The sound of the Brazilian rainforest is making its way to Penticton.
Celso Machado will be performing his unique musical showcase of Brazilian Music and Sounds of the Rainforest on Oct. 26 at the Cleland Theatre put on by Children’s Showcase.
Originally from Brazil, the four-time Juno nominee currently resides in Gibsons after moving to Canada a decade ago.
His musical base lies in classical guitar, but he brings a vast array of instruments to his performance. His set list acts like a bonafide musical tour of the world including pieces featuring Middle Eastern flute called a nay (or ney in some countries), a ngoni which is the great grandfather of the banjo originating from West Africa, as well as a 22-string African harp called a kora — which is so fragile he can’t take it with him on flights.
Alongside his instrumental range, Machado also produces soundscapes including birds, animals, rain and thunderstorms, all done without any pre-recorded accompaniment.
“It’s all done live with different sounds, there’s actually nothing recorded it’s all live,” Machado said.
The thunderstorm is a particularly challenging sound both to perform and prepare.
“You never stop to take a breath you keep on blowing in to the microphone continuously. It can go for five or 10 minutes nonstop.”
Machado says he has to assure concert technicians that the microphones are the right type and in the right position.
“They get really surprised when I show them the position I want the microphone in. They say it’s not going to work, so that has been a challenge for me,” Machado laughed.
Perhaps the most interesting of his many instruments is a one-of-a-kind porous rock he found on a beach, which he blows in to to make a unique sound.
“Sometimes the kids ask what my favourite instrument is and I tell them my favourite one is this particular rock because i found it on a beach. Nobody can claim any copyrights on that.”
Having a connection with nature is a large part of Machado’s musical influence and he tries to convey that to children by challenging them to look at nature in a whole new musical light with his performances.
“I tell the kids you can go yourself to the beach or the lake and you can find your own instrument and it’s going to be something unique.”
Machado has also run workshops with children in the past where he will teach them how to make their very own inexpensive instruments including a rainstick made with toothpicks, pipe insulators and popcorn seeds.
“You can get an amazing sound out of it. You don’t have to go to the store and spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a rainstick.”
Part of the Children’s Showcase is helping young minds learn how to take part in watching a live performance and respecting the artist. However, for this particular performance interaction is encouraged.
“Sometimes the adults want their children to be quiet and not say a word. For me that doesn’t really matter. Sometimes I will hear sounds from the audience and that sound will be incorporated in to my music.”
Machado has made multiple stops in Penticton before, and in his travels he has noticed a vibrant guitar culture, including particularly talented buskers, something that speaks to him personally.
“It’s very nice to see in a place like Penticton there’s this guitar ambience. That’s why I always like to come back and play there.”
Tickets for the entire Children’s Showcase lineup can be purchased for $30 at the Tumbleweed Gallery, Penticton & Wine Country Visitor Information Centre, Oliver Veterinary Hospital or the Beanery Coffee Company in Summerland.
Individual show tickets can be purchased for $12 each at the door.
The Children’s Showcase line up offers four shows in total including an upcoming dance performance with selections from Frozen and the Nutcracker on Nov. 30 put on by Even Dance and Okanagan Dance Studios. All shows will be at the Cleland Theatre at the Penticton Community Centre.
For more information on Celso Machado visit www.celsomachado.com