Pedra Branca

Chill out ACT from Brazil

Author: RM
Date: Dec 11, 2003
Views: 1746

Pedra Branca

For bookings and information, please
contact: pedrabrancabrazil@hotmail.com
Text: Joana Coccarelli
Pics: Andre e Lisa(zuvuya.net)

Brazil is the great seed planted by the Portuguese king Dom Manoel, The Fortunate, foward the unexplored, ancient seas in the year of 1500. Brazil is the feijoada. Brazil is where everything mixes. Is where the white and black men, the Catholicism and all the other religions, mixes. A Lusitanian-Afro-Tropical civilization appeared, as effect of prince Dom Henrique´s dreams, to decode, on the cosmic domain, this great mystery.
- Glauber Rocha, Brazilian movie director, 1981

Brazil´s culture is a rich mosaic of many cultures of the world. No wonder Pedra Branca band, from São Paulo, Brazil, plays ethnical instruments and electronic timbres to create Brazilian experimental music.

This concept shows up in the samplers they use, which were recorded by Alfredo Bello, producer of the first Pedra Branca album, directly from traditional popular parties, chants of Amazonian tribes, typical rituals of the slavery times and folkloric prayers. The band also affirms its national roots through the execution of Brazilian rhythms with instruments of other nations.

In addition to the Arabian lute, the Indian sitar, tanpura and tabla, the Japanese samissen, the aborigine didgeridoo, the African udu and the Brazilian rattle, Pedra Branca uses instruments that were built by the musicians themselves, as the stringed armesk, made with a biscuit can and a broomstick. There is also the flute made with plastic water pipe, which sounds similar to the flute of the indians of the Xingu tribe*; another flute made with plastic water pipe and a balloon filled with water in the end of it; and a yellow conduit, covered with a gourd in the shape of an elephant. On the electronic side, the band develops bases with analogical synthesizers as moog or caribiam; organic textures with recorded voices; and delays on the organic sounds, as happens with the tabla, the didgeridoo and the voice. But more than reaching a contemporary atmosphere, and as it happens with the regular instruments, the musicians use the electronic language to explore timbres for experimental purposes.

The traditional identity of Pedra Branca´s ethnical instruments are pulverized with other musical elements, so rather than world music, they play Brazilian experimental music. This is a simple concept: for centuries Brazil has been the new homeland for immigrants from hundreds of countries. Once in Brazil, most of them married people from different origins than theirs – from this mixture, the Brazilian people was born. The musicians themselves reflect this reality: Luciano Sallun descends from Arabians; Aquiles Ghirelli´s family is composed by Italians and Indians; and João Ciriaco´s, from Africans.


 

 

 

 

 

Pedra Branca´s musical flux is always mutant, never crystallized. This is particularly evident on their live concerts, when they are able to develop improvisations among themselves and with guest musicians. Other forms of art are always welcome: for Pedra Branca, the concept of “jam” includes the parallel performance of dancers, VJs and actors.

Pedra Branca (which means White Stone) was a Brazilian indian who became a powerful cure entity after he passed away. According to the folk myth, his spirit is able to heal human pain when he manifests during shamanic ceremonies.

*Amazonian tribe that still resists the exploration of the white, western men.

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