'REVOLUTION & CHANGE'
SÃO PAULO, 1969
A programme of Music and Arts exploring the cultural explosion of the Tropicália Movimento Vs the Military Junta in Brazil.
Friday 27th May 2016, Rough Trade Nottingham 7pm - 11pm
7pm -7.30pm A selection of short films about the Tropicália movement and Brazil.
7.30 - 8pm We will be joined by Russ Slater, the editor of the excellent Sounds and Colour magazine, a website and print publication dedicated to Latin American music and culture.
8 - 11pm In the spirit of Tropicalismo, residents Ex-Friendly, Joff and special guest Kidfix aka Rick Smith (and possibly more!) will be dropping a wide variety of vintage, rare and future-looking Brazilian music. Expect Tropicália madness from fuzzed up pop, psychedelic and heavy samba to bossa nova, Bahian Bass, Baille funk, hip hop and tropical flavoured housey vibes...
Outpost Coffee Roaster - Fazenda Pantano, Cerrado cocktail special
Outpost are roasting outstanding coffee from around the world, just round the corner in Radford.
Their values of selecting only exceptional coffee, from farmers with careful farming practices that are fairly paid, results in a great cup that fits with our Revolution & Change message. Outpost's top man Greg spent many years as a cocktail barman and has put together a special cocktail for us with his Fazenda Pantano, Cerrado, farmed a few miles west of Sao Paulo. Come along and try an exceptional coffee coffee cocktail from one of the best new roasters in the UK.
Caetano Veloso - “E Proibido Proibir” (It Is Forbidden to Forbid).
The roots of Tropicalismo are tangled and knotted with the many inspirations and pressures that birthed it. Brazil in the 1960s was under the heavy fist of successive right wing military administrations, known as the ‘Junta’, who took control in a US backed coup d'état in 1964 (and didn’t return Brazil to civilian government until 1985). On the opposing side were fiercely nationalistic left wing students who perceived (correctly) the government as being propped up by western money. Neither would be friends to the burgeoning scene of musicians, poets, artists and writers who would create the short-lived but enduring Tropicália movement.
Tropicália took its name from a 1967 installation by Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica, and artists and thinkers such as Torquato Neto, Glauber Rocha and Augusto de Camposa were vitally important in supporting the movement with ideas and their own work but musicians would be the driving force.
The key originals of the scene, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Tom Zé and Gal Costa all came from and met in the north eastern state of Bahia, but the ‘movimento’ really took off when they moved to the sprawling metropolis of São Paulo where they met the urbane talents of rock band Os Mutantes and musical arranger Rogério Duprat.
A dominant principle of Tropicália was ‘antropofagia’, a ‘try anything’ attitude to creating and being. A living protest against the traditionalists on both sides of the political spectrum who demanded the right to define art and culture. Hugely influenced by The Beatles’ 1967 ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Hearts Club Band’ album, the musicians grafted western style pop, garage rock, psychedelia, bossa nova, samba, classical and jazz ideas onto experimental time signatures and avant-garde electronics. Their original home of Bahia has probably the richest African heritage in Brazil, being the birthplace of the religion Candomblé, the martial art Capoeira, and samba, and this permeated the already rich stew that the Tropicalistas were cooking up.
It is impossible to define what the Tropicalistas sounded or looked like because it was so diverse, it was the approach to creating something new in the face of authoritarianism that defined them. A Brazilian hippy movement? An underground, experimental scene that appeared regularly on mainstream TV doesn’t appear to be the most revolutionary of movements but they seriously ruffled the feathers of the establishments on all sides, culminating in the arrest and incarceration (plus symbolic shaving of heads) of Gil and Veloso in late 1968, leading to their forcible exile to London in 1969. They returned in the early 1970s and resumed stellar musical careers but others were not so lucky, with members being forced into psychiatric hospitals or tortured.
1969 saw the death throes of the movement as the military tightened their hold on cultural expression and protest, but it’s imprint on Brazil was deep and permanent. The experimental and outward-looking atmosphere that Tropicalismo created encouraged early bossa nova stars such as Marcos Valle and Jorge Ben, and songwriters like Milton Nascimento, to stretch out musically and politically. Originals like Gil, Veloso and Gal Costa went on to become national treasures and Gilberto Gil even became Minister of Culture for Brazil between 2003 and 2008.
The ripples of the Tropicália Movimento have spread slowly across the globe influencing artists from Talking Heads frontman David Byrne to Paul Simon, Beck and Devandra Banhart. More importantly, there is a real acknowledgement now in Brazil about the movement and what was achieved with the new Bahia Bass scene experimenting with traditional Brazilian sounds and contemporary electronic ideas and the militant favela band AfroReggae quoting Veloso’s ideas in the 1960s as their inspiration.
The Revolution and Change series looks at significant dates, events and places in history and presents a snapshot of the music and art connected to these events. The programme includes collaborations from Nottingham and UK based individuals that in some way are trying to create a revolution or change in their field.