The rabeca is as old as Brazil— a fiddle likely of European origin, predating the modern violin. This musical instrument is captivating for it’s haunting sound, the roles it plays in leading a wide variety of cultural traditions, including forró, cavalo marinho, fandango caiçara, and música caipira, and the ingenuity of it’s makers who frequently use simple tools in rural settings to great creative end.

In this presentation/workshop, stringed-instrument maker Adam Bahrami will discuss his trajectory as a rabeca builder embedded in the dynamic music scene of São Paulo, where he founded the workshop Rabeca São Paulo in 2016.

Bringing his background in the sciences to the building of a traditional instrument, Adam developed a successful 5-string model and created the first commercially-available string sets for the instrument.  At the same time, these activities highlight complexities and tensions of working in the arena of culture with diverse stake-holders, raising questions about the role and limits of innovation in tradition.

In this workshop, participants are welcome to engage with questions and discussion according to their interests, or just sit back and learn about the rabeca in Brazilian music!

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