Alto Jose do Pinho in Pernambuco is home to many traditional cultural groups such as Maracatu Nacão Estrela Brilhante, Afoxé Ylê de Egbá and many others. While the impacts of COVID-19 are being felt across the country of Brazil, communities like Alto Jose do Pinho are being disproportionately affected.
Pitoco de Aira grew up in Alto Jose do Pinho and at the age of 6, began playing drums with Maracatu Nação Estrela Brilhante do Recife and has continued to play an important leadership role in this group, now holding the position of Contra-mestre. Pitoco has traveled to several countries around the world, spreading his knowledge of Afro-Brazilian rhythms through numerous workshops and classes.
Cultural leaders like Pitoco are struggling to keep their art forms alive as many events, shows and classes have been canceled. The economic impacts of these closures have only exacerbated structural inequalities that existed long before COVID-19.
This is not the first time, however, that cultural leaders from Brazil have had to endure a pandemic or economic crisis. It is not the first time that the keepers of these traditions have had to resist and fight to ensure that their ancestral knowledge and practices will be passed on to the next generations.
In an effort to adapt to this technological era, we are working to develop an online platform that will provide Afro-Brazilian history and culture classes as well as a series of video lessons that will teach a variety of rhythms and different percussive arrangements to people around the world.
How does it work?
Our goal is to develop a website (pitocoaira.vhx.tv) where you will be able to create a profile using your email or social media information. After completing the registration process and confirming payment, you will gain access to all of the content created by Pitoco and collaborators.
This online platform will provide a space to:
o Learn about Afro-Brazilian rhythms through a series of high-quality video lessons with cultural leaders. These videos will help students learn to play different percussive instruments and how to play in a drumming ensemble.
o Practice techniques with play-along videos so students can play their instruments in three different speeds and understand the dynamics of playing with other instruments.
o Engage in online discussion forums to communicate directly with teachers and other students from around the world, ask questions or make suggestions about how to improve the platform.
o Deepen understanding of Afro-Brazilian history and culture through reference texts, published articles, documentaries, interviews with cultural leaders and other content.
Our total budget to create this platform is $2000 USD.
$1300 - Studio recording of video classes, including recording video and audio, editing and translating all content. Initially, this project covers the recording of video classes for 6 different rhythms, teaching 6 instruments for each rhythm. This totals about 216 minutes of video content.
$700 - Website hosting costs for one year and payment for web designer
Thanks for supporting this project. We are very grateful for your contribution. With your help we will be able to launch this initial website with hopes of expanding content in the future.
More about Pitoco de Aira:
- Laise Viana
- Jason Gardner
- Yuko Tamura
- Eric Hoffman
- melissa smith
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