Brazil Now

Photograph © Thom Kubli

BRAZIL NOW is a performance and music composition that addresses increasing militarization and surveillance within urban areas. Its geographical and acoustic reference is São Paulo, the largest megacity in South America. The piece is based on field recordings that capture the symptoms of a South American variant of turbo-capitalism with its distinctive acoustic features. Eruptive public demonstrations on the streets are often accompanied by loud, carnivalesque elements. These are controlled by a militarized infrastructure, involving helicopters and armored vehicles, thus openly demonstrating a readiness to deploy violence.

The sonic documents are analyzed by machine learning algorithms searching for acoustic memes, textures, and rhythms that could be symptomatic for predominant social forces. The algorithmic results are then used as a base for interpretation through a musical ensemble. The piece drafts a phantasmatic auditory landscape based on the algorithmic evaluation of urban conflict zones.

Audio composition: Battaglia | Duration: ca. 25′ | Year: 2020


Brazil Now premiered in 2020 in cooperation with Ensemble Adapter, Berlin.
Composition and concept: Thom Kubli | Software programming: Lydia Ickler | Cinematography: Jonas Blume, Sonja Engelhardt | Performance: Gunnhildur Einarsdottir – Harp, Kristjana Helgadottir – Flutes, Ingolfur Vilhjalmsson – Clarinets, Matthias Engler – Percussion, Mariana Carvalho, Jeremy Woodruff, Andrei Cucu – Bullroarer

Realized with kind support of Errant Sound and Kulturstiftung des Bundes