The musician Paulo Santos from the Group UAKTI arrived as one of the first foreign artists in Denmark, as he was supposed to begin his work already on the 14th of May together with Marcella Lucatelli and Marluze da Cruz in Ishøj Municipality. He was to be an integrated part of their final rehearsals for their performances at Arken in Ishøj and at the DR Concert House in Copenhagen.
Paulo Santos has studied history, music, clarinet and percussion. He has been with the group UAKTI since the beginning in 1978. The group is well-known and recognized all-around the world for their original instruments and sound. The name UAKTI comes from an Indian myth about a man whose body was perforated. Every time the wind blew, it created a very beautiful sound going through the holes. After their breakthrough, they more or less stopped using traditional instruments. Instead, they build their own instruments from natural materials and PVC.
After two successful days in Ishøj where Paulo Santos presented his instruments for the children, worked with improvisation and became a part of their final performance, they all had a blast of a local closing event at Arken. Proud children were able to show what they had been working on for the last two months. During the following weekend, Paulo Santos was a part of the Spring Festival at Amager where all foreign artists had the possibility of contributing with either a workshop or a performance. Paulo Santos played Saturday and Sunday with his brought-along self-build instruments.
Monday morning, all the foreign artists went to visit Peder Lykke Skolen, Amager. All the artists had a guided tour showing how a ‘school without doors’ work and to see the location for two joint concerts between Paulo Santos and Pops Mohamed (South Africa) the next day. After having arranged the sound technical details, the day ended with a final meeting at the Danish Cultural Institute preparing for the final event at the DR Concert House.
Tuesday started at Peder Lykke Skolen setting up for the two joint concerts. Both Paulo Santos and Pops Mohamed had brought their fascinating instruments and were excited to play with each other. In fact, they were so excited about each other’s instruments that they agreed to play a mashup bringing Brasilian and African traditional music together. This had an immense effect on the structure of the final shows at the DR Concert House the following two days. The two concerts at Peder Lykke Skolen were fantastic and inspiring. Paulo Santos’ self-build instruments intrigued all the children and they were all overexcited about his Brazilian music style and personality.
The final event in the DR Concert House took place during Wednesday and Thursday. After having done the sound checks in the morning, everything was ready for the children to arrive. Once again, Paulo Santos delivered a fantastic concert using his traditional Brazilian and self-build instruments. Especially, his self-build drum-like instrument, ‘The Trilobite’ excited all the children and his Brazilian rythms song caught them by surprise and quickly made the children follow his every move and sound. The concert ended with a new mashup between Pops and Paulo which involved every child in the music. On the second day of the event, Paulo Santos had the pleasure of playing while her Royal Highness Princess Marie arrived. He didn’t miss the chance to stop his music and bid her a warm welcome as suited for a real princess. According to Paulo, he had rehearsed these sentences all morning in front of the mirror. After this, he played a very energetic song on his ‘Trilobite’ which fascinated the princess as it had with the children. Afterwards, he met the princess, as she was presented to a video describing the CICLO work done in Rio de Janeiro. An experience he was very proud of.
Text by Martin Persson – The Danish Cultural Institute