sábado, 6 de fevereiro de 2010

Tigre ano

Along with the trio eletrico I have another celebration this year, now starts the Chinese new year, the 14 February, and this year falls to the Tiger, the Chinese sign is my birth sign so I hope that will give me some bonus points this year...
2010 is the Year of the Tiger,
which is also known by its formal name of Geng Yin.
My sign is within the Tiger descending the mountain, which thankfully is meant to be a good omen, I suppose it may mean that I have experienced the climb, dealt with problems and descending with more knowledge and serenity, who knows. any one with the right knowledge please leave a comment to help me get the most out of this year.

Carnaval trio- eletrico

This site gives a good explanation of the changes that have made the carnaval now a completely comercial affair, almost without samba and certainly without any good dance music. It happens that the move to electric music on board a car and then a lorry, coincides with the month of my birth, so it is interesting to see how people seem to expect the Carnaval to be all electric and all advertising, either self promotion of the main pop bands or that of beer companies, both of which have made their names on the back of the changes in the traditional
Here is the article taken direct from the site.

On January 29th 1951, a Monday before carnival [1], Dodô and Osmar had a key experience while witnessing a parade of the famous brass band Clube Carnvalesco Misto Vassourinhas, who performed in Salvador on their way from Recife to Rio de Janeiro. The Vassourinhas were specialized in Frevo music, an up-tempo marching band style from Pernambuco that had become popular all over Brazil since the 1930s. The performance of the Vassourinhas in Salvador was an important and much anticipated event, amply covered by newspapers, welcomed by the authorities and supported by sponsors and radio stations.

[...] Almost the entire city went to see the parade on Avenida Sête. [...] I was there in the crowd, jumping and dancing behind them and next to them. It was pretty crazy, everybody was dancing. [...] It was then when i said to Dodô: Dodô, lets go out and play this kind of music. I already knew some of the songs. Compositions by Nelson Ferreira and Capiba, Frevo Rasgado", that kind of thing. The main theme is still played today, you know the one [sings the tune "Vassourinhas"]. This was when we set up the "Fobica", using a Ford '29."
O. Macêdo, 1995 apud PAULAFREITAS (2005)

The ensuing events are of great importance in the history of Bahian Carnival: Osmar's retired Ford '29, used to haul metal parts for his workshop, was transformed into a moving stage, in order to enable Dodô and Osmar to perform brass band Frevo tunes with their exotic pau elétricos during the upcoming festivities. Equipped with a 2 kW generator, decorated with carnivalesque motives and speakers mounted on front and rear, the musical Ford, nicknamed Fobica ("road hog"), entered the scene around 4 pm on Carnival Sunday, prime time. Backed by 6 percussionists and Osmars' father in law Armando Mereiles Costa dressed as a Hula dancer, it entered Rua Chile street at the height of Castro Alves square, mingling with the official parade (the car corso).

"..we messed up the corso, for we were followed by a compact crowd of people, jumping around and having fun like you'd never seen it in Bahia, [...] It was very exciting. More than 200 meters of people following the Fobica [...] When we were almost past Castro Alves Square, I asked Olegário Muriçoca, the driver, to halt for a while since the square offered more space. We asked him various times, but he just wouldn't stop. Already mad, me and Dodô started yelling at him, upon which he replied that clutch and breaks had broken a while ago and that the car had he motor turned off . It was being pushed forward by the crowd."
O. Macêdo, 1978 apud GÓES (1982)

This was the first time that popular carnival, usually restricted to backstreets and surburbs, had succesfully taken over the space of the offical celebrations which, although public, remained reserved for the activities of the Bahian elites. In hindsight, the parade of the Vassourinhas orchestra had served as a full dress rehearsal for the triumphant ride of the Fobica a few days later, including the enthusiatic reception of Frevo music by the entire city, the particular tunes, and the crowd that spontaneously followed the music around in a jumping dancing style. The episode had left everyone with their jaws down - including Dodô and Osmar - and marked the birth of both of a new musical genre (Frevo do Trio aka Frevo Novo aka Frevo Baiano) and a new form of celebrating carnival in Bahia, soon to be known as Trio Elétrico.

In the following year, Dodô and Osmar replaced their Fobica with a Chrysler Fargo pick up truck and added a third electric instrument to their set up: a triolim or tenor guitar, played by their friend Temístocles Aragão. Consequently, their name changed from Dupla Elétrica to Trio Elétrico. In the next year, they were back on a lorry featuring 8 speakers, flourescent lights and generators, sponsored by the local soft drink producer Fratelli Vita [2]. By the mid 1950s, when other bands had copied the concept, the term Trio Elétrico became generic.

"... a Bahian industrial by the name of Miguel Vita noticed that the Trio Elétrico had great advertising potential. [...] From thereon, the thing started growing, and other Trios appeared on pick up trucks, with lights and speakers everywhere. These people all played instruments that Dodô had built for them, since you couldn't buy them anywhere as you can today. There were at least 3 other bands then: "5 Irmãos", "Ipiranga", and "Conjunto Âtlas" [...] People would start to say 'Here comes the Trio Elétrico' when they saw these blinking vehicles playing frevo music. Eventually, the term would refer not just to our band, but to all these bands ...." O. MACÊDO 1978 apud GÓES (1982)

The years to come brought a landslide of vans, buses and trucks transformed into moving band stands, with an ever increasing sophistication in size, sound and decoration. Today, 60 years later, the old Ford'29 of the first Trio Elétrico evolved into the brontosaur sized road trains Bahian carnival has become so famous for: Mobile concert halls carrying 200 db (!) amplification on all four sides, a 25 piece band plus dancers stomping away on their roofs, very large crowds of people partying all around them and scientific articles published on the long term effects of exposure to their sound. The Pau Elétrico/Guitarra Baiana can take credit for having been among the principal raisons-de-être of these machines - which are still referred to as Trios.

When Dodô and Osmar withdrew from performing in 1960, the tradition was
firmly established and continued to grow in in the hands of other trios, most notably the Trio Tapajós, organized by Orlando Campos
since the second half of the 1950s.

quarta-feira, 3 de fevereiro de 2010

Return to the Cold

I have not written for some time and amfeeling guilty because of it, it has partly been caused by change in perspective, with the result of my catarct operation leaving me with one eye set at 0.75 and the other at -3.4, this left eye ie also messed up with glaucoma and a rather large floater that seems to prefer to float in the middle of my eye and never rest at the side or bottom, although i am told that this is possibly a good thing since it may damage the retina if it was to continually scrape along it. I was given advice to have two sets of spectacles, one for long and one for reading, which i duly bought, but it has not given me good or comfortable vision, rather it seems worse since the images that the eyes are now sending to my brain are of a different size and the lens are leaving me with a distance problem. The spectacles for close reading are almost set at 30cms exact and that does not allow me to move my head or the reading matter, as well as having the two eyes looking at different sized text, so any close work is better done without lens, this means that I am totally out of focus on the left side and not in true focus with the left eye since its new lens is for a distance of 3 metres and more. I hope that i will now buy another pair of spectacles that are varifocal and set for reading and up to 4 metres distance, this is the general range that I need for all my work and daily life, I can change the spectacles for driving and use the other for the odd close up.
There have been many things that I have seen and read that have occurred to me to be causes for verbalizing but with the vision problem and a few others that have needed attention, I have not felt the urge to sit at the computer and write. Also so many things in Brazil at the moment are covered by tragedy and problems due to global warming, that i feel that it would seem like I am writing a missery and complaints blog and not an informative and chatty one.
The other reaso around Christmas time, for my lack of internet use, was a virus attack that seemed to be set by one of my readers to stop me writing more blog pages, only kidding but i had a personal email that contained a virus and it stopped me getting internet connections, ended up with me taking everything off the computer and restarting from scratch. It is fine but you do lose a lot of detailed information and some small details that affect you for a time.
I have lost some small programme details that I had down loaded but not got backed up, and anther thing was the anti virus software had all my quick link details and the favourites, all lost.
I do a back up every week but that does not get everything saved.
Another friend in Brazil, as recently got a virus attack and I for one have been removing his emails without opening them, thus I have no idea how he has caught that virus but it is still sending out emails from his email address, which is the worst of it since an email from a strange address is far more likely to leave you apprehensive about opening it, but from a friend you are almost opening it before you read the introduction description, and I find that if you open an email and then move it to a file, the next email on the list will open automatically, so make sure you delete emails before hand if you do this as well as me.
I will try to move myself to write some thing a bit more educational and interesting, it may well be soon as I am leaving for Scotland at the end of the month and then back to France, hopefully I will be back in St Puy on the 14 March 2010, soon.
I had thought i would go straight to France but when I enquired at the British consul in Rio de Janeiro as to sending my passport for renewal, they replied that they no longer do that, they do not make renewals or new passports now, evidently since September 2009, and that now I would be required to send my passport to Washington DC in the United States of America. If I am not mistaken that is not my country of origin or the one where I live, so why should the consulate in the States want to do my passport , why not send everything back to Britain? so i am going to return early to Scotland to get a renewed passport , it will allow me to see friends, go to the dentist, possibly get a medical check up ( if I am allowed that) and buy some new spectacles for work and blogging.
It is good to know that I will be soon back in France, friends,good food and back to my machines, although the idea of returning to cold weather is worrying, I do not like the cold, my time in Brazil as put me off the idea of freezing, just the beer needs to have that. I will also be seeing my new house, or rather my very old house, that I have just bought in St Puy, I am not sure what the word is for a St. Puyian, but I am glad to be one, such a friend place and such beautiful countryside. I am slightly worried after my landlady in St. Puy, Nadine, told me that she would let me have the same room as before but make sure that it had a heater in it because of the cold weather, here I only cover the mattress with a thin cotton sheet and not myself, even I sleep with out any clothes since it is near 21 to 25 centigrade at night here. Still all for a good cause and I will have to toughen up to last the three months there, also my French as not progressed so I will be criticised for having not learnt any more before returning.....