A Festival Of Underground, Experimental & International Music
April 2021
More Information Coming Soon

Rio day three – The market is closed and watching vultures




Now I know this is hard to believe but today I decided to do some work and have a quiet day at the computer. What a lovely apartment I’m staying at. Roberta is the most kind host. Thanks Chico and Tathiana. A large balcony looks across the bay to Urca and Sugar Loaf and those frigate birds just soar. It is not just frigate birds today there were a host of black vultues. Of course the weather has been so strange that even the mighty Christ the Redeemer has been absent from view. Outside the apartment block there is on a Wednesday the most amazing fruit and veg market. About 2pm I decide to go down to it but just is my luck they are packing up everything. markets are a morning things! What remains is amazing though.

The blog will be cerimoniously handed over to Charlie Knox now. Charlie and Catriona had a much more adventurous day over in Niteroi…

Its been a fairly intense few days for me and my wife Catriona. We were married on Saturday and after a boozy lunch in Glasgow on Sunday now find ourselves in Rio De Janeiro with the inimitible Alasdair Campbell for Novas Frequencias 2015. As Alasdair has noted in in previous posts we were greated not by the 40°C assult we had been preparing for but rather a far more Glaswegian drizzle. Still, Rio has been no dissiapointment. This is a wild, confusing, colourful and joyful place with some of the warmest and naturally friendliest people I have met.

Today we went on a ferry trip across the bay to neighbouring Niteroi for a tour of some of Oscar Niemeyer’s modernist masterpieces. I an fascinated by developing a sculptural approach to composition and find his almost gestural architecture greatly inspiring. We explored some of his most famous building and a particular highlight was recording impulse responses inside the Niemeyer Foundation Building. This crazy space age building (pictured) has the most fascniating and disorientating acoustic I have ever experienced.

When we got back from Niteroi we came across a lady from Bahai celebrating her birthday by offering up her home cooked stew to passers by in the street, either free or for a donation to help the local community. She seemed bemused to find out I was a musician from the UK, but very happy we enjoyed her cooking.

Portrait of King Midas Sound

Portrait of King Midas Sound

On the subject of food, later that evening we went for dinner and accidentaly ordered two steaks each. Just as we managed our way through the first huge chunk of meat the waiter to out amazment plonked two more down on our plates, like it was no big deal. “More?” We asked incredulous. “More” he smiled. We stumbled home in the warm rain full and contented. Rio is a surreal, confusing and wonderful place.

thanks Charlie…

The evening sport happened back at Sesc Ginastico. I was wondering how King Midas Sound would work in a traditional seated Theatre space but it did and in fact it probably made the whole hazed out experience more enjoyable some how. Kevin Martin’s sound world is totally remarkable. There is a direct lineage from the old jamaican Sound Sytems of King Tubby and Yabby You et al through Adrian Sherwood’s On-U sounds experiments to the Hyperdub world with a whole lot of stuff in between. There was some concern about the system in the theatre holding up. But King Midas knows what he is doing.

This research trip was kindly supported by: