|Singer, composer and researcher, Marlui Miranda|
Marlui Miranda – The Soul of the Amazon Forests ‒ Brazil
In the Brazilian language Kamayurá, the word Ihu means sound … all that penetrates our soul through our hearing, including the voices of spirits and of the magic entities of the forest.～ Marlui MirandaThis Sunday afternoon concert at Jnan Sbil had an otherworldly quality for good reason. While seemingly simple - a woman and her guitar, joined by a percussionist - it was far from that. Marlui Miranda is of indigenous origin, and has a formidable reputation as a singer, composer, and researcher, who has studied the musical traditions of the Brazilian Amazon Indians for two decades. She is widely recognised as the penultimate performer of Amazon indigenous music.
Traditional chants and songs from Brazilian Indian nations have been interpreted and adapted by Miranda. She has recorded and toured with many prominent Brazilian musicians and composed music for movies, such as "At Play in the Fields of the Lord", documentaries, TV series, and plays.
|Percussionist Kato Marcondes|
In this concert, Miranda's clear, melodic voice called across the gardens, enticing the audience to join her in exploring the lands of her home. During her hour long concert, with many audience members comfortably ensconced under shady trees, we were beguiled by impressions of the rainforest and the water which courses through it. Laid back Brazilian rhythms by percussionist Kato Marcondes kept up the tempo.
Skilfully, Miranda recreated the sounds of animals such as blue parrots calling, frogs jumping, and fish being caught. "Animals are the composers", she said in French. "All traditional music is inspired by animals."An echo effect added to the atmosphere.
During her performance Miranda regaled the audience with stories of ritual ways of life now rare; such as hunting fish at night by shining a light on the surface of the water, and then shooting them with a bow and arrow when they surface.
This was a magical, memorable concert; thoroughly enjoyed by those in attendance.
Photographs and review: Suzanna Clarke