December 27, 2016 groovacious

Music – the DNA connection

ATS Favela Pic HeroI believe that music is the direct link to our DNA

No matter if balinese music captures our hearts, a classical concert moves us to the core or a Brazilian samba percussion group makes us cry, we are hearing Mother Earth directly calling our souls:

“Remember, you ARE THIS!”

The first time I went to Rio de Janeiro, not being able to speak even a word of Portuguese (not even Obrigado = Thank You) I set foot on the Avenida Vieira Souto, which runs along Ipanema Beach and right outside my little hotel in Arpoador.

Without intention, I ended up standing right next to a little peaceful demonstration of a group of teachers who were protesting their inadequate pay.
They carried their message by the means of a group of 12 musicians who began to play the initial call for a Batucada, (which is part of the traditional Samba rhythms) and launched into the astonishing power of this earthshaking rhythm.

I was glad that I had my sunglasses on as tears started streaming down my face and I began to sob.

CBC Parade 2015I had no clue why that was happening, yet there I was, in the middle of a Bateria group, at Ipanema Beach and the deeply African rhythm swept me away and carried me along for several hundred yards, although I could have easily stayed inside of it forever.

My soul had come home and my tears confirmed this.

The chants over the rhythm spoke of these people’s plight and taught me a completely different way of speaking to people about issues that move us – and to do it with music !

Let me assure you that no recording medium known to us today will be able to capture the visceral power and warm intensity of this music.

“Remember, you ARE THIS”

Today I urge you, when this cry comes, follow it with all your heart.

I am blessed to now being able to perform my take on Brazil’’s immense cultural gift with my band, HeartBeat Brazil.
It took me 57 years to really be ready to let go of almost everything else (Except being a busy music producer) and give space to this longing and the profound love for what reached my ears, body and soul that afternoon, on my first day in Ipanema

Here is my humble contribution which ends with a energetic Batucada, taking the rhythm and the song to it’s next destination!

STEPHAN OBERHOFF