Carlos Nunez:When Galician Pipes Come to Brazil

There is a great deal of rich,melodic and rhythmic music in Brazil. This undeniably inspired Galician composer/piper Carlos Nunez to compose Alborada do Brazil released 2009 under Sony Music. This kind of musical direction is very much welcomed since I am also a big fan of Brazilian music especially of Juan Carlos Jubim. As we might be aware of, Celtic music is also making a wave in this country especially the harp revival movement. I gathered this a few months ago when I met a Brazilian blogger and musician who opened my eyes to this knowledge.

The album has 13 tracks of tango,samba and bossa music that you can simply crank anywhere. It is artfully crafted making it both an attraction to lovers of urban,jazz and even hip hop.There is also a great deal of natural  sounds.  The first track Alborada De Rosalia is a mix of funky loops and samples with Brazilian rapping around a supple, slick female vocals singing in native tongue. A few years ago there’s this trip hop band called Smoke City and this track reminds me of the band’s music.

Vou Vivendo is typically Nunez in his flute accompanied by a bossa beat. Play it in your car  while driving on the beach or just simply stretch on your easy chair and watch as summer moves  to greet the flowers and butterflies outside.

Alvorada De Cartola’s drum beats and a spoken word create a great intro to this piece that sounds like the Trios Los Panchos had just had a round of Guinness with Carolan in Galician fields. The male vocals capture the easy lifestyle and if you listen closely you can hear other sounds of people in marketplace. The only problem is that this is a short song around 2:23.

Nau Bretoa has a nice flute fused with the maritime flavor of Britany. Here we can here Carlos Playing his Galician pipe known as the gaita over other instruments. This one makes me get up and do some step dancing. Halfway we hear a male chorus chanting . This is how haunting music meets the carnival.

Gaita is sung in a way that Astrud Gilberto would. It has a kind fo  feeling that you get when you wake up in a sunny morning ,open your window and see this  view of an ocean stretch in front of you . The elegant  piano line is soothing.

Xotes Universitarios sounds like it has been talking out of a 60’s movie playing samba. There are dialogues sampled …perhaps students discussing about music with a professor.

Coracao Brasileiro is acoustic guitar driven with fiddle, keyboard instruments and flute around that silky female vocals. Gentle drums finish this off with a high note from Carlos.

In Y-Brazil we are once again greeted by the distinctive and festive playing of Nunez which I first discovered in his Galician Carol released by Windham Hill a few years ago. There is  again the presence of the Galician pipes in the foot- tapping tempo.

Ponta De Areia has this mournful feel of the Irish countryside with all pipes congregating .The harp adds a dream feel to this beautiful piece.

In Padaria Electrica Da Barra Carlos treats us to a powerful fusion of traditional and pop . The collage of electronic drum loops , sampled sounds, and male vocals make this song a candidate for top 40 music.There is this part in the chorus that chants ‘Galicia, Glalicia’… And I know how enthusiastic it can get!

Maxie De Ferro is a piece that could have been played in a movie like Casablanca. The piano in this track is simply exquisite.The syncopated snare drums, wood winds and happy tempo just take the blues of a long day away.

Feira De Mangaio is a sad melody  riding in a happy tempo. This reminds me of being along in a windswept sunny countryside. Bosa and Celtic music has never been this good. Great saxophone and Spanish guitar too.

The last track Assum Preto, Asa Branca another mournful tune embellished with gossamer guitar ,accordion and a melody that cries for aother glass of wine.

Though this album is a fusion between two musical cultures Carloz Nunez has a style that is so distinctive that even if he plays heavy metal or rap, you’ll still know it’s him. This is a perfect soundtrack for spring and summer ….and life is a beach.


5 thoughts on “Carlos Nunez:When Galician Pipes Come to Brazil

  1. Hi, cmf, this is a very interesting approach, a celtic fusion with north-northeastern brazilian afro rhythms. Brazil is a continental country, with such a diverse regional culture, but these experiences can’t find their way in the mainstream.

    Another thing brazilians should learn from celtic artists: we don’t have important musicians and singers, outside academic space, doing research on our songs from the past and folkore. Heitor Villa-Lobos did a very important work on it, but today we can’t find any research that goes beyond the sixties and Bossa Nova.

    Nice post, keep up the great work.



  2. Fascinating! I loved the video since the most I’ve seen and heard of Carlos N. is through his pipes! I am not surprised to see the various kinds of Celtic music search out new ways to expand the music. I really feel with all the traveling the Celts did for centuries there was a sharing of much with the natives of many of the places they traveled through and settled into centuries ago.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s