Release date: 23rd November 2018 | Format: Vinyl LP / Double CD / Digital
Itiberê Zwarg is an award-winning Brazilian bassist and the longest-serving member of Hermeto Pascoal’s ground-breaking ensemble ‘O Grupo’. Since their first meeting in 1977, the two have been closely collaborating to create a unique musical language: a genre-defying polyharmonic, polyrhythmic music, now widely studied by musicians and musicologists alike, known as ‘Universal Music’.
Back in 2001, Itiberê led a workshop at Villa Lobos School of Music, with twenty-nine of Rio de Janeiro’s most exceptionally talented young musicians. Employing the principles of Universal Music alongside his long-held belief in the powers of listening and intuition, over the course of many months, with regular intensive 7 hour rehearsal sessions, Itiberê composed and arranged in real time, transcribing the improvisations of the prodigious orchestra while allowing the players freedom to experiment. The result was Pedra do Espia, an Amazonian orchestral masterpiece which is as difficult to categorise as it is fun to listen to.
“Itiberê Orquestra Família make universal music. This family has fallen from the sky. Their music is excellent, a treasure chest full of harmonic, rhythmic and melodic jewels." - Hermeto Pascoal, 2001
Named after the beachside viewing point which translates as ‘Spy’s Rock’, where Itiberê would sit as a child, daydreaming and gazing out over the Brazilian coast, the record harnesses the pure creativity of youth and nature, creating a magical sense of innocence amongst the striking compositions and astonishing musicianship.
On the original liner notes from the 2001 CD release, Itiberê guarantees the record to be “surprising in its uniqueness, it’s harmonic richness, it’s exuberant melodies and rhythmic variations like nothing heard before.” Bringing the album to vinyl for the first time, alongside a full 16 track CD and digital release, Far Out Recordings are honoured to present this overlooked masterpiece from one of the greatest minds in Brazilian instrumental music.
“Incredible record, outstanding actually” - Gilles Peterson
The name Itiberê Orquestra Família exists because they are a family, united by music and the father they share in Itiberê. His children of sound play better than adults. This was exactly the time for a sound like this to appear. I, Hermeto Pascoal, do not mess around, music is my religion. That’s why I say this.” - Hermeto Pascoal, 2001
Pre-order Pedra do Espia on vinyl, double CD and digital below or from Bandcamp
A1. Na Carioca
A2. 17 De Janeiro
A3. Forro no Encontro dos Rios
A4. No Varál
A5. Vale de Luz
B1. Bota Para Quebrar
B3. Muito Natural
B4. Ao Pé da Lareira
1. Na Carioca
2. Bota Para Quebrar
3. De Coração Aberto
4. Forró No Encontro Dos Rios
6. Arco-iris de Som
7. No Varal
8. Toada Cigana
2. Vale de Luz
3. De Repente
4. Muito Natural
5. Ao Pé Da Lareira
6. Hora Da Prece
7. 17 de Janeiro
8. Pedra Do Espia
Ajurina Zwarg (Drums, Percussion, Harmonica) | Aline Goncalves (Flute, Piccolo, Bass Flute, Clarinet, Recorder) | Ana Leticia (Cymbals, Pandeiro, Triangle, Vibraphone, Xilophone, Agogo, Surdo) | Bernardo Ramos (Electric Guitar) | Bruno Aguilar (Electric Bass) | Cristiano Nascimento (Viola Caipira, Classical Guitar, Mandolin) | Georgia Camara (Drums, Percussion) | Glaucia Aguiar (Classical Guitar) | Isadora Scheer (Violin) | Itiberê Zwarg (Electric and Acoustic Bass, Cymbals, Melodica, Keyboard, Agogo, Cavaquinho, voice) | Joana de Castro (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet) | João Bittencourt (Piano, Keyboard, Fender Rhodes, Melodica) | Leticia Malvares (Flute) | Luanda Bem (Clarinet) | Luciano Camara (Acoustic & Electric Guitar) | Mayo Pamplona (Acoustic & Electric Double Bass) | Maria Carolina (Flute) | Maria Clara (Cello) | Mariana Bernardes (Voice, Cavaquinho, Zabumba) | Miguel Martins (Guitar, Mandolin, Cavaquinho) | Mingo Leahy (Drums, Percussion) | Pedro Albuquerque (Acoustic Bass) | Pedro Araujo (Cello) | Pedro Christiano (Electric Bass) | Pedro Paulo Junior (Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Mellophone) | Renata Neves (Violin) | Roberto Rutigliano (Drums, Agogo, Block, Triangle) | Sidney Herszage (Tenor & Soprano Saxophone, Flute) | Tomaz Lemos (Electric Guitar) | Vitor Goncalves (Piano, Sax, Melodica) | Vitor Medeiros (Saxophone)
All compositions and arrangements by Itiberê Zwarg (Except "17 de Janeiro" by Hermeto Pascoal, arranged here by Itiberê Zwarg) | Artistic Production: Itiberê Zwarg | Executive Producer: Vitor Hugo Jardini | Assistant Producer: Teresa Faria | Sound technicians: Eduardo Costa, Paulo Brandao, Vanius Marques & Eber Pinheiro | Mixed by: Paulo Brandao | Mastered by: Ricardo Garcia (Studio Meg Master) | Recorded and mixed in Studio JAM, Barra de Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, in January, February, March & April 2001