The sounds of the sub-equatorial river journey

Not a fan of mainstream, I really loathe hearing commercial pop abroad, especially in some far off places. I guess it cannot be avoided – we all wear Nikes, have Facebook accounts and iPods.

But it is the uniqueness of distant places which makes us want to explore, not ‘globalization’. Trekking 5 days down the length of the Amazon river, then a few hours by bus into the jungle and hearing Rihanna, or whoever else is dominating the US charts and downloads, is really dispiriting.


midnight sun! full moon en route East to the mouth of the Amazon

But discovering new sounds can really give a great twist to a journey. It becomes your soundtrack. When you happen to hear it at some point again, when all the tastes and smells have evaporated, the sound transcends you back to that very moment, even if it wasn’t so significant, it becomes a piece of the puzzle.
So I gather and sample suggestions, hunt down the tunes that I’ve heard somewhere, some that have given a soundtrack to a passing but important to me moment, or an experience, some that have inspired me. I don’t let it pass, and sometimes I do it fanatically, especially if I think that it’s a thread that could lead me to discovering a new genre, a new sub-culture, or something different or unique.

I think of it as a way to delve deeper, to grow more attached.

IMG_7160 - Version 2
it gets intimate… and personal space is an ambiguous concept

At the destination: sleeping in the wild – Albergue de Floresta in Alter Do Chao, Amazon

The below roll call was collected during the last couple of weeks along the way, courtesy of fellow travellers on buses, airplanes and boats who were willing to share an earphone. Or share their playlists. Or secrets (in the case of one DJ in Bogota). It is them, our simple multilingual interactions (because music transcends linguistic borders), bumping heads to the beat, warm smiles, and of course, the new sounds which make the journey.
Rebelling against linear concepts
A fusion of traditional and punk
Try to resist this..
No regress, just progress..
Sounds you really want to dance to
Very sensual like Gotan Project
Gotan..huh? you must know..
More of that because a contemporary take on  Tango is addictive
This is what I call Very Catchy
Freshly spun waltz, with a twist
You wouldn’t be able to stand still
Sounds a bit Balkan, wouldn’t you say?
even the Balkan sound has been given an elegant slant and new interpretation lately
..a little bit like Ojos de Brujo
who’s Ojos de Brujo, you ask?
Inspiration is a chain (something a little like the wildly funky Manu Chao)
You’re instantly elsewhere (like in BogotA! – combine with visuals)
And maybe it will remind you of someone else
This is miles away but a great groove
Calls for a road trip
to island territories, a bit reggae-esque 

“Para mí sólo recorrer los caminos que tienen corazón. Por ahí yo recorro, y la única prueba que vale es atravesar todo su largo. Y por ahí yo recorro mirando, mirando, sin aliento”.

(source = unknown)

For me the only paths that make sense are those which have heart. And for this reason I travel, and the only option is to traverse them entirely and thoroughly. And so, I travel – looking, breathlessly.

(freestyle translation)

6 thoughts on “The sounds of the sub-equatorial river journey

  1. ….”Cualquier camino que tenga corazon”… a missing part of the Casteneda’s citation…….see to it to be added to your source, if it is not there. Seems it was, much before that 2004/05.

    Todavia y ahora mi camino tiene corazon, tiene tres corazones….

    Keep on walking and stay well.

  2. Me cago en el amor
    I guess i am a sucker for cathy melódico
    Viaje musical…

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