Synopses & Reviews
In 1998 the journalist Mário Marques coined the music made by a group of musicians based mostly in the middle-class neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro’s South Zone música popular carioca (MPC). The designation riffed on música popular brasileira (MPB), a label associated with major figures of urban Brazilian popular song from the mid–1960s through the 1970s. At the same time, it incorporated the term “Carioca,” a reference to someone or something from Rio. In Contemporary Carioca, the ethnomusicologist Frederick Moehn focuses on a small but influential cohort of MPC artists: Marcos Suzano, Lenine, Pedro Luís, Fernanda Abreu, and Paulinho Moska. Moehn spent many hours in recording studios and he interviewed musicians, producers, audio engineers, and industry personnel. Those conversations illuminate the inseparability of race, gender, class, place, national identity, and expressive practice in the MPC scene, and their entanglement in local discourses about technology and the aesthetics of mixture. Moehn emphasizes that musical mixture is not only intertwined with nationalist discourses of miscegenation but also with ideas about being middle-class in liberalizing Brazil. Contemporary Carioca introduces a generation of musicians who have revised key Brazilian genres, such as samba and maracatu, while adapting international influences such as rock, techno, and funk to local culture.
andquot;Contemporary Carioca is an engaging study of musical production in Brazil that focuses on a group of Rio-based, middle-class musicians who emerged in the 1980s and 1990s and continue to produce innovative work. Among the book's many strengths is its organization around individual artists and the ways that they have approached questions of globalization, national identity, social class, race, and gender. Frederick Moehn succeeds admirably in describing and analyzing the specificity of Brazilian strategies for negotiating global and local musical practices.andquot;andmdash;Christopher Dunn, coeditor of Brazilian Popular Music and Citizenship
andquot;Frederick Moehn guides us on a scintillating exploration of Brazilian popular music of the 1990s, combining deep critical explication of the work of key performers with sharp delineation of that work's place in the political and commercial context. No previous author has balanced intimate knowledge of popular music as a studio creation with careful exploration of the Brazilian cultural marketplace as successfully as Moehn does here.andquot;andmdash;Bryan McCann, Georgetown University
andldquo;Contemporary Carioca is a solid scholarly text, and itandrsquo;s a good read.andrdquo;
andldquo;[A] capable study, particularly useful for its consideration of the music of
Lenine, a major musical figure. For all libraries supporting study of popular music.andrdquo; - Tom Moore, Notes
andldquo;This volume is an excellent resource for those interested in Brazilian culture in general and popular music in Brazil in particular. Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates and above.andrdquo; - K. W. Mukuna, Choice
andldquo;...Moehnandrsquo;s work is important because it brings to the table fresh, interesting material that he analyzes with a nice combination of ethnomusicological and anthropological insights and frames. Present and future andlsquo;new Brazilianistsandrsquo; will do well to follow his lead by examining the multiple processes that go into making music and studying artists who, for one reason or another, have received little scholarly attention.andquot;
andldquo;[An] insightful mix of anthropological ethnography and musical analysis. . . . Moehn expertly switches register throughout the chapters moving from a mode that privileges the contextual description of a historian / biographer to one of a music critic exercising a precision of vocabulary to catch the subtleties of musical meter and harmony to a register of high theory engaging Deleuze and the present zeitgeist of anthropological musings on identity-as-becoming in addition to Turino and current theories of musical semiotics as indicative of sociality. The fluidity of Moehnandrsquo;s prose evinces a mastery of all registers, that which only a performer, in all of its connotations, could pull off.andrdquo;
andldquo;With his vast knowledge of post-production studio technologies and his intimate knowledge of popular music in both political and commercial contexts, Moehn provides a valuable and highly engaging contribution to the field.andrdquo;
andldquo;Moehnandrsquo;s study provides productive insights for novices and experts in Brazilian music studies. His descriptions of how artists are managing and even benefiting from the decline of the record industry are especially illuminating for researchers who are interested in the effects of neoliberalism on musical production in Brazil and beyond. . . . Moehnandrsquo;s descriptions of each artistandrsquo;s biography and analyses of their major works are thought provoking and present a much-needed English language resource for Brazilian pop music enthusiasts.andrdquo;and#160;
andldquo;Throughout, Moehnandrsquo;s book is gratifyingly rooted in the specifics of musical sound and production procedure. . . . It bursts with telling details. . . . The sophistication of Moehnandrsquo;s take on the thorny subject of middle-class identity is worth mentioning as well. . . . [An] innovative and well-accomplished piece of popular musical analysis.andrdquo;
Musica popular brasileira (MSB) emerged in Brazil in the mid-1970s. This popular genre has not received the critical attention in the U.S. given to its predecessors: samba, bossa nova, and tropicalia. This collection forms portraits of these stars and offers insights into their concern to balance Brazilian and foreign elements in their music.
Brazilian popular music is widely celebrated for its inventive amalgams of styles and sounds. Cariocas, native residents of Rio de Janeiro, think of their city as particularly conducive to musical mixture, given its history as a hub of Brazilian media and culture. In Contemporary Carioca, the ethnomusicologist Frederick Moehn introduces a generation of Rio-based musicians who collaboratively have reinvigorated Brazilian genres, such as samba and maracatu, through juxtaposition with international influences, including rock, techno, and funk. Moehn highlights the creativity of individual artists, including Marcos Suzano, Lenine, Pedro Luandiacute;s, Fernanda Abreu, and Paulinho Moska. He describes how these artists manage their careers, having reclaimed some control from record labels. Examining the specific meanings that their fusions have in the Carioca scene, he explains that musical mixture is not only intertwined with nationalist discourses of miscegenation, but also with the experience of being middle-class in a country confronting neoliberal models of globalization. At the same time, he illuminates the inseparability of race, gender, class, place, national identity, technology, and expressive practice in Carioca music and its making. Moehn offers vivid depictions of Rio musicians as they creatively combine and reconcile local realities with global trends and exigencies.
The ethnomusicologist Frederick Moehn introduces a generation of Rio-based musicians who build on the mand#250;sica popular brasileira (MPB) of previous decades, but who have yet to receive scholarly attention. This generation, the "children of the dictatorship," reinvigorated Brazilian genres such as samba and maracatu through juxtaposition with international influences, including rock, techno, and funk. Moehn offers vivid depictions of Rio musicians as they creatively combine and reconcile local realities with global trends and exigencies.
About the Author
Frederick Moehn is a Research Associate at the Institute for Ethnomusicology–Music and Dance of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa in Portugal.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations ix
1. Marcos Suzano: A Carioca Blade Runner 25
2. Lenine: Pernambuco Speaking to the World 55
3. Pedro Luand#237;s and the Wall: Tupy Astronauts 92
4. Fernanda Abreu, Garota Carioca 130
5. Paulinho Moska: Difference and Repetition 167
6. On Cannibals and Chameleons 204
Appendix 1: About the Interviews, with a List of Interviews Cited 211
Appendix 2: Introductory Aspects of Marcos Suzano's Pandeiro Method 215