time I leave– and he and Cecilia and I go to Trapiche for some farewell music. Trapiche is a beautiful bar set in an old factory in a neighborhood that is still dangerous, but slowly becoming an arts area. And it’s the bar where R and I spent every Tuesday when we were just starting out in 2007, to listen to the great players and soak it all in.¬† It’s Marcilio’s band, and he’s invited Joel to play as well as a guest. And Rui brings his clarinet to sit in, and drink some of Romulo’s homebrew that he has 12,10.13brought for the band. Luciana is there with a friend. Anna-Lucia doesn’t make it, due to the torrential downpour that even floods in the door of the bar. Catch a taxi home after midnight. Tomorrow I’ll finish packing, and then I’ll be heading home.

Written by mairmusic

December 13, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Posted in December, Rio

December 9, 2013

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12.9.13I return to my music-writing, wanting to get my piece done before I leave, in 2 days. and needing the solace of creation to move ahead from yesterday. I meet the lovely Anna-Lucia at 5:00 at the live radio show of Epouca d’Ouro, and am surprised to find they are featuring guest artists from Porto Alegre, a city in the south, near Argentine. They are playing the music of a local composer there, gorgeous stuff full of the excitement of tango mixing with the vibrance of Choro. V.cool. Jorginho do Pandeiro is pictured to the right, and the two 7-corde 12.9b.13guitarists are to the left. On the way home I pause to take a photo of these abandoned torsos in process– so surreal amidst the bustle of the street market. There are many other places I could go tonight to hear more music, but instead I go home and work on the transitions of my new piece, approaching completion.12.9c.13

Written by mairmusic

December 13, 2013 at 10:01 am

Posted in December, Rio

December 8, 2013

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12.8.13A 2-roda Sunday– gotta love the plot! But rising to a cloudy and sun-streaked morning, there is an email from my son in France with the subject “sad news”. The son of longtime friends has died at 29. My heart stops. He was a musician and artist, like my son, and the sadness is coursing through their shared community over the electronic channels. And now Miriam is knocking on my door reminding me that she and the adorable A. are accompanying me to the roda today. And PaulE will meet us there. And so I dive into the comforting laughter of a 1-&-1/2-12.8b.13year-old, and thus it will be that sorrow and joy will intertwine throughout my day. The roda is a tribute to Walter 7-corde aka Cedrininho, a velho chorao who played with Jacob do Bandolim, and he is there, accepting kudos, selling his latest CD, and playing with us. And he seeks me out afterwards to tell me how well I have played– such a thrill! And then a friend here takes me aside to tell me that her husband, sick so long, has died last week with his grandchildren gathered and his friends playing Brahms on his wonderful string instruments. Sad, but beautiful. Music, getting us through, helping us along, and finally with us as we exit. PE and I go out to a self-service for a hearty lunch. He is leaving today and, as a constant business traveler, has a policy of getting one last 12.8c.13good meal before take-off. The bus drops him at his hotel and carries me on. But I get off a few stops too early and walk for a mile+ up the beach to the Forte Copacabana roda lost in thought. And then once again I am making music among friends. As the roda finishes, after wishing everyone a merry christmas and happy new year before the group will return in January, Bia begins playing “Carinhoso,” the unofficial anthem of Rio, with her gorgeous clarinet voice and the audience starts to sing along, as they always do. I improvise a counterline, very moved by the piece, and send my silent prayers across the miles to my grieving friends and their music boy, gone far too soon.

Written by mairmusic

December 13, 2013 at 9:44 am

Posted in December, Rio

December 7, 2013

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12.7.13It’s Choro School in the morning, and I meet PaulE there so he can see a bit of this great event, and meet Romulo. To the right, the bandolim section of the huge Bandao– Pedro Amorim, Marcilio Lopes, my friend Luciana, who spent several years in Boston but has now returned home to Rio, and a guest accordionist. After the music Marcilio 12.7b.13asks me if I know the guitarist Carlos Barbosa Lima. Of course– a musical hero of mine. Well here he is, in shorts and a hat, and Marcilio, who has recorded with him, introduces us and we have a lovely chat on many things, including how much he likes the Baltimore Mandolin Orchestra. Small world indeed. Afterwards PE and I spend the rest of the day with R, going out to lunch at a brew-pub (pictures here 12.7c.13manioc fries and a beer with a cool logo quote), spending time at his house listening to music and watching some hilarious episodes of “Larica Total” — a comedy cooking show– including the one I linked to on making batidas (blender drinks) for Carnaval. It takes place in the star’s own single-guy kitchen and always has a Brazilian context, in this case a drum lesson. Unfortunately the videos on YouTube mostly focus on the actual kitchen time, but I think y’all will like the zaniness of this even not understanding Portuguese. We eat pizza in a nearby outdoor restaurant together for dinner and then PE and I taxi to our respective homes. A fun lazy day.

Written by mairmusic

December 13, 2013 at 8:29 am

Posted in December, Rio

December 6, 2013

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12.6.13 I spend the whole day working on music, returning to the most unBrazilian piece I began prior to my arrival here. I am writing it for my ensemble back home, and it is definitely the most complex music I have yet ventured to compose. So in the evening I am delighted to shrug off the day’s work and meet PaulE and Anna-Lucia by the tracks in the Gloria metro to go to a tango concert in a tent behind the Banco do Brasil in centro. This is tango month in Rio, and now that I have assimilated and written my Brazilian music I am glad to let other influences seep in. AL has us arrive early, to stand in line for good seats, but then waves P 12.6b.13and I off to go spend a half-hour in the art exhibit currently on display– Yayoi Kusama: Infinite Obsession (link above, not sure why I can’t link to her name). Yes, those are her giant polka-dot spheres in the bank lobby. She is into patterns and repetition and manipulating space to make the viewer part of the exhibit. Can you find me in the sea of lights and mirrors to the left? I almost got vertigo simply walking through the room. We rejoin AL in plenty of time to nab front-row seats and hear a history of tango performed on bandoneon, piano, drums, and bass. And there is a dance floor and several audience members have brought their tango-shoes and seem thrilled to dance to a live band. 12.6c.13Returning home by metro-bus, I emerge from the subway at the bus stop and see three teens, clearly tired of waiting, give up and grab a taxi that pulls up to discharge passengers. Oh, dear, guess I may have to give up soon. But they pull up, roll the window down, and inquire whether I am going home to Urca, and why don’t I jump in. “Todo o mundo” laughs the girl from my neighborhood, who has recognized me. How cool– I am their neighbor. So I am home quickly in laughing company.

Written by mairmusic

December 13, 2013 at 8:02 am

Posted in December, Rio