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Contemporary Carioca

Technologies of Mixing in a Brazilian Music Scene

Frederick Moehn

Publication Year: 2012

Brazilian popular music is widely celebrated for its inventive amalgams of styles and sounds. Cariocas, native residents of Rio de Janeiro, think of their city as particularly conducive to musical mixture, given its history as a hub of Brazilian media and culture. In Contemporary Carioca, the ethnomusicologist Frederick Moehn introduces a generation of Rio-based musicians who collaboratively have reinvigorated Brazilian genres, such as samba and maracatu, through juxtaposition with international influences, including rock, techno, and funk. Moehn highlights the creativity of individual artists including Marcos Suzano, Lenine, Pedro Luís, Fernanda Abreu, and Paulinho Moska. He describes how these artists manage their careers, having reclaimed some control from record labels. Examining the specific meanings that their fusions have in the Carioca scene, he explains that musical mixture is not only intertwined with nationalist discourses of miscegenation, but also with the experience of being middle-class in a country confronting neoliberal models of globalization. At the same time, he illuminates the inseparability of race, gender, class, place, national identity, technology, and expressive practice in Carioca music and its making. Moehn offers vivid depictions of Rio musicians as they creatively combine and reconcile local realities with global trends and exigencies.

Published by: Duke University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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p. ix-ix

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pp. xi-xxi

On 7 December 1998 the Globo newspaper sponsored a forum in Rio de Janeiro titled “MPE: Engajamento ou alienação?” (MPE: Engagement or alienation?). It brought together well- known musicians to debate whether . . .

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pp. xxiii-xxv

Writing, this book has taught me, can be a curiously solitary and yet also collaborative process. For all that one may strive to avoid distractions and even social contact in order to spend time alone in front of a computer, . . .

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pp. 1-24

In an article published in the Rio de Janeiro edition of O Globo in January 1998, the journalist Mário Marques identified a loosely collaborative group of musicians based primarily in what is known as the South Zone of the . . .

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1. Marcos Suzano: A Carioca Blade Runner

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pp. 25-54

The 1990s were interesting years for the percussionist Marcos Suzano and his colleagues in music, he recalls, precisely because they captured a specific phase of technological transformation. He recorded a lot . . .

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2. Lenine: Pernambuco Speaking to the World

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pp. 55-91

One of the characteristics of the pop music setting I examine in this book is the enduring legacy and influence of musicians who began their careers in the 1960s, especially individuals associated with the Tropicália . . .

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3. Pedro Luís and The Wall: Tupy Astronauts

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pp. 92-129

During a research trip to Rio de Janeiro in 2007 I stayed in an apartment located in what one local audio engineer, in reference to the proximity of a number of music recording and rehearsal facilities in this area, called the . . .

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4. Fernanda Abreu: Garota Carioca

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pp. 130-166

It is 9 August 2007. I am in Gávea, South Zone, visiting the singer, songwriter, dancer, producer, and official tourism ambassador of Rio de Janeiro Fernanda Abreu at her recording studio, Pancadão (meaning “A . . .

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5. Paulinho Moska: Difference and Repetition

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pp. 167-203

“That’s my son at his seventh- birthday party playing capoeira and percussion,” Paulinho Moska said as we looked at digital photographs on his laptop computer during my visit to Rio in August 2007. “He plays in . . .

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6. On Cannibals and Chameleons

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pp. 204-210

At the end of the 1990s, the musicologist Cristina Magaldi took stock of the flourish of hybrid pop music styles that had emerged in Brazil during that decade and noted that imported genres such as rock, funk, and rap . . .

Appendix 1: About the Interviews, with a List of Interviews Cited

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pp. 211-214

Appendix 2: Introductory Aspects of Marcos Suzano’s Pandeiro Method

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pp. 215-218


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pp. 219-243


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pp. 245-265


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pp. 267-268


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pp. 269-289

About the Author, Back Cover

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p. 290-290

E-ISBN-13: 9780822394884
Print-ISBN-13: 9780822351559

Page Count: 312
Illustrations: 17 illustrations
Publication Year: 2012