Highlights of the Festival Internacional de Música – Percussão Contemporânea

The second edition of the Festival Internacional de Música – Percussão Contemporânea was a huge success. Four days packed with concerts and workshops, featuring percussionists from Canada, USA, Argentina, and Brazil, representing a wide variety of styles and approaches. For more background info, please see my first blog post on the subject and for info about my activities during the festival, please see this post.
 

With Fernando Rocha, festival organizer extraordinaire!

 

The UFMG Percussion Ensemble in rehearsal for the opening concert



Wednesday, August 27 - The first day of the festival took place on the beautiful UFMG campus.
 

Fernando Rocha welcoming everyone to the festival

Bill Lucas and Bantuquerê - an incredible samba group! Bill is an amazingly dynamic and musical bandleader; and a really nice guy to boot!
 

The UFMG Percussion Ensemble performing the official opening concert in the evening, with Marcio Bahia on drumset.

Thursday, August 28 - Day two, at the Conservatorio UFMG

A really interesting vibraphone workshop with Ted Piltzecker, on the many hows and whys of dampening.
My solo concert took place on the Thursday night, with guests Elise Pittenger on cello, and the UFMG Percussion Ensemble, directed by Fernando Rocha.

Really honoured to have shared the evening with Hands On'semble, who played a great set of world drumming.

Friday, August 29 - Day three, at the Fundação de Educação Artística

A great way to start the morning - with a workshop on tabla and North Indian rhythm!

A concert by Fernando Rocha and the UFMG Percussion Ensemble, in honour of Eduardo Alvares. Some really different repertoire on the programme. In this particular piece, three of the percussionists were yelling through bullhorns!
 
Hands On'semble workshop, in which they demystified some of the repertoire they performed the previous night. Cycles of 9.5 beats, groupings of 3-3-2, 4-4-3, 5-5-4 ... all kinds of fun stuff! :)

The evening ended with a concert by Aiyun Huang and the Meehan/Perkins Duo. Aiyun performed a few of her music theatre pieces; my favourite would definitely have to be Sean Griffin's Tension Study II: Eagle Claw Wu Tsiao Chen Wins. 

Saturday, August 30 - Day four, at the Fundação de Educação Artística

This day was packed with numerous activities, including a pandeiro workshop with legendary Guello, a mini-concert by Fabio Oliveira and Fernando Chaib, a workshop by the Meehan/Perkins Duo, and a concert by the Grupo de Percussão da Fundação Cultural Patagônia, from Argentina. Unfortunately, I don't have photos of all.

A frame drum, augmented with a Wii controller, for movement and orientation detection.
 
Eduardo Campos and his augmented frame drum
 
Charles Augusto and his augmented guiro

An incredibly inspiring concert by Duo Ello - Carlos Stasi and Guello. AMAZING!

The closing concert featured jazz vibraphonist Ted Piltzecker, and was held outside at the beautiful Praça da Liberdade.

Sunday, August 31 - At Inhotim. Not officially part of the festival, but a great number of us went to attend a concert by Nana Vasconcelos. Inhotim is a unique, indoor/outdoor contemporary art museum. Such a beautiful place. Definitely worth visiting if you are ever in the area! Nana's concert was inspiring. As Andrew from Hands On'semble said, "it was a perfect day." 'nuff said.

Nana was smiling the entire time. What a cool dude. His glass ghatam sounded INCREDIBLE, by the way!

Superb photo by Caroline Tabah of the gang after Nana's concert. Such wonderful memories!

That's all for now! More to come...

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