Seafront thinking

Salvador de Bahia

Posted in: by Pete Moser on 15 July 2014
Tagged with: ISME 2014

Late arrival into Salvador and the fast speeding taxi takes me into the city along cleaned up highways that will have projected a 'polished' Brazil to the world cup crowds and press. The hotel is on the seafront at the north end by a beach where I swam with Kathryn last year when we came to research projects in the city.
Now I am focussing on the learning from the gathered crowd of 42 international travellers who all share a curiosity and passion for the world of community music. 5 continents of experience gather in the morning in a formal set up room with white table cloths in rows facing a screen where a series of presenters will each have 20 minutes to share their research and thoughts. Hmmmmmm!

The Brazilian hosts from the University welcome us and the proceedings of the Community Music Activity Commission begin. Themes begin to emerge - leadership, belonging, creativity, authenticity, spirituality, formal, informal and non formal learning.

We hear an amazing gem of a story : a Chinese migrant who embraced the 'music serteneja' of Brazil and learnt the songs in such a way as to be able convince a minister that he was as Brazilian as she was and was given a visa to stay - forever. The development of a community conservatoire in Palestine (is that like the Hothouse I wonder) and then a series of presentations that unpicked traditional forms of Capoera, Samba and Maracatu - their social context and the mestres that inspire musical, social and community learning. In between all of this I talk with old friends Phil Mullen and Lee Higgins and reconnect with Joel Barbosa from here in Salvador.

I listen, draw in my book, ask questions and make interjections that try to tease out key themes that are emerging from this community of thinkers, researchers and musicians. I feel useful and engaged and start to plan my workshop for tomorrow.