In the sea of bad news of 2021, one that took music fans by surprise was about the death of Fernando Barba, in the last month of February. Known for his charisma and for being one of the most beloved people in the Brazilian instrumental scene, the founder of the body percussion group Barbatuques would turn 50 in December, which prompted tributes to his work this month.
The first is the English edition of his autobiography “Life Begins There – A Story of Body Repercussion”, which he wrote with his sister Renata Ferraz Torres and which has an e-book version called “Sound from the start: a body percussion story ”.
Another of these tributes is the live that the group Barbatuques does this Saturday (4) on its YouTube channel (youtube.com//barbatuques/), broadcast from studio 185, in São Paulo, at 7:30 pm.
But the big presentation takes place on Sunday (5), at Sesc Pompeia theater, in São Paulo, where drummer and producer Bruno Buarque, a former member of Barbatuques, celebrates Barba’s work from 6 pm with conventional instruments.
The show also brings together musicians who worked with Fernando, such as the also barbatuque André Hosoi, on guitar, and vocalist Anelis Assumpção, and will be broadcast for free by digital channels on Sesc (youtube.com/sescsp and instagram.com/sescaovivo).
“This show is above all a tribute to a friend. A tribute to a master”, explains the drummer, who also worked with Criolo, Céu, João Donato, Anelis Assumpção, BaianaSystem, Karina Buhr, among other names in Brazilian music.
“The general public got to know Barba through his body and few people know that he was an excellent instrumentalist, one of those geniuses. He played the guitar, guitar, piano, flute and percussion masterfully. It was beautiful and impressive at the same time. That’s why I just wanted to show how your music and your work sound with the band.”
For this performance, he brought together guitarist and co-founder of Barbatuques André Hosoi, bassist Marcelo Cabral, trombonist Edy Trombone, pianist Daniel Ayres and dancer Regina Santos, as well as Anelis Assumpção, who sings the only two songs on the show with vocals.
In addition to the importance of the tribute, it is also the first show that the drummer and producer signs with his name.
Guitarist Hosoi remembers how he met his friend. “I think it was around 1986 that I saw him for the first time, in the waiting room at Travessia Escola de Música, where we were studying guitar. But I saw him playing the flute, over and over. We were teenagers, born in the same year, 1971, and as soon as I heard the sound coming out of the flute, albeit rudimentary, but with great fluency, I realized that there was something very special there in that skinny boy. I started arriving early to check out the group practice class he was taking and then I finally saw him playing guitar. It was impressive. Everything was always very natural, it was magical.”
the power of the body
The two studied music and shared a roof at Unicamp (State University of Campinas), when Barba started to form his group, after playing with songs played with the body.
“That’s when Barba had the idea of starting to organize the sounds and plan a body percussion class, something that I’m not aware of before. It caught the attention of the press, musicians and professionals from other areas. That’s where the Barbatuques group came from.”
“I followed the entire process of recording the first CD, playing and helping with the production”, continues the guitarist, who produced the group’s second album alongside Barba and Bruno, and from then on he started traveling to the rest of Brazil and abroad. Today, the musician coordinates the Núcleo Barbatuques, which carries out activities in the field of entertainment and education.
“Barbatuques is the best representation that the highest and most precious technology is organic”, adds Bruno.
The technology’s maximum resolution is still and always will be organic. After making a complete detour to innovations and challenges, we return to the most basic and powerful of all, which are our bodies and minds.
“Barbatuques is already part of the history of world music, representing our country”, continues Hosoi, listing different musicians with whom the group has shared the stage, such as Hermeto Pascoal, Naná Vasconcelos, Emicida and Alok.
“We were honored to represent the country in a series of international events, we went through more than 30 countries, in World Cups, Olympics, cultural events, various International fairs, cinema trails…”
He also anticipates what the group will do on Saturday’s live: “We will play Barba’s songs, this time leaving aside the compositions of other members, some more known by the public, such as ‘Baião Destemperado’, others not so much. , but they were chosen tracks from all the albums, including some pieces that we hadn’t done for years such as ‘Mangue a Manga’ and ‘Cheiro Verde’, two wonders of compositions”.
Bruno, on Sunday’s show, will pull one of the songs from the album he had been producing with Barba, which would be released this year
“During the period we lived together, Barba and I would always play in the room for hours on end and host friends for sound circles that went on into the night. He always wanted to make a record of his compositions played with the band and also a record where he would play all the instruments. He invited me to produce these records and we scheduled to start recording and see what was coming out, doing sessions in my studio, Minduca.”
The record, however, did not come off the paper due to Fernando’s health problems. “Unfortunately, when we actually started, he already had the tumor on his head, and this started to interfere a lot with our sessions, to the point that we had to interrupt them for him to do the surgery. At the show, we’ll play a song he had recorded here, and we’ll have him playing with us virtually, through the MPC sampler.”
“Barba was already away from rehearsals before the pandemic, due to the consequences of his head surgery, but we would meet and spend the afternoon talking and playing”, remembers Hosoi, who, remembering his friend’s death, reinforces the need for the group had to continue the work.
“We always knew that we had a mission to continue taking organic body music forward. More than a music group, we are a legacy of a wonderful, democratic and powerful idea that is body music. Through it, everyone can make music.”
Barba’s death reminded Bruno of a phrase by a collaborator of the group, André Magalhães, who used to say that “all life is complete”.
Bruno Buarque and guests: Tribute to Fernando Barba
Sunday (5), at 6 pm
Sesc Pompeia Theater – Rua Clélia, 93 – Água Branca. São Paulo)
Tickets: BRL 40 (full) and BRL 20 (half ticket provided for by Law and commerce workers registered at Sesc)
Online and free broadcast by Sesc SP’s Youtube channels (youtube.com/sescsp) and by Sesc ao Vivo’s Instagram (instagram.com/sescaovivo)
Reference: CNN Brasil