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Mestre Batista (com Luiz Paixão)

Cavalo-Marinho de Mestre Batista P8 (1991)

Cineasta/produtor: John Murphy

On May 19,1991, Mestre Batista, master performer of cavalo-marinho, a Brazilian performance tradition that combines music, dance, drama, comedy, and costume, gathered the musicians of his cavalo-marinho group and some friends and neighbors for an afternoon of music-making. Batista was in the last year of his life, suffering from throat cancer; he is directing, with a white towel around his neck. I had interviewed him multiple times during my ethnomusicological field research. His full cavalo-marinho group was not performing. He suggested this music session so I could get a sense of the music his group played. This is how cavalo-marinho music sounded as played and sung by the best players and singers of the region at that time. The members of the banco (musical group) are Luiz Paixão, rabeca; Manoel Deodato, vocal and pandeiro (now deceased); Biu Roque, vocal and bage (reco-reco), Mané Roque (Biu's son) bage; Sidrak, mineiro (ganzá). Inácio Lucindo da Silva is in the yellow shirt. The tall man in the white shirt who does the Mateus role and strikes a plastic bottle (a substitute for the inflated ox bladder or bexiga) against his thigh is Basu; his shorter colleague in the Sebastião role is Ramiro. I recorded this in Hi8 video and audio at Mestre Batista's farm, Sítio Chã de Camará, município de Aliança, Pernambuco, Brazil. I wrote about Cavalo-Marinho in "Music in Brazil" (Oxford Univ. Press, 2006) and "Cavalo-Marinho Pernambucano" (in Portuguese; Univ. Press of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, 2008). John Murphy | john.murphy@unt.edu | musicinbrazil.blogspot.com | for higher-quality versions of these videos, see web3.unt.edu/murphy/brazil Before part 1 starts, Luiz Paixão (rabeca) and Mané Roque play "Xote Ecológico" by Luiz Gonzaga while Basu dances with a radio. Then the cavalo-marinho music starts.


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