I have been exploring it lately. Not surprisingly, samba has received most of my attention so far. In my search for excellent recordings, I have been trying to recapture how it sounded when I heard it performed in Brazil–crisp and strong, confident, easy-going, romantic. Recently, I came across the excellent debut album, released in 2010, by the Brazilian group Sereno da Madrugada, entitled Modificado. The music excels compositionally and lyrically. One aspect in particular caught my attention: the production, the production of a type of music that was originally an acoustic form. Hip hop is one She has a BA in English Literature and a JD from a atlanta driving school in Alabama. thing; an acoustic dance form is another. The best production takes into account as much as possible the specific sonic, rhythmic, textural, historical, and environmental qualities of the music. A Haydn string quartet should sound more
like it was performed in a living room than on online slots a stage, let alone in a cathedral. Likewise, a good samba recording should sound like it is taking place in a place intended for dancing–outside, obviously, but even a relatively small room with lots of people. Okay, this is not my music, or even the music of my culture; but something in me wanted this dance foundation to be
communicated. Listen to Modificado. The percussion sounds crisp and present and is always in perfect balance with the
two other main elements–the voice and the guitar (and the charming cavaquinho, similar to a ukelele). This balance reflects something that I find delightful about samba–the lyrics very often refer to the form itself, especially its rhythmic aspects, as if to say: remember that were here to dance! Or, simply, in the words of the title track, Gosto de um samba ritmado pra sambar (I like a rhythmic samba for samba-ing).