This World is Yours by Mira Manickam, featuring Jenny O’Connell on vocals. Instrumental by Mira Manickam, with live drums sampled from the Didá youth drum orchestra. Dancing by Jazz Vassar.
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It’s finally here – the last video of the trip, from Salvador and the coast of Bahia!
And you can download the song HERE
For those of you who have been following my blog, you will recognize many of the people and references in this song and vvideo
This video was inspired by the girl drummers and surfers I met in Bahia, the last stop on my Surfer Grrrls Brazil adventure, during which I travelled up the coast of Brazil, meeting other girl surfers and musicians, surfing my heart out, and creating original raps to celebrate my adventures and inspire other girls and women to live their own. While staying in the incredibly musical neighborhood of Candeal, I heard children making danceable beats by beating on just about anything they could find – tin cans, playground equipment, water bottles, you name it. One little girl practiced singing and drumming on a tupperware container every day on her front stairs. She is featured in this video. The live drum beat was recorded from the extraordinary youth orchestra of Didá, who I encountered one evening rehearsing on the streets of the Pelhourinho in Salvador da Bahia. The surfers featured here (besides me!) include Érica Prado, and other inspirational women I met in Bahia and elsewhere in Brazil.
It took me over a year to finally post this video. My harddrive with much of my Bahia footage crashed and died when I returned from Brazil. Heartwrenching. Luckily, I still had the footage of the girl drummers, and some surfing footage from my time in Itacare, but it took me a while to piece it all together once I got back to California and had to get back to the grind of daily life. To fill in for the lost footage from Bahia, I did a video shoot at Ocean Beach in San Francisco, and collaborated with my wonderful housemate Jenny O’Connell (the beautiful voice), and the talented Jazz Vassar who I met in Salvador and in our 36 hours together had become a dear friend. It seemed appropriate that after some beautiful footage of Jazz and I going surfing on the beaches of Salvador was lost in the harddrive crash, that Jazz bring her energy back to the video through her capoeira-inspired dancing on our own California home beach. Another incredibly generous friend Luis Montoya, filmed for us, lending a skilled eye to the camera work. It turns out that collaboration really does take you to the next level!! Please share this video with as many girls and woman as you can. I have also been performing it alive along with other surf and non-surf related raps I’ve written, so shoot me an email at email@example.com if you’re interested in a performance. Thank you to all who contributed and supported!
Hi all! I must apologize for the radio silence. How does one keep up a blog about adventures in Brazil when one is no longer in Brazil?? I have been thinking on this myself, and don’t have all the answers. But, it occurred to me that even though I am no longer in Brazil, I AM still having adventures. So I figured I’ll share them!
When I left Brazil, I had an exciting opportunity to visit a place that has been a big part of my life in the past – Thailand. I worked and lived in Thailand for much of the last decade, before moving to California and becoming a teacher and surfer. I wrote a book about my experiences in the far South of Thailand, an area which has been suffering from a violent conflict for the past 9 years. This book was just published about a month ago, and I went to Thailand to promote the book and visit old friends who helped me write it. (You can learn more about the book here: www.facebook.com/justenoughbook.)
On my way back from Thailand, I stopped in India, where my Dad grew up, and I have been visiting family here for the past few days. While I did have some AMAZING outdoor adventures rock climbing in Thailand, I’ve been missing surfing like crazy. A big part of my family lives in Chennai India, right on the coast, and I figured I’d try to seek out some waves and some fellow surfers. It didn’t turn out exactly as I planned, but it was a great adventure none the less. Here’s a little video journal of my surf day in India.
The kids at Rocinha surf school getting down to their favorite tunes
The Rocinha Surf School, where I have been spending a lot of time surfing with the local grommets, is actually more like a community center, hosting English classes, music classes, and assorted other programs and outings. Thursday nights at the surf school are my favorite, since all the kids come out en masse for music classes. For an hour and a half the place is full of kids learning how to play various percussion instruments or the guitar. Classes are taught by the remarkable Delão Allan, a super talented and big-hearted local rock star, who has a knack for song writing, and has helped the kids transform their ideas about surfing into some very catchy songs. Every class starts and ends with a song. Here’s one of my favorites – sung to the tune of one of last year’s biggest pop hits.
One thing I try to do every day, or almost every day, is practice freestyling when I am walking around or waiting for buses. I decided to record this one (which essentially means it is not a freestyle), but it is more or less in the form that it came out of my mouth the first time. The beat belongs to M.I.A. and her record company.
Here’s a little song I made with my homies Dan Eisenberg and Tiaraju Verdi – two people who I miss a lot now that I am no longer in Floripa. One afternoon, we had a fun time jamming on the tablas, pandeiro, and berimbau to this sweet funk beat we found on the internet by Kunde. In the aftermath, I put lyrics to it, all about the “Vida Floripa” – my journey to Florianopolis and the beautiful life that we enjoyed on the island. Before taking off for Salvador, I made a couple video clips on my favorite sand dune and beach with my friend Therson Mehl, and just for fun, put together this little video. Hope you like it!
I’m going to sign off now for the holidays, which I am blessed to be spending with my family. Wishing everyone a joyful holiday season and a happy New Year!!!
Check out our very first Surfer Grrrls Brazil original music video, Ela Era Assim – with lyrics in both Portuguese and English, by super skater philosopher poet teacher Dani Antunes (Portuguese), and yours truly, me (English), with Ca’roll on drums and Alice on poesia! Starring many of my new surfer grrrl friends in Brazil from Florianopolis, Parana, and Sao Sebastão. Special thanks especially to Aloha Maciel, Marina Rezende, Manuella Brasil, Janaina Rezende, Luanna Ribeiro, and Maria Liza Monteleone — who have made many of my first surfing adventures in Brazil much more fun! Big thanks also to Mike Deni, Zazo Alves, and Alice Besnard – without whom I would have no video documentation of my own surfing/skating/musical adventures.
So I have been following my ears a lot in Brazil — When I hear music in the air, I track it down, and this has led to some great discoveries. On my 3rd day in Brazil, I heard the sound of a Maracatu ensemble, a giant drum ensemble, with roots in religious ritual, that plays rousing syncopated music in processional style. If you heard it on the street, you’d want to run and catch up to it so you could dance. And that’s what I did, and in the process discovered that there was Maracatu ensemble that practiced on the University campus 5 minutes from my house. At my first Maracatu practice, I met a guy from the U.S. He was going incognito, speaking very good Portuguese and blazing through his drum part like a pro. But through some keen detective work, I figured out his secret North-American-ness. I was keen to know someone who could tell me what was going on, amd I did my best to make him my friend. Thankfully, he was amenable to this plan, and it turned out that he is also a SICKLY talented percussionist and is hooked into all sorts of percussion and music scenes here in Floripa. So Dan (my new friend’s name) has been giving me the inside scoop on all sorts of amazing musical opportunities of which I had been dismally unaware, INCLUDING, a free pandeiro class that takes place in the University woods even CLOSER to my house.
“What is a pandeiro?” you may ask. It is a frame drum with metal jingles around the rim, called platinelas. You may see it and think, it is a tambourine. It IS NOT A TAMBOURINE. No diss to the tambo, but it holds in its humble frame a Quantam world of rhythmic complexities that dwarf the Newtonian universe of the Tambourine. It’s a key part of a Samba ensemble (as well as many other styles), and with its pats, slaps, thumps, and clean crisp pattering of platinelas, carries a lot of the swing of this ever-so-Brazilian form of music. Our class is taught by a super cool dude named Osvaldo, or “Vavá” (He must be super cool if he is giving a free pandeiro class in a forest once a week to whoever choses to stop by!). As far as I can tell, Vavá is to the pandeiro what Jimi Hendrix was to the electric guitar. He would argue that he is only a disciple of greater Pandeiro Hendrixes of Brazil, but the point is, that this guy can get sounds out of the instrument that I didn’t know it could hold. Here is a quick video (editing capabilities are still limited due to lack of computer), to give a flavor of the fun that is pandeiro class, and the sick skills of Vavá. I am stoked to incorporate some pandeiro into surfer grrrl hip hop instrumentals!