Sunday, November 10, 2013

It was in October, but hey... It has been years blogging! I love my PAWNSHOP

As I like to do, I will repost the very first entry on this blog, uploaded nine years ago:

My dream future is happening right now, just as I speak (or blog). The world may become one nation while I am here trying to prepare myself to understand, be part of, and survive in this historical moment. My writings have become my instrument to conquer my space. I have seen many things in life, but not everything that there is to see. This is what brought me to this practice; the possibility of learning how to play this instrument (writing) accurately and sophisticatedly. I've always believed that writing allows one to live different experiences, breathe in distant drafts, and step on exotic soils. Writing is so powerful. Besides, I am enchanted with this media technology called webblogs. Blogs are useful reading because it is a language that entertains, amuses, and even teaches about new places, cultures, and other people's ways to see life through without killing the magic of the moment. Here, you'll read old letters I received, past emails sent, school and college projects that made me proud of my 3.8 GPA, my mad poems which will be part of a "maybe-book" named THE PAWNSHOP (got the picture?), and other epiphanies. Through my writings, I have gotten the capacity to organize this whole wide world, to plan the chaos, and give meaning to all facts in my life.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Photo taken by Nicolle C. Sartor

I am holding someone's biography.
If you are aware of who this person is, you might also get why I am cracking up.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Adrienne Rich reads her own poem: "What Kind of Times Are These"

Adrienne Rich: What Kind of Times Are These

There’s a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphill
and the old revolutionary road breaks off into shadows
near a meeting-house abandoned by the persecuted
who disappeared into those shadows.

I’ve walked there picking mushrooms at the edge of dread, but don’t be fooled
this isn’t a Russian poem, this is not somewhere else but here,
our country moving closer to its own truth and dread,
its own ways of making people disappear.

I won’t tell you where the place is, the dark mesh of the woods meeting the unmarked strip of light—
ghost-ridden crossroads, leafmold paradise:
I know already who wants to buy it, sell it, make it disappear.

And I won’t tell you where it is, so why do I tell you
anything? Because you still listen, because in times like these
to have you listen at all, it’s necessary
to talk about trees.


By Robin Perkins - 29 October, 2013 More than twenty years since the release of her first album, Adriana Calcanhotto has become one of Brazil’s most cherished and well-known voices. It is surprising then that this one-off show, forming part of the very first FlipSide festival, is only her third visit to the UK. While the small, rural Suffolk town of Snape might seem an odd choice for such a concert, there is something very fitting about Calcanhotto’s appearance here. Not only because she was present at the very first Flip, the original Brazilian literary festival that inspired its UK counterpart, but also because of the event’s focus on music and literature. I caught up with Calcanhotto in her rather tropical dressing room after an entrancing concert in the stunning Snape Maltings concert hall. 

How did you enjoy playing at the very first FlipSide? 
It was great. I really love playing in this type of environment and in such a beautiful space. I find my live show really works in this kind of venue. A lot of venues can be very noisy and it just doesn’t work because it is too dynamic which makes the performance difficult but here it was just right.

How do you find playing in the UK? Is it different from Brazil?
This is the third time I have been here. Playing here is very different from Brazil because the audience is so timid! It’s funny, in Brazil where I record my songs I play in a different tonality than when I play live, here for example. So, people sing along but in a different key!

How did you end up playing at FlipSide?
I was invited to play at the very first Flip festival in Brazil because it was in honour of Vinicius do Moraes, so I went and performed a solo concert there. Then I went back in 2009 for the edition celebrating the poet Manuel Banderia. This time I was with the full band and we played in the opening session. Then this year I came back once more to launch an anthology of Brazilian poetry for children and I also had the chance to sing for children as well. Liz (Calder) invited me to come here to FlipSide and said to me: “this place is made for you. It suits your spirit.” As soon as I came I understood what she meant, it is very pretty here and the sea is incredible.

The festival covers music, literature and poetry, something that has been very present in your own music. How do you consider the relationship between these different forms? 
I don’t think there is a hierarchy between these forms, with one being “better” than the other. There exist marvellous lyrics in music and very bad poems. Brazilian music has a tradition of transmitting poetry through popular music, much like what happened in ancient Greece. Vinicius de Moraes was the first to use poetry to make popular music. He changed the history of lyric writing in Brazil, causing a revolution in Brazilian music.

Speaking of revolutions in Brazilian music, was tropicália a direct influence on your music?
Tropicália had already happened by the time I was born. It was something very strong and very intense, it happened very quickly over a very short period of time. However, it went on to influence a great number of people. For me these cultural phenomena and the exploration of the so-called “low culture”, especially everything associated with the clothing, for example, using clothes without meaning, without “fashion”… all of this really interests me. In Brazil there is a moment during your adolescence when you have to choose: rock or MPB. Because I didn’t speak English very well and the rock that was being played at that time was progressive, hard rock I ended up heading towards MPB. I started listening to songs by people like Chico Buarque, Caetano (Veloso), (Jards) Macalé and became just crazy about the lyrics. From then on I started to buy more and more albums, singles and discographies.

So, could you tell us about your own songwriting process?
It isn’t always the same. I did notice that a lot of the time I am playing something I know but then I make a mistake or change a chord. This is the error of something new and from this you start to make a combination that didn’t exist before. Sometimes a song can appear out of nowhere and sometimes it takes 15 years for it to come out.

How did your latest album Micróbio de Samba come about?
The album came about when I realised I had a samba here, another one there, one I gave to someone, one I had in the drawer, etc. So, I decided to record them all together in a studio session so I could keep them on file. I recorded them with Domenico (Lancelotti) and Alberto Continentino with this really old guitar that I had bought that had such an incredible sound for samba. We started talking and thought why do this just to keep it to ourselves? Let’s do it to share, so I ended up doing shows and it was fantastic.

How do you see the music scene in Brazil at the moment?
Something has changed in Brazil – it is so much easier to make music than it ever was before. The music used to be much more controlled by the radio stations who chose the music that people would listen to. Anyone who dared do something else, something different would never survive. I remember during the time when Brazilian rock was really big and I was playing acoustic guitar it was seen to be quite something! With the rise of internet giving everybody the chance to make music, this control has ended and I think this is fantastic. Now artists are trying brand new things – they want to be who they are, instead of wanting to be their idols.

So, what projects are you working on now? You mentioned a collection of children’s poetry? 
Yes, for this project I chose the poets, I chose the poems and I drew the pictures. Compiling poems is very different from composing or songwriting. It is much more like interpretation, transmitting somebody else’s poetry. These are really important poets and such a thing didn’t exist in Brazil before so I kind of feel what I am doing is a public duty! And musically? We just finished an album called A Arca de Noé which is an album of songs for children originally recorded by Vinicius de Moraes and released in the 1980s. This year marks the centenary of his birth so we decided to remake the Arca album with new arrangements, bringing together lots of different artists that were influenced by the album in their childhood. Each artist interprets the song in their own style, all inspired by their own childhood memory of that particular song. Of course, the original will continue to sell because it is still a classic but this is another, modernised vision of the album.

 Do you think you will be back at Flip or indeed at FlipSide in the future?
Of course! If they’ll have me

Monday, November 4, 2013

On the video "A TOOTH FOR AN EYE", by The Knife, a Scandinavian electronic band

Today, March 8th, 2013, The Knife unveil ‘A Tooth For An Eye’ from their forthcoming album Shaking The Habitual released on 8 April, and premier their video directed by Roxy Farhat and Kakan Hermansson. Watch the video below, and read more about the video from Roxy Farhat.

 “A Tooth For An Eye” deconstructs images of maleness, power and leadership. Who are the people we trust as our leaders and why? What do we have to learn from those we consider inferior? In a sport setting where one would traditionally consider a group of men as powerful and in charge, an unexpected leader emerges. A child enters and allows the men to let go of their hierarchies, machismo and fear of intimacy, as they follow her into a dance. Their lack of expertise and vulnerability shines through as they perform the choreography. Amateurs and skilled dancers alike express joy and a sense of freedom; there is no prestige in their performance. The child is powerful, tough and sweet all at once, roaring “I’m telling you stories,trust me” (a quote borrowed from Jeanette Winterson’s novel The Passion). There is no shame in her girliness, rather she possesses knowledge that the men lost a long time ago. – Roxy Farhat

My office is a "Horder's Shrine"

...and I am so proud of it! Ha.🎉🎉🎉