Ann Arbor, MI was the first stop on Gil’s US tour with his group Banda Larga (or, “Broadband”). His flight from Spain was delayed, and so he showed up at the Ann Arbor public library about half an hour into the panel discussion on digital technology and new paradigms for intellectual copyright (or “copyleft”). Gil says that laws that should exist to facilitate artist compensation are too often focused primarily on stifling the free exchange of content among fans. He's a strong advocate of
Listening to Gil’s “digital age” concert in Michigan and the next day in Chicago, I started to draw a Tiny Band/Banda Larga connection. Tiny Band wouldn’t exist without the internet… great sites like Loronix and Um Que Tenha have provided an endless supply of musical material for our repertoire. When I think of how quickly we’ve developed this musicality in Brazilian styles, I can’t help but be amazed. Never in history was it possible that music-lovers a hemisphere away could delve so deeply into the musical heritage of another culture… without even leaving home!
Then I think of Youtube. Mercedes was the first to make her mark there, and by now we’ve all done our share of performing for the icam. How many transglobal musical collaborations have resulted, with people we’ve never even met in person!
In my mind, the warm, inviting nature of Brazilian musical culture in general, speaks to a universal impulse towards meaningful human connection. Tiny Band is part of the cultural force of artists that are humanizing technology through spontaneous transmission of our musical values—fun, inclusiveness, genre-bending, sharing. And in this age, where differences can be divisive, and technology can isolate us, that's pretty cool.
Brazilian music, more than any other music I know of, lends itself to an interplay that satisfies insiders AND outsiders (i.e. those who know the repertoire and those who don’t, those who play instruments and those who don’t, virtuosic musicians and beginners). If Tiny Band ever manufactured a tchotsky, I'd make it an egg shaker. A symbol of musical inclusiveness, it's the most immediate way for non-musicians to begin to participate and feel the rhythms of this music. Then everyone could join Tiny Band!
By the way, I have
Here are some additional links to check out:
From Legal Commons to Social Commons: Brazil and the Cultural Industry in the 21st Century