Podcast: Musicians in Residence, Brazil 2017-18

"A fabulous way to understand another part of the world is through its music," said Cathy Graham (Director, Music at the British Council) as we launched the inaugural Musicians in Residence, Brazil programme with PRS Foundation last year. But little did we, or they know, quite where these residencies would lead …

Tara Pattenden (AKA Phantom Chips), Nwando Ebizie (AKA Lady Vendredi) and Nathaniel Mann were the UK musicians chosen to fly to Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Mato Grosso respectively and each was given up to six weeks to explore their new temporary homes, soaking up the music and culture of these unique Brazilian locations. From the experimental electronic scene of bustling Rio during carnival to the Xingu National Park and the music of the indigenous Wauja people, several days’ travel away by plane, coach, boat and 4x4, each of our musicians had their own fascinating tale to tell of the people they met and the music they heard.

Listen now as they talk with Georgina Godwin in this special podcast recorded when we brought them all together for the first time since the residencies took place.


Podcast: Musicians in Residence, 2017-18



If you don’t know your maracatu from your Maracanã, then you might need our quick glossary for some of the terms mentioned in our Musicians in Residence, Brazil podcast! All key terms are explained below.

  • Bloco – a themed dance or music group that moves “around the block” during carnival.
  • Candomble – a religion found primarily in Brazil, strongly influenced by religions from Africa; see also Yoruba
  • Circuit bending – the art of taking old objects containing some circuitary, often toys, and repurposing them, often to create bespoke musical instruments
  • Cuíca - a Brazilian friction drum whose pitch can be changed by varying the tension of its drum head with the player's hand
  • Frevo – a style of music and dance associated with carnival in the Nordeste region on Brazil. It could be derived from the Portuguese word ferver (to boil).
  • Gambiarra – a Brazilian term for “making do” or fashioning something useful from disparate parts; see also MacGyverism, an ingeniously improvised solution to a problem
  • Maracatu – a carnival tradition from the north-east of Brazil with its roots in slavery from Africa
  • Paço do frevo – a cultural resource centre devoted to the archival and promotion of frevo, synonymous with Recife
  • Novas Frequências – festival for new music in Rio and Tara Pattenden’s hosts during her residency
  • Wauja – the Wauja are the inhabitants of the area surrounding Piyulaga Lake, along the Xingu river, in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil


Featured Music

If you want to check out some of the music featured in this podcast in full, look no further.


Follow the hashtag #MIRBrazil for the latest stories from our ongoing programme with PRS Foundation.


Part of: 
Musicians in Residence