As a Brazilian born kid from the early 80’s, I was exposed to a great amount of popular music, mainly the composers, singers and bands from the Tropicalia movement (my mom’s side of the family) and from the universe of the Samba (my father’s side.) This mixture of rhythms and musical colors was also nurtured by collections of Classical Music and a quite big library that we always had at home.
My first instrument was the Brazilian Cavaquinho, learned in a first moment by a dear uncle of mine and later in a Conservatory. This is a quite funny part of the story as I was learning basically classical and Brazilian folkloric tunes in an instrument closely related to the popular music – mainly Chorinho and Samba.
When I was a teenager, I remember having heard the Overture to Die Zauberflöte and saying to myself “Hey, wait a moment! I understand what this harmony is all about!”
And then I tried a couple of times to emulate at least the harmony of that work on that instrument. I believe that moment was capital for my relationship with music to become a lifelong one. Probably in that moment of “Eureka” I decided to dedicate myself to it for the rest of my life.
Published by ALL ABOUT THE ARTS
Rafael de Acha has enjoyed a distinguished career in the arts as a performer, stage director, producer, and educator. He was born and grew up in Cuba. At the age of 17 he moved to the United States to study Drama at the University of Minnesota, and later Languages at L.A. City College, Music at the Juilliard School of Music, at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, and at the New England Conservatory of Music, from which he received the Master's degree. He has taught courses on the History of Music at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and at Florida International University, and contributed writings and reviews to Seen and Heard International (www.seenandheard-international.com ) and to this blog. He co-founded the award-winning New Theatre in Coral Gables, Florida, where he produced and staged twenty seasons of classical and contemporary theater, including fifty world premieres of plays that went on to have international and national productions on and off Broadway, including Ana in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz (Pulitzer Prize for Drama 2002 and Tony Nomination 2003.) In 2006 he was presented with a citation from The Dade County Cultural Affairs Council for “trailblazing contributions to the arts in South Florida.”
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