A Festival Of Underground, Experimental & International Music
April 2021
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Rio Day Six – The Night of Charlie Knox




It’s Saturday and holy mother of pearl the sun is out. This is more the Rio I know. Sugar Loaf is splendid in the sun as is our pal Christ the Redeemer. It is Charlie’s big day at the festival so we rush over to Oi Futuro for his early soundcheck. Lia comes over with the taxi and we scurry off to Ipenema. The beaches are filling up with umbrellas and sun worhipers. It makes the traffic pretty tricky. As Charlie sets up Lia takes me out to get a Brazilian lunch. Cheese breads, salad and the most amazing juice called Acai. It is a thick smoothie like deep purple delight and really helps with the rehydration. I think this could be the answer.

It turns out that Negro Leo, Ava Rocha and Marcus and Felipe from the Chinese Cookie Poets are performing over at the beautiful Parque Lage at a one day event called Sonoridades celebrating a whole load of Brazilian artists – Marcos Valle, Kassin, Bixiga etc. So after lunch and fun with tables with Phil Niblock and Thomas Ankersmit I head over there to meet Leo. First I go for a beautiful jungle walk around the park. Gosh, the lush crazy plants and trees are stunning. As I ascend along the path I stumble on a hurdy gurdy player accompanied by a recoder player. Quite magical. It is so great to see Leo and his beaautiful wife Ava and it is a chance to at last hear Ava sing. During their soundcheck I catch the Chinese Cookie Poet guys off guard as they are quite surprised to see me there. Great people. As the sun goes down and the Parque fills with people Ava and the gang get going. Ava has quite the presence and is loved by the crowd and boy can she sing. I have to leave before saying goodbye but hopefully we’ll catch up again.

Back to Oi Futuro for the evenings pageant of sound at Novas Frequencias. Charlie is ready and the lights dim. He plays a blinder. A quadriphonic dance. The sound system is at full throttle and the crumbling beats and shape shifting noise is really brilliantly constructed. Well it is Glasgow’s Charlie Knox after all. Well done Charlie.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Ty Braxton’s set. I knew his stuff with the Battles so it was a pleasant surprise to really like his set. It was full of fun. It was a version of a commission for 5 percussionist and really hit the proverbial nail on the head. It was a well curated evening by Chico.

Then in good festival style we all hang around outside trying to work out not really anything. We know we are off for food. Chico takes us to an old 1940s Brazilian restaurant. Waiters in white jackets and all. I get chatting to Ty about the influence of his dad’s music on me especially his seminal record “For Alto”. This record was a milestone for solo sax and music in general. I also get to talk to Felicia Atkinson whose music I don’t know but will hear on Tuesday. Really lovely people and a great and late end to Saturday.

“I feel my limbs are made to feel glorious by the touch of this life.And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment” Rabindranath Tagore

This research trip was kindly supported by: