Lessons From Musical Instruments

When I am happy, sad, alone, with friends, at home, travelling… my instruments are always with me. The cavaquinho, the small brazilian instrument near the Ukulele, has gone through some very hard times. It was bought by my grandfather in 1978, it has been broken, thrown away, picked up from the garbage, rebuilt… and still sounds amazing! It will never leave my sight again, that I can tell you!

I think everyone goes through hard times from time to time, goes to hell and back, but can we manage to come out of it much better than before? Well, from the lessons from my cavaquinho: Yes, we can, but we can never do it alone. There are people who will break us and throw us away, but there will be others who will pick us up from the garbage in pieces, help us heal bit by bit, until we can be put back together to bring joy to everyone.

The cavaquinho is full of scars now. With each of these scars comes a story, which all together, comes out beautifully with a unique tone.

Maybe there is a lesson there for all of us…

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Montjuïc, Barcelona

Barcelona, how can I forget? The moment that you stepped into the room you took my breath away…..

How I wish I was old enough to have seen Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé performing this song at Montjuïc… and how I wished Freddie Mercury hadn’t passed on at all, much less before the opening of the 1992 Olympic Games. Truly, a place where amazing things happened!

First music video post: Coração Leviano – Paulinho da Viola

For a long time, I wanted to have a channel where I play the guitar and sing my favourite songs, but never had the courage, as I am very self-conscious of my voice… well, I will let you be the judge of that. This is one of my favourite sambas. Hope you enjoy it!

Anyone for Flamenco??? Granada, Spain

Hi all!

Sorry for my brief absence! Together with some holidays, PhD thesis writing etc, I haven’t really had the time to post anything… well, I hope I will have some more time now!

Well, I just came from holidays (about one month ago) around Spain and I decided, together with the old ball and chain, to visit Granada. Well, I always wanted to go over really as I’ve never heard anything bad about the place. Well, nothing could have prepared me for what I saw… what a beautiful place! The Alhambra was probably the most beautiful castle I’ve even seen, just completely different from anything I’d ever seen!

As any visitor in Granada, Flamenco is a must-do! There is no way you can pass a show! I decided to go to this little restaurant called Jardines de Zoraya in the old neighbourhood of Albayzin. Then I found out it is, according to Trip Advisors reviews, the fourth best restaurant in Granada! Amazing!!!! Definitely recommended! And the Flamenco show, just incredible! The dancers, guitarrists, singers…. perfect!

Can’t wait to have the chance to go again!

I’m lonely in London London is lovely so!

One of my favourite places in the world, London just has everything a person may (or may not) want! Even though I live ridiculously close to it, I must say it has been a while since I’ve been there and, to be really honest, I really miss it!

It is probably the only place in the world that never ceases to amaze me. I’ve been there (as a tourist) well over 100 times and, every single time, I see the same places with completely different eyes, from a different angle that makes it completely different. Maybe none of you will understand me or have a place in the world that you can go many times and still be amazed everytime, well, London is my place!

During the Brazilian Military dictatorship, a very famous brazilian musician called Caetano Veloso was exiled in London, where he composed the following song, that really speaks to me!

Maybe I should do a video with me singing the song…

Mourne Mountains, Co. Down – Ireland

As my summary tells, I am a PhD student, but what it doesn’t is that I was born and raised in Brazil, educated in Ireland (when I spent my adolescence and most of my adult life), but had to move to the UK to pursue something bigger and better. Well, typical irish story, right? Ireland not doing so well, so move to the UK, why not? So this place, in particular (not where I used to live), speaks to me, mainly because of the song by Percy French, “Mountains of Mourne” (Don McLean’s interpretation, my favourite!). It tells the story of an irishman who moved to London and saw the wonders of the place, but was always longing for home. Doesn’t matter what London had to offer, he would rather be back “to the place where the dark Mourne sweeps down to sea”. Well, this pictures speaks way more than one thousand words. I miss Ireland.

And it finally happened!!!

For many years, I managed to get tickets for the for some of the world’s best gigs.. U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Simon and Garfunkel’s Reunion, David Bowie, Dylan, McCartney, Harrison, The Police… but I never managed to get tickets to the most wanted of them all… the Rolling Stones. I’ve been chasing that pot o’gold since 1997 Bridges to Babylon tour. Yes, I was a very young Rolling Stones fan. Tickets have never been the most affordable and there were not adults who were willing to take me. What could I do? Ever since then, I’ve been trying to get a hold of a ticket. Sao Paulo, Rio, Dublin, London, Madrid… even Bangkok! Never managed to get a hold of a ticket! In 2006, if I recalled correctly, they played a free concert at Copacabana Beach, where 1.5 million people attended… and I wasn’t there, because I had a fluid mechanics exam. A few times, I queued for several hours, just to find out later that the ticketmaster shop in Ireland opened their doors late. Before opening to the general public, employees were printing tickets for their friends for a profit. When they opened to the public, only the first 5 people in the queue managed to buy them. I was about the tenth in line. I thought that my destiny was to never see them live, after all, 50 and counting, they might be pushing the limit!

The search for the treasure is over! Just 5 minutes ago, I managed to buy 2 tickets for their concert! I am so happy! Rolling Stones, live at Hyde Park, here I come! (With a Bruce Springsteen bonus the week before!)