The folk sounds of north-east Brazil
“It’s a mystical thing,” Renata Rosa explained to Songlines about her music. “The knowledge and the mystery behind traditions is the base of what I do. There are things that we say and there are things that are a bit hidden.” Despite being born and raised a city-slicker in the Bladerunner-esque city of São Paulo, Renata heeded the calls of Brazil’s north-east quarter, soaking up the sounds of musically rich places like Recife and Salvador. Her own music is therefore not the sound of urban, 21st-century Brazil, of the dizzying city of her birth. Instead, playing a local violin called a rabeca (she’s also a deeply expressive singer), Renata digs deep into the north-east’s folk traditions, a musical archaeologist who’s concerned about what’s being lost under the sands of time. Like she says, it’s about those things that are a bit hidden.
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