São Paulo days 1 & 2

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(note: I am writing with dictate software instead of typing. It makes me write in a different way.)

I woke up early and caught a taxi to the airport. Domestic flights are very easy here you can take liquids and you don’t go through security so it takes a lot less time. The flight to São Paulo is short.

On arrival I caught the bus to the Metro, then the metro to station near Bellas house. São Paulo already looks very different to Rio. It feels more like a concrete jungle and also looks more European in some way. On the walk to Bellas house I pass bars and coffee and food shops. Everyone’s told me that São Paulo is a more organised city and I can see that already. I guess this is what makes it feel more European to me, as well as the architecture. When I get to Bellas house I made her son Quim and her partner Thomas. Thomas also played at Novas Frequencias on the opening night at Teatro XP. We ate lunch and then Bella and Thomas had to do something family stuff. So I went to explore São Paulo. Following their suggestions, I headed towards Avenue Paulista via an incredible graveyard that is just up the road from their house that puts the necropolis in Glasgow to shame with its size and grandeur of the graves.

After the graveyard I cross over some large highways to end up on Avenue Paulista. My first stop was IMS. A fairly new cultural space, with galleries and the cafe in the library although I’m not sure the library is open to the public. There were two exhibitions open one was called corpus corpus and was an exhibition of photographers from Brazil. It featured work by Barbara Wagner whose work I had seen at MAM. She won the PIP prize. She had a film piece there as well as photographs of DJs from Receife. I Really liked this exhibition, there is a lot of great works with political focus to them as well as interesting technique. Upstairs there was a Robert Frank exhibition with photographs from all his books, it was an extensive exhibition and great to see so many of his photographs in the one place.

I continued along Paulista, wandering down side streets and watching the buildings. Eventually I came to itau cultural. There were a lot of people waiting out front for what I later realised was a book signing. On the fourth and fifth floors was an exhibition of art works by Europeans who colonised Brazil. It was very interesting as there were Scientific drawings of flora and fauna. As well as maps and landscapes from the 1500s onwards. This exhibition also had text in English and although it was interesting to see the work I felt like the text failed to refer to the Europeans as colonisers instead of using language describing the Europeans as prestigious. In this sense it didn’t feel like a history of Brazil to me instead an exhibition of colonisers drawings and paintings of Brazil. There was a lack of criticism of ownership of slaves and of the treatment of indigenous Brazilians. It was still an interesting exhibition to see and with a lot of very beautiful drawings that I would not get to see otherwise.

I got the subway back to Bellas house and I drank some local cachaça with Bella and Thomas before bed.

day 2

Didn’t do a lot in the day today I will help with my hand particularly sore so decided to go and buy something that actually fit. In Rio it seems like every second shop was a pharmacy and I seemed it would be the same here so I thought I’d have no problem finding a splint. It’s actually very different here in that sense. I spent quite a bit of the morning for the splint but I did and I have my hand feels a lot better. On the way back to Bellas I had a massage which also helped.

We got ready at Bellas she had been playing music with quim. He was going to join her in tonight’s show. We went to the space around 6 PM and set up our equipment and met the organisers and the other people who run the space. Bella and Quim played First and it was great and much more noisy than when we played together. I can see that we had both played differently as it was our first time playing together, what we had recorded on Sunday was much more ambient although still noisy with a lot of feedback. I think if we played again together now it would be very different.

Bella with using all sorts of speakers and microphone combinations to create static and screeches letter using a lot of objects and materials. I play not long after her set and started by playing noise and then quite quickly introducing the audience to the instruments. This went really well and every one passed around. instruments and we all made noise for a long time. Having a couple kids in the audience is great.

After the show we got some food and took a sleeping Quim home.

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