According to a myth in Amazonas, Uakti was a huge being with a body full of openings, through which the wind created seductive tones that hypnotised women and made men jealous. Like this legendary figure, the band creates incredible sounds. For their magic, the musicians use unusual instruments made of everyday materials, like PVC tubes, glass, metal, rock, rubber, gourds, and water. And with them, Uakti has “seduced” artists like Milton Nascimento, Paul Simon, and Manhattan Transfer to collaborative projects. With Uakti, a fantastic journey through a New World begins.
With Uakti, our concert series is presenting a sophisticated form of Música Popular Brasileira, which by definition combines very diverse styles.
Since the end-1970s, this experimental quartet from Minas Gerais has been breaking the standards of Western instrumentation and notation. Uakti (pronounced wak-chi) play instruments that they themselves have made from a combination of pipes, rocks, metal, glass rubber and water for specific compositions. Some of their constructions are designed for playing with four hands. Their name, which goes back to a mythical figure from the Amazon rain forest, has a very real meaning, which is vividly related to their very extraordinary instruments. Uakti was a being whose body was completely perforated by holes. When the wind blew, it made seductive sounds on his body. When Uakti was killed and buried, palms grew at the site. From these palms, wooden instruments were made that had equally mystical properties. Uakti unite gamelan, minimalism, jazz and random sounds of Brazilian origin to create unheard-of compositions, defying all marketing categories. They have worked with such different artists as Philipp Glass, Paul Simon and Milton Nascimento. They developed a score from their own geometrical symbols for such works as their ballet I Ching, composed for the great Brazilian dance company Grupo Corpo. Compositions such as I Ching are not only intended as a musical search, however, but also as a spiritual one. On one of their new CDs, they also play a “Trilogy for Krishna”. Uakti see themselves not as “instrumentalists”, but as “instruments for the instruments” which “want to say something”. They consistently follow the principles of improvisational composition. Uakti create New Brazilian Music.