Video edited by Adrian H. Molina. Filmed by Molina and Amy J. Iwasaki in Bahia, Brazil (Aug 2010).
“Timeless” by SOULAJU w/ DJ Icewater, released on the debut full-length album SOULAJU, March 23rd, 2010.
A.M. Soleil, Retrospectively is a 52-week blog series in 2010, tracing back five years of independent music by Molina.
Time in Brazil
Aju and I had an opportunity to spend 3 weeks in Brazil this summer. Aju danced at Escola de Danca for two weeks with American and Brazillian dancers, studying Brazilian cultural traditions, Afro-Brazilian dance, Candomblé rites and the Orixás.
For me, the trip was a break from the pounding of time that I feel in my life, my work, my existence here in the states. My only goal was to shoot some video footage for a possible DIY music video. Otherwise, I was on my own time. No laptop, no cell phone, no schedule, no to-do lists.
Aju’s dance program was in Salvador de Bahia. We rented a cheap but comfortable one-bedroom apartment near the ocean and bussed to the city center (Pelourinho) every day. I wandered around alot, just watching people and letting ideas float in and out of my head. I took some capoeira and drumming classes, read “The Famished Road” by Ben Okri, wrote stories for my sun, but mostly wandered through the world and my mind.
One of the things that I loved most about Bahia (north-eastern state of Brazil) was the comparative lack of cell phones. After a few days in Bahia, spotting foreigners is easy: electronic gadgets, preoccupation with time, baggage…
I picked only a handful of days to walk around with a camera. Bahia is over-photographed and many locals are weary of cameras. Brazil is extremely wealthy, but that wealth is not shared. The memory of slavery and the lived reality of historical exploitation are very much alive, despite the myth that Brazil is a racial utopia. Frustration with tourists is evident in areas in/near the Pelourinho (Salvador’s city center), which translates to something like “whipping post”, because that’s exactly what it was.
I tried to be as respectful and non-invasive with my flip cam as possible. There are a lot of things I wanted to record but didn’t. In shooting the video, I sought to capture the beauty of Bahia. There is always “ugly”, no matter where you go, but it was the beauty that struck me.
Most of the video was recorded with a flip cam. After it froze up on me, we used Aju’s outdated photo camera. I used an old laptop and Windows Movie Maker to edit the video. The “professional” elements are Intention, Imagination, and Work Ethic (i.e. endless hours troubleshooting). There are endless details I could continue to tweak, but at some point you gotta be done (an important lesson).