View Full Version : Hamilton Holanda: Velas
May I suggest that people interested in mandolin-flavoured choro music listed to Hamilton Holanda's CD called Velas? He is one hot young player!
Think Chris Thile level chops applied to Jacob do Bandolim tunes, with great backup band. It's really groovy stuff, too!
If you see it, don't hesitate to get hold of it!
He sometimes does this cool thing where he plays the mando kinda like a flamenco guitar, too.
This is an #awesome CD. (I think Velas is the label, though.) HdH plays a killer interpretation of Vibraçoes, true to Jacob's style, in addition to the more contemporary stuff. Gismonti's Baiao Malandro is particularly impressive.
You got my attention!
Now I just need to figure out where this is available in the United States...
I have most of his stuff around the house that someone sent me. I think it was Larry Klose. He's another cat that if he lived in the U.S. everyone would be talking about him in Thile/Marshall terms. Beautiful player with unlimited chops and fortunately, taste.
I'm going to err on the illegal side and post one of his full MP3's but only because I'm hoping we can locate a place in the U.S. that handles his recordings. I can find out or someone reading this will likely know. This is just a sample of his playing, sort of a nice even-paced piece called Pra Você from his CD with Marco Pereira called Luz Das Cordas. This guy can flat out burn or choke the tears out of you with his slow ballads.
The cut (http://www.mandolincafe.com/pravoce.mp3)
Like the great Brazilian players he has that sense of timing that's unique to the choro style of players from that part of the world. It's a different feel from the way choro is played in the states. Think of it being a form with roots in dance.
I love pictures of him (http://www.jazzbreak.com/interview.php?jparm=ID_1796,lg_0,dossier_437). Always looks like he's having fun playing the music. And a mandolin player leading a five-piece non-bluegrass band! Hip.
In snooping around appears one of his recordings is available through amazon.com. I have an email in to Larry Klose who'll likely know if his work is available somewhere w/o the import hassle.
Thank you Scott. What a great way to wake up on a Sunday morning! I've tried to get Luz das Cordas CD twice, through Amazon and CDNow, to no avail. #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif
Must have it!!
If any of you have a smattering of Portuguese, there's an interview with HdH here:
and here too, along with a dicography (at bottom of page):
And another one in french here:
Here's part of some info Larry just emailed:
Amazon has one, which they title Hamilton de Holanda, but is actually called Velas. Very nice stuff, his best that I've heard--some good fireworks, he plays his 10 string bandolim in a full band.
Caravan music has one, also, and it may be the same, but it's hard to tell because they don't list the songs. www.caravanmusic.com.
Brazmus lists one, a duo with Marco Pereira, called Luz das Cordas, but it's out of stock. With them, who knows when it might come? Good stuff, beautifully played by both, but tamer. www.brazmus.com
Dois de Ouro is a band he was in for a long time, you might search for them for older stuff.
Acari Records has a lot of good stuff, but no Hamilton.
http://www.acari.com.br/english/. Same with Kuarup.
I haven't found a good source for internet sales of general Brazilian catalog items. Kuarup and Acari are great, but they only do their own label.
You might ping Marilynn Mair, too--and let me know if you find a source I haven't listed.
While talking about great mandolin artists, based on a CD that was brought to my attention, I would put Brazilian 'Armandinho'to the head or near the head of any list of the greatest players ever. In particular, Armandinho's playing of the Paganini piece 'Moto Perpetuo' on his album 'Repertorio Brasileiro' I believe it is called, is nothing less than astonishing. It is one of the most incredible displays of technical skills I have ever heard on any instrument. Armandinho picks continual 32nd value notes at a high rate of speed without stop for close to 5 minutes. The coordination between Armandinho's brain, left and right hand is amazing. One write-up I came across rates Armandinho as the best mandolin player in the history of Brazil. When you consider the great Jacob and other great mandolin players of Brazil, this praise of Armandinho probably says it all.
Is he playing a 10 string instrument?
Interview - Hamilton of Holland
I have a smathering of European Portuguese knowledge, though not Brazilian Portuguese, per se. #I decided to take a shot at converting extracts of the interview to English for the challenge of it. It wasn't easy for me, thats for sure. There were some things I just could not make out very well but I think you will get the crux of what the interview was about...for better or for worse, as follows:
“I was lucky to have been born to a musical family. #Music came to me from the time I was in my mother’s belly. #My father had me listen to music at the earliest time. My grandfather was a band leader and his other son, my uncle, played the saxophone but he died early. #I had never met him. #My father used to tell me that I was him but I don’t know about that. #At 3 to 4 years of age, I enjoyed listening to music and I liked to sing too. #My father taught me 2 songs when I was 3 years old. #I was given a Heringzinho of those with colored keys. #You could only play it in G major. #I was also given a mouth piano (harmonica?) but because I was so young I did not have enough breath to play it. #My grandfather sold these. #My other grandfather (maternal) gave me the name Hamilton of Holanda Vasconcelos. #I was given my first bandolim in 1981 before I reached 6 years of age. #My first teacher was my father. #He had incredible patience. #With time, my father enrolled my brother and I in the Brasilia School of Music. #We started the ‘Two of Gold’. #Sometimes, I cut classes to play cards or go some other place to study something else. #In the school of music I did not have a bandolim, I had to study the violin. #I was not comfortable with the violin. I learned the formal and informal side of playing. #I read very well, but playing is better. #I studied theory and composition and developed writing. I finished my course composing for the bandolim, orchestrating for concerts. #Written music is what the author wants exactly to be heard at a given time but playing by ear is stronger. #If everything was played as written, all the interpreters of learned music would be the same. #But, not all musicians are equal. #Then, music is not what is on the paper, the music is what we hear, what we do with it, what is in the air. #The paper is an important instrument to be registered but not for execution."
Thanks so much for taking the time to translate that, Josef!
It's bad enough we have a good share of the globe's geography separating us from this Brazilian treasure, now we have a language barrier, too.
Your efforts in bridging this gap are very much appreciated.
Its the first time I actually tried to do something like this. I took the literal Portuguese to English translation in some cases because I couldn't really tell exactly what Holland was expressing as in a phrase I used above: 'but playing is stronger'. I know in English that phrase doesn't make a lot of sense but rather than invent what I thought Holland said, I used the literal translation and let the chips fall where they may. # One of the things Holland did mention several times in the interview was that as a youth he played ball every day in the streets until 7pm, at which time he went to 'rehearsal' which I translate literally. Maybe the word 'practice'is better # used. Holland also mentioned on the weekends he played choros at home with his brother and father. #He said it was always about music all day. Holland said he has a recording of him singing as a small child. #He said it was recognized at a very early age that he was talented, that he could sing in tune and that he had good rhythm.