Concert series

"Tropicalismo" refers to the contextualisation of an aesthetic tradition at a particular time and place: the late sixties in Brazil, where the plastic arts meet bossa nova, samba and anarchism, experimental theatre and rock'n'roll. Not really an attempt at rupture, Tropicalismo was more like a reinvention of popular memory.

Critic Pedro Alexandre Sánches called it «the beautiful decadence of samba.» But Tropicália went beyond the music – above all, it was a gesture of freedom, an act of cultural cannibalism inspired by the poet Oswaldo de Andrade's 1928 Cannibal Manifesto and fuelled by tradition and the avant-garde in equal parts.

The likes of Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Maria Bethania, Gal Costa, Tom Zé, Os Mutantes and Rogério Duprat, among others, brought elements like samba, bossa nova, rock and roll and experimental music together on a single plane. Tropicalismo emerged during the dictatorship of the military junta responsible for the coup, which wielded power in Brazil between 1964 and 1985. In this context, cinema (Glauber Rocha, Nelson Pereira Dos Santos and Joaquim Pedro de Andrade), theatre ( Zé Celso Martinez Correa) and the plastic arts (Hélio Oiticica's 1967 installation Tropicália gave the movement its name) aligned themselves with music for the purpose of reinventing the traditional signs of popular culture within a cosmopolitan modernity that in itself already represented direct opposition to the regime.

Tropicália barely lasted a year, between 1967 and 1968, and culminated in the release of the manifesto recording Tropicália ou Panis et Circensis (Philips, 1968), a compilation record featuring Gil, Veloso, Costa, Nara Léao and Os Mutantes under the baton of Duprat. The brutal repression of the movement, which led to the jailing and subsequent exile of Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso and the forced internment in psychiatric hospitals of some of their contemporaries considered «subversive» and «mentally unstable», such as the poet and songwriter Torquato Neto, gave way to a more light-weight, strictly formal version of Tropicalismo. This in turn later gave rise to MPB, Música Popular Brasileira. Nevertheless, during those months when it emerged, developed and died, Tropicália laid the foundations for a new way of understanding popular music that was daring and fun, avant-garde and also hedonist - a model that would be imitated repeatedly all over the world.

A warm, pleasant revolution in which people thought, danced and celebrated.

Coordinators: Oriol Rossell & David Albet


February 26, March 26, April 30 and May 28, at 9 pm

February 26
A tribute to Rogério Duprat

Rogério Duprat (1932-2006) came to be called «Brazil's Brian Wilson» and «Tropicália's George Martin». Academically trained, he was in direct contact with the European avant-garde, studied with Stockhausen and Boulez and is credited with shaping the Tropicalista sound. His compositions, arrangements and productions combine highbrow music with popular styles, which was on of the main characteristics of Tropicalism. He is responsible for the revolutionary arrangements of the legendary Tropicália, ou Panis et Circensis, among many other works. This tribute to Duprat the man and his work is an exclusive initiative of the MACBA concert season, in which musician and composer Dani Espasa will present versions of some of Duprat's best-known chamber group compositions.

March 26
Wagner Pâ, Cesc Pascual and Juan Cruz

Born in São Paulo and Barcelona-based since the age of twenty, Wagner Pa has been one of the main driving forces behind the city's fusion scene. In his roles as DJ, manager, collaborator with other artists like Dominguez, Fermín Muguruza and Manu Chao, or as the frontman of his own group Bazuca Matraca, Pa is largely responsible the deep impact of Brazilian rhythms in the «Barcelona sound» His acoustic concert at the MACBA, accompanied by Cesc Pascual and Juan Cruz, will reunite him with his tropicalista roots. A new look that pays homage to the pioneers of the movement.

May 7

The international music press have dubbed this trio the greatest exponent of the new Brazilian sound. Formed by Moreno Veloso (voice and guitars), Domenico Lancellotti (electronic percussion and sampler) and Alexandre Kassin (bass and voice), they conjure up the past, present and future in compositions influenced by Tropicália, bossa and samba – which run in their blood, seeing that Moreno is the son of Caetano Veloso and Domenico is the son of Ivor Lancelloti – as well as hip-hop, reggae and cutting-edge electronica. For their concert at the MACBA, the trio will be accompanied by Stephan San Juan (drums and percussion) and Alberto Continentino (bass and guitar) in a new version of this mutant group which is constantly changing due to the rotating leadership of its three founding members.

May 28
Rebecca Matta

Singer-songwriter Rebeca Matta is a symbol of the contemporary version of the "aesthetic cannibalism" championed by the Tropicalistas. Born in Salvador, Bahia, she has a string of records to her name that have secured her a prominent position in today's MPB. Her discourse is basically electronic, but Matta's music also integrates local Brazilian forms and the Tropicalista legacy (her self-proclaimed main influence is the work of Tom Zé) as well as references to the work of Chico Science, a clear forerunner of this new digital Tropicália. The MACBA concert will be Rebeca Matta's first in Barcelona.

MACBA Public Programs
Tel. (+34) 93 412 14 13
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Son[i]a #76. Oriol Rossell on "The Tropicalia Effect"
OBJETO SEMI-IDENTIFICADO NO PAIS DO FUTURO. Tropicália and post-tropicalismo in Brasil (1967-1976)