WBEZ | Global Notes http://www.wbez.org/series/global-notes Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Understanding the K-Pop explosion http://www.wbez.org/series/global-notes/understanding-k-pop-explosion-104069 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/6210441885_45e8e7e3b6_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>South Korean pop star PSY has topped the YouTube charts with his video Gangam Style. &nbsp;He&rsquo;s taken over Just Bieber&rsquo;s record with more than 810 million views. The artist is a product of South Korea&rsquo;s K-pop scene, a musical genre that&rsquo;s a mix of dance, electropop, hip hop and rock. It&rsquo;s also a growing subculture around the world and gaining popularity here in the U.S. &nbsp;<em>Morning Shift</em> host Tony Sarabia explains how the music got started and why it&rsquo;s become such a global phenomenon.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Featured tracks:</em></p><p>1 Gangnam Style -&nbsp;PSY</p><p>2 Butterfly - Super Junior</p><p>3 Lonely -&nbsp;2NE</p><p>4 R.E.A.L -&nbsp;Wonder Girls</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/mYPvAMrMzwI" width="560"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 28 Nov 2012 12:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-notes/understanding-k-pop-explosion-104069 A music report from WOMEX http://www.wbez.org/series/global-notes/music-report-womex-103728 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/WOMEX12_black.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Catalina Maria Johnson is just back from WOMEX 2012, one of the&nbsp; most renowned World Music conferences.&nbsp; This year it was held in Greece. She fills us in on some of the musical acts she discovered.</p><p>Catalina&#39;s picks:</p><p>1 - <a href="http://www.dakhabrakha.com.ua/" target="_blank">Dakhabrakha</a> - Light<br />2 -<a href="http://www.soundsandcolours.com/articles/colombia/grupo-canalon-de-timbiqui-una-sola-raza/#more-12863" target="_blank"> Canalón de Timbiqui</a> - Molino, Molinete<br />3 - <a href="http://www.anthonyjoseph.co.uk/spasmband.php" target="_blank">Anthony Joseph and the Spasm Band</a> - Tanty Lynn<br />4 - <a href="http://www.womex.com/virtual/zig_zag_world/mokoomba" target="_blank">Mookomba</a> - Njoka<br />5 - <a href="http://www.electricpowwow.com/" target="_blank">A Tribe Called Red</a> - Electric Pow Wow</p></p> Wed, 07 Nov 2012 13:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-notes/music-report-womex-103728 Ghoulish soundtracks from across the globe http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-10/ghoulish-soundtracks-across-globe-103553 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/bloodbath.jpg" style="height: 628px; width: 620px; " title="Halloween horror, Bollywood style! (image courtesy Finders Keepers)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F65552266&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Halloween&rsquo;s a good excuse to indulge in some cinematic terror. Now the thrills of a good horror film depend on a variety of things: the acting (the worse the better), the ratio of gore to plot (if it bleeds zoom in close and hold), and an adherence to generic conventions while not being afraid to wreak havoc with them (seen <em>Cabin in the Woods</em> yet?).</p><p>But the soundtrack is also an essential part of a film&rsquo;s fright factor. In the U-S the undisputed masters are Bernard Hermann and John Carpenter. But take a look at films from across the world and you&rsquo;ll find other musical geniuses at work, in a variety of genres. For this edition of <em>Global Notes </em>we&rsquo;re sharing some of our favorite international horror soundtracks and composers - please add yours in the comments section!</p><p><strong>1. Goblin, Title Track, <em>Profondo Rosso</em> (Italy, Dario Argento, 1975)</strong></p><p>The Italian rock group Goblin was a double threat: They found success both as popular musicians and soundtrack composers. Band leader Claudio Simonetti trained as a classical composer and pianist, but he feasted on &lsquo;70s prog rock, like Deep Purple and King Crimson. Thanks to their success amongst the progsters, they came to the attention of Dario Argento, who was in search of music better suited to his own visionary and genre-breaking horror.</p><p><em>Profondo Rosso</em> (Deep Red in English) was their first collaboration together. Many (including Simonetti) think <em>Suspiria </em>their best soundtrack work, and it&rsquo;s true they went all the way to weirdo town on that one. But I find this track endlessly compelling: So pure, so metal, so drum-tastic! &nbsp;Argento may terrify you but Goblin&rsquo;s sounds will keep you happily head-banging. And lovely to discover: Simonetti&#39;s still active and will be <a href="http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2012/10/27/composer-claudio-simonetti-talks-argento-suspiria-and-dracula-3d/">appearing in Los Angeles this weekend!</a></p><p>Other notables in the high art high camp Euro-horror world of the &lsquo;60s and &lsquo;70s: Polish composer Krzysztof Komeda, who trained as a jazz musician, but also accomplished the impossible: making Roman Polanski films like <em>Rosemary&rsquo;s Baby</em> even creepier! The avant garde composer Krzysztof Penderecki never composed for popular film, but his t<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwaEOyOw9tk">hrilling, strange arrangements</a>, were used in films ranging from <em>The Shining</em> to <em>Fearless.</em></p><p><strong>2. Bappi Lahiri, Disco Title Track, <em>Dashat </em>(India, Ramsay Brothers, 1981)</strong><br /><br />Wow. What better than a rather raw disco track to accompany a truly B grade horror film, straight out of Bollywood?&nbsp; The film involves bat venom poisonings and a Hamlet motif - beat that, Hollywood!</p><p><a href="http://www.bappilahiri.com/">Bappi Lahiri</a> is truly the king of the dance floor track in India. He&#39;s also quite the character: he&#39;s fallen in and out of favor as a composer and been accused of musicial plagiarism with alarming regularity. But<a href="http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-07-23/news-and-interviews/32789233_1_bappi-lahiri-bollywood-bappi-da"> this month</a> he&#39;s celebrating 40 years of success in the Hindi film industry wtih a couple of concerts.</p><p>Lahiri&rsquo;s just one stand-out on Bollywood Bloodbath: The B-Music of the Indian Horror Film Industry. This rather amazing compilation from British label Finders Keepers &nbsp;covers almost forty years of Bollywood horror films, from 1949-1985, which also includes tracks by Laxmikant Pyarelel.</p><p>If you want to watch the film (translated as <em>The Terror</em>) you can find the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj8X7r8h1gA">entire thing online</a>. And if you&rsquo;re starting to develop a taste for horror soundtracks, you&rsquo;re in luck. &nbsp;They&rsquo;re having a bit of a resurgence these days. &nbsp;Another UK label (the Brits seem to love their horror) <a href="http://www.deathwaltzrecordingcompany.com/">Death Waltz Recording Co</a>. is issuing a number of classic American soundtracks (<em>Halloween</em>, <em>Zombie</em>) on vinyl, complete with fabulous, limited edition artwork.</p><p><strong>3. Johan Soderqvist, &quot;Oskar in Love&quot;, <em>Let the Right One In</em> (Sweden, Tomas Alfredson, 2008)</strong></p><p>This is music to swoon...and then die by. One of my favorite horror films in recent years, and a lot of that has to do with this remarkable, classical soundtrack. Listen to the contrast between the lush, mournful piano and the menacing muted strings beneath &ndash; a wonderful take on the attraction/repulsion principle that animates every vampire. It&rsquo;s in stark romantic contrast to some of the more frenzied film scores.</p><p><a href="http://www.maintitles.net/features/interviews/johan-soderqvist/">Soderqvist</a> became famous for this soundtrack, which is wonderful performed by the Slovak National Symphony. But he&rsquo;s also composed for other star directors of the Nordic cinema, especially Susanne Bier). Other contemporary composers who mine the more mellow side of music for horror films: French musician Alexandre Desplat (<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGnt42d67Mc">Twilight</a>) and Wojciech Kilar&nbsp;(<strike>Martin Scorcese&#39;s</strike>&nbsp;Francis Ford Coppola&#39;s <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e8wO_byduQ&amp;feature=related"><em>Dracula</em></a>).</p><p>What would you add to this list? Leave your comment below - and happy Halloween!</p></p> Wed, 31 Oct 2012 10:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-10/ghoulish-soundtracks-across-globe-103553 Celebrating the career of Kollywood composer Ilaiyaraaja http://www.wbez.org/globalnotes/celebrating-career-kollywood-composer-ilaiyaraaja-102862 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/31748581_700x700min_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In this week&#39;s installment of our <em>Global Notes</em> series, Jerome is joined by<em> Morning Shift</em> and <em>Radio M</em> host Tony Sarabia for a primer on the career of Ilaiyaraaja. A longtime composer in the Tamil film industry, Ilaiyaraaja has blended Eastern and Western influences into a sonic blend as colorful and funky as the Kollywood films he&#39;s scored.</p><p>Here&#39;s a look at some of Tony&#39;s picks:</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8jxTq5wK4mA" width="480"></iframe></p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/5TuK3evLlR0" width="480"></iframe></p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/YL3BO3hg48I" width="480"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 03 Oct 2012 11:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/globalnotes/celebrating-career-kollywood-composer-ilaiyaraaja-102862 Zamin channels classical and global influences through an indie rock amp http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-09/zamin-channels-classical-and-global-influences-through-indie-rock-amp-102192 <p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="338" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/48907174" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="600"></iframe></p><p>Though the Chicago band <a href="http://zamin.bandcamp.com/" target="_blank">Zamin</a> considers itself strictly an indie rock band, its conservatory-trained, classical music pedigree and global influences belie such a simple categorization. Zamin&rsquo;s self-titled debut has more than a touch of singer Zeshan Bagewadi&rsquo;s heritage imbedded in the music -- singing in his ancestral language, Urdu.</p><p>Despire their worldly influences, the band shies away from the &quot;World Music&quot; label, Josh Fink remembers being categorized in their early days, &quot;When we first started, we didn&rsquo;t know why people were calling us that, but now we do.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s because we use a lot of... eastern and western style classical instruments.&quot;</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/1PDwu6PE-3A" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Whatever you call what they do, &quot;World Music&quot; or &quot;Hindi-Indie&quot; or &quot;Indian World Pop,&quot; the band firmly places itself in the context of indie rock, and some of the more adventurous mainstream acts like Bjork, Radiohead and Sigur Rós.&nbsp;</p><p>The band performs next week on Tuesday, September 11th, as part of Fulcrum Point&rsquo;s Annual <a href="http://www.fulcrumpoint.org/event-schedule/current-season.html#911" target="_blank">Concert for Peace: Harmony &ndash; East Meets West</a>. The event takes place at the Chase Auditorium in downtown Chicago and&nbsp;will feature music from Chinese, Israeli, Indian-American and Native American artists.&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 05 Sep 2012 11:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-09/zamin-channels-classical-and-global-influences-through-indie-rock-amp-102192 Global Music: Useful phrase or restrictive labeling? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/global-music-useful-phrase-or-restrictive-labeling-102060 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP06061805799.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Twenty-five years ago this summer, some music enthusiasts got together in London pub to come up with a way to make selling music from different parts of the world easier for record stores. Worldbeat and Tropical were some names that were tossed about but finally, World Music was the phrase that stuck.</p><p>According to those at the meeting this phrase was and remains for them nothing more than a term &ndash;not a genre- to help record stores categorize. But over the years some have argued the term ghettoizes music from nonwestern parts of the world and restricts those artists from reaching a broader audience. Yes and no. The Congo based band Staff Benda Bilili continues to sell out it shows around the world. But you don&rsquo;t hear them much on U-S music radio (except for WBEZ&rsquo;s Radio M).&nbsp; I think the term World Music has scared away U-S music radio programmers from taking a chance on an artist that would easily fit into its format, but because of a language barrier it&rsquo;s a no go.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" scrolling="no" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/JtVZhaZp6Ng" width="420"></iframe></p><p>But if a record store listed Natalia Lafourcade under rock, would the average rock fan take notice of the Monterrey Mexico based artist who is as forward thinking and innovative as Grimes or St. Vincent? Hard to say. Then again does placing her in the Latin/World Music section help? And why is the Eastern European centric sounds of the Albuquerque based&nbsp; A Hawk and A Hacksaw defined as indie and not World Music? Is it because one of its members is a former drummer in a much loved indie rock band? This is one of the problems with the phrase World Music; there&rsquo;s no clear definition of what it is in this fusion saturated 21st century world of music, or should be thrown into that bin.</p><p>I think a couple of solutions to getting more exposure to good music no matter where it comes from is for music radio to be willing to take more chances and trust their audiences, and for rock and hip hop music critics to go beyond mainstream/Western sounds within those genres and think/listen outside the box. Until that happens, when it comes to the phrase World Msuic, some say, &ldquo;if it ain&rsquo;t broke&hellip;&rdquo;</p></p> Wed, 29 Aug 2012 14:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/global-music-useful-phrase-or-restrictive-labeling-102060 Global Notes: Indigenous sounds get a new beat http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/global-notes-indigenous-sounds-get-new-beat-101863 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Tonolec1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Music is a universal language. That&#39;s the cliché,&nbsp;but on a planet with thousands of regional languages and musical traditions, it&#39;s a universal language with dialects to spare.&nbsp;Wednesday on&nbsp;<em>Global Notes</em>, Jerome and<em> Eight Forty-Eight</em> host Tony Sarabia chart the course of indigenous language and rhythms into modern territory, as pan flute meets Moog and Mapudungun raps rhyme over drum machines.</p><p>We start our journey in Benin with&nbsp;<strong>Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou</strong>:</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/LXIg-Mp-ZRI" width="420"></iframe></p><p>Describing the cultural influences that go into the music of&nbsp;Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou is impossible without more slashes and hypens than I&#39;m comfortable typing. Afro-beat Art-rock / Soukous-Vodun funk? They aren&#39;t actually puppets, but their music is just as fuzzy and appealing.</p><p>Next, to the Chaco province of Argentina, with&nbsp;<strong>Tonolec:</strong></p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" scrolling="no" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/g6GUlCIG88c" width="420"></iframe></p><p>Embedding northeastern Argentina&#39;s traditional Qom dialect with a modern sheen of synths and electro-pop, Tonolec seeks to preserve and reclaim their nation&#39;s indigenous musical heritage. Charo Bogarín&#39;s vocals feel birdlike and lilting, and her partner in Tonolec,&nbsp;Diego Pérez, adds an almost arboreal texture to the duo&#39;s songs.</p><p>Staying in South America,&nbsp;<strong>Wechekeché Ñi Trawün</strong> rap in the Mapudungun language of their Mapuche ancestors.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/vveEbG4jc_A" width="420"></iframe></p><p>The mapudungun language of the Mapuche people of south-central Chile is spoken by less than a million Chileans, and rapped by even fewer, though&nbsp;Wechekeché Ñi Trawün (Young People Together) are working to change that. Their lyrics deal with upholding their traditions, both linguistic and cultural, laid down over mixture of hip-hop and reggaeton to ensure their words are heard for years to come.</p><p>Finally, we make our way back to the U.S., by way of Colombia, with <strong>Palenke Soultribe:</strong></p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="236" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/HWLdck1xy2Y" width="420"></iframe></p><p>Cumbia itself is a genre of blended influences, from native Columbian traditions to African slave songs and Spanish instruments. Palenka Soultribe is adding electronic music to that list of touchstones, as the LA-based act add big beats to the traditional rhythms of their native Colombia.</p></p> Wed, 22 Aug 2012 11:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/global-notes-indigenous-sounds-get-new-beat-101863 Reviewing the roots of rasta rhythms http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/reviewing-roots-rasta-rhythms-101544 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP02072303421.jpg" style="height: 261px; width: 400px; float: right; " title="Rastafarians dance to celebrate the birthday of Emperor Haile Selassie 1, July 23, 2002, in Kingston, Jamaica. (AP/Collin Reid)" /></div><p>I discovered reggae music in 1976 thanks to my 8th&nbsp;grade Social Studies teacher, Mr. Gilliam. He turned me on to Bob Marley&rsquo;s album <em>Rastaman Vibration</em>; it remains my favorite Marley album mostly because of its slower roots-reggae groove and horn-driven sound, but also because of the lyrics. This seems to be Marley in full-fledged Rastafari mode.</p><p>Back then I didn&rsquo;t even know what Rastafari was except that they smoked lots of pot, er, I mean ganja.</p><p>It wasn&rsquo;t until a few years later, while in high school, that I came across cover story in the <em>Reader</em> about Chicago&rsquo;s Rastafari scene. I learned about Leonard Percival Howell, a Jamaican who&rsquo;s considered the father of the movement. By the end of the lengthy piece, this then 16-year-old was ready to join the &quot;movement of Jah people.&quot; I tracked down the address of the main Chicago Rasta and wrote what I remember being a heartfelt letter &mdash; or as heartfelt as a 16-year-old wannabe hippie/Rasta can get &mdash;&nbsp;asking him to show me the way of Rastafari. I left the envelope with the letter inside on our family piano and it disappeared. Now I&rsquo;ve never confronted my parents about the mystery but I&rsquo;m almost positive my mom saw and read the letter and mortified, ripped it up, burned it and buried the ashes in the backyard.</p><p>Needless to say I moved on, but held on to my love of Bob Marley and the other roots-reggae I was discovering, without really looking at its history &mdash; until recently.&nbsp;With Jamaica celebrating 50 years of independence from Great Britain, it seems appropriate to take a look at a music that was born out of deep seated opposition to colonialism.</p><p>We need to start with Nyahbinghi, which is the most integral form of Rastafarian music and includes chanting, drumming, dancing &mdash;&nbsp;and smoking ganja.</p><p>The name Nyahbinghi comes from a movement in East Africa that dates to the 1850s, which opposed Euro-Imperialism. It was centered on a Ugandan woman who was accused of promoting witchcraft.</p><p>Drumming was and is the major element in Nyahbinghi and that drumming was used in what is considered the first ska record. Oswald Williams, aka Count Ossie, was a Rasta, who lived in the hills of Jamaica. He was a master Nyahbinghi drummer who had his own drum-centric group. Jamaican musician and record producer Prince Buster was looking for something new to add to ska-the country&rsquo;s most popular music in the early 1960s &mdash; something that had never been part of the sound before. So he brought the Count down from the hills, adding Nyahbinghi drumming to a song called &quot;Oh Carolina.&quot;&nbsp;Prince Buster&rsquo;s idea proved a hit with listeners and one can argue with that, the road to reggae was being paved.</p><p>Reggae not only incorporated Nyahbingi but leaned heavily on American music, such as R&amp;B and New Orleans sounds, and mixed in Rastafari themes of protest, going back to Zion (Ethiopia), Marcus Garvey&#39;s philosophies and a mix of Judeo-Christian beliefs.</p><p>These days though, reggae based on Rastafari is just one branch of the reggae tree. Or maybe it&#39;s the trunk that holds all the other branches &mdash;&nbsp;from lover&rsquo;s rock to reggaeton.</p></p> Wed, 08 Aug 2012 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/reviewing-roots-rasta-rhythms-101544 Pussy Riot: The Russian punk band calling for a revolution http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/pussy-riot-russian-punk-band-calling-revolution-101369 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP120331122198.jpg" style="height: 178px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="A police officer walks outside a bus before it departs for a city tour supporting the female punk protest group Pussy Riot in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, March 31, 2012. Three Pussy Riot members are currently imprisoned and awaiting trial on hooliganism charges. (AP/Mikhail Metzel)" /></div><p>For a band that has recorded only about five songs, Russia&rsquo;s Pussy Riot is sure getting lots of attention &mdash; but not for their music. Earlier this week members of band pleaded not guilty to charges of hooliganism. The women face up to seven years in prison for an unsanctioned performance in February, in which they entered Moscow&#39;s Christ the Saviour Cathedral, ascended the altar and called on the Virgin Mary to &quot;throw Putin out!&quot; The case has put an international spotlight on Vladimir Putin&rsquo;s treatment of dissent. &nbsp;</p><p>Pussy Riot&rsquo;s music has a typical punk rock sound: thumping bass, over powered drums and guitar. But they also include lots of performance art and impromptu gigs as a method of political protest. The collective of young women take their musical cue from riot grrl, the &#39;90s musical genre made famous by bands like Bikini Kill that addressed rape, domestic abuse, racism and patriarchy. Here&#39;s the offending song, &quot;Virgin Mary.&quot; The band &quot;prays&quot; to the Virgin to throw Putin our of office:</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/GCasuaAczKY" width="560"></iframe></p><p>While some of the lyrics are considered obscene, it&rsquo;s punk rock at its best; rattling the establishment. And while the average Russian may be turned off by the music itself, a poll suggests they support the message and are turning up their noses to the trial.</p></p> Wed, 01 Aug 2012 10:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/pussy-riot-russian-punk-band-calling-revolution-101369 Brazil's forro: Music 'for all' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/brazils-forro-music-all-101145 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/forro%20music%20AP.jpg" title="Joquinha Gonzaga plays accordion at New York's Lincoln Center during a 1999 tribute to his uncle, Brazilian folk musician Luiz Gonzaga. Luiz Gonzaga, known as the king of Baiao, was the first figure to popularize the Northeastern Brazilian folk music called forro, a fast and lively music driven by accordion, a bass drum and a triangle. (AP/Wanderlan P. Silva)" /></div><p>Quick, name two forms of Brazilian music. I bet most of you picked bossa nova and samba. They are after all the most known genres to come out of Brazil in the last 50-plus years.</p><p>What about forro? This genre of Brazilian music has not only influenced samba and bossa, but has swept Brazil and New York City in the past few years. Sadly there isn&rsquo;t much of a presence here in Chicago, although the band Swing Brasileiro is a good example. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/trip-rio-music-swing-brasileiro-100412">They played a set for us</a> on <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> in June.</p><p>Just so you know, in Portuguese, the double-R <em>is not</em> rolled, like it is in Spanish. In fact, the letter &quot;R&quot; sounds more like an &quot;H.&quot; Hence forro&#39;s pronunciation: FOH-hoe.</p><p>One theory behind the origins of the word forro is that it&rsquo;s a mispronunciation of the phrase &quot;for all.&quot; According to lore, British landowners would throw dance parties &quot;for all&quot; who could come.</p><p>The music&rsquo;s origins have more to do with cowboys and farmers than bastardized English, though. Forro is the sound of the fertile farmland and desert of the northeast of Brazil known as sertao.</p><p>Forro&rsquo;s syncopated rhythm is called the <em>baiao</em> and it has roots in African circle dances; it also incorporates polka and schottisches. The main instrument is a drum called the <em>zabumba&nbsp;</em><em>&mdash;</em>&nbsp;a bass drum that&rsquo;s played with a mallet on one hand and a stick in the other.</p><p>The godfather of modern forro is Luiz Gonzaga (1912-1978). He&rsquo;s credited with mixing the rural sound with a more urban feel and bringing instruments such as the accordion and triangle to the mix. As a matter of fact, the zabumba, and those two other instruments, are now considered the classic forro line-up. Gonzaga&rsquo;s tune <strong>&quot;Asa Branca&quot;</strong> is perhaps the most popular and beloved forro song. People from the Northeast would migrate to the <em>favelas</em> (slums) during the dry season and would often sing with nostalgia of returning to the land when the rains came. The protagonist in &quot;Asa Branca&quot; sings of having to leave the land and his lover because there&rsquo;s no rain and he can&rsquo;t make a living.&nbsp;Yes, it&rsquo;s a sad song; but he does promise to return.&nbsp;</p><p>In this video, you can watch the great Luiz Gonzaga wears the traditional&nbsp;<em>sertao</em>&nbsp;cowboy outfit doing some fancy forro dance moves.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="338" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/zLm-oO-9DUA" width="601"></iframe></p><p>At times forro sounds like Cajun music, especially with the accordion. But at its core, it&rsquo;s good ol&rsquo; fashioned Brazilian country music for dancing.</p></p> Wed, 25 Jul 2012 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/brazils-forro-music-all-101145