In March 2020, the coronavirus officially established a lockdown from our daily activities, and left us with many uncertainties. There was silence in the streets - and in us. The concert halls, the biggest source of income for musicians, closed. Yet, music kept everyone company as they isolated in their homes during a difficult and undeniably historic year. Once again culture helped us to survive, as the artists who provided us with joy reinvented themselves in the silences that surrounded them, never stopping to create.
From their thoughtful and generous heads, they gave us fruits that fed our ears and eyes. New seeds also sprouted in a time of shrinkage. In addition to songs, some of the artists recorded in new formats and from a distance. They gave us audiovisual records that mark a worldwide time full of protocols and care that demanded even more creativity than the normal musical scene.
No system will silence us, no system kept us quiet. Contraflow to asphyxiation and necropolitics, Brazilian culture has bent but not broken. And Mostra Museu is connected to the Brazilian culture through the music throughout the exhibition. This collection of renowned artists and new voices reinvented themselves and added new directions to Brazilian music that was provided even in distance and isolation.
At 70 years of age, Numa Ciro gave us a renovating shower of life and released his first album. From a new and effervescent generation of national rap, Baco Exu do Blues postponed a finished album and made another one - Não Tem Bacanal na quarentena - recorded in just three days, a new work for the present moment.
In this same year, at last worldwide commotion was caused due to racism starting with the murder of George Floyd by the American police. Musically speaking, São Paulo native Jup do Bairro emerged with her manifest album "Corpo Sem Juízo," which explores themes such as sexuality and gender from real life stories in the favelas. It is from the favelas too - those in Bahia - that came one of the best surprises of 2020: Yan Cloud and his album "Pinkboy."
From a show made months before the pandemic, Emicida brought us a documentary-lesson on Brazilian black culture and, as a gift, a meeting with Gilberto Gil. "To live is to leave, go back and share" says the song "É Tudo pra Ontem." Leave, go back, and share - is how Brazilian music flowed and continues to flow. We must put ourselves in our present time, without forgetting the past, in order to share in the expectation of a future in which art is better understood.
The pandemic has redefined the power of being heard, listened to, and shared. Brazil is much bigger and more diverse than it seems. It is feminine, black, indigenous, LGBTqIA+. It is this Brazil that should inspire us and needs to be listened to more so that our soundtracks have a little more love, awareness, and freedom in being and existing. So that, thus, we can meet together in shared understanding - and soon. Promises are held in 2021. Listen to the playlists of the Mostra Museu and watch the videos. They have a lot to tell us.
Pedro Henrique França