quarta-feira, 23 de dezembro de 2009

Live to Jukebox

I am for certain not the most tuneful of my generation, guess that my hearing as never been adapted for music or languages. My father and mother could play the violin and piano respectively since it was expected that you played an instrument as part of your ability to entertain others, yet surprisingly both my parents would not help their children to play an instrument, my eldest probably learnt more from my father since they had time to get to know each other again after the second world war had finished, and my other brother seemed to be my mothers favourite and got away with learning to play the guitar in the house. My other brother and I did not manage to learn much at home, I learnt a little at the house of my grand parents, just enough to play the piano from sheet music but not enough to learn any pieces by heart. As children it seemed that music was always made from spoons, washboards or made up guitars. Very little radio and almost no television, music in the parlour was only played when there were visitors or my parents were on their own. I can remember buying records and then having to ask for them to be played on the radiogram, it was in my teens that my mother took me to the street market to find and buy a second hand turntable for my record collection.
I had a slightly different attitude to music than my brothers, I loved the wailing black music, Blues was my ideal and with that it took me into Soul and Reggae along with John Mayall's music which then took me into folk and Bob Dylan and the Yardbirds, Van Morrison and Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones and Traffic, Joan Beaz and Incredible String Band, Roxy Music and T.Rex, Winter Brothers and John Lennon.......etc
I am sure that this trend to make music was the same in Brazil, in the past it would be the collonial link, the way that those could remember their family roots, whether it be African or Portuguese, German or Spanish, Hollandes or Italian, the folk music played at home or in the street was a direct throw back to their roots and here in Brazil that is not such a long history. Carnaval again was much like this until the late 1950's but has now disappeared into a mass market of CD's and the band wagon pop group supporting their music sales, Samba is almost history, kept alive for tourists and brought out only once a year. It is best to go into the interior of Brazil to find these traditions on a more weekly basis, there is more need for the community to get together frequently and the desire for local groups to play and dance is still active as it is in Europe.
I have just been reminded of skiffle groups of my eldest brothers time and the college bands that always played to a fairly full house, in Exeter, Devon it was common in all the pubs to have some form of local band or musicians playing, as it was when I first went to Scotland, in fact I do remember that most pubs in London supported the piano player in preference to any music box, but that died out during the first two years that I was living in London and the jukebox was their replacement. There are a few hardy fellows that keep a few pubs in Edinburgh as music venues, either folk or jazz, and they are indeed welcome places for the student as nuch as the older listener. I have no real experience of this in Brazil and would not know if there is any such culture here, I would think that it is not their idea of a good nights music and unless the volume can be turned up it would not appeal to many.