We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Brazilian Voices. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Brazilian Voices below.
Brazilian Voices, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. What’s been the most meaningful project you’ve worked on?
Our performances in hospitals continue to give us powerful and meaningful experiences and lessons. This seems to be magnified when sharing moments with people who are facing serious illnesses. Our Arts & Healing team is composed of sensitive singers who delicately express their empathy with these patients and their families. We must, however, conduct our performances with excellence, while managing our personal emotions. We have to be selfless – it’s not about us… it’s about them! In some institutions that we visited regularly, we interacted with some patients repeatedly over a period of time, allowing for the creation of affective bonds and even relationships, especially with the elderly and children. We had the privilege of performing to an older lady in our monthly visits to a nursing home, who we’ll refer to as Mrs. Smith, and who dearly touched our hearts. Countless patients have touched us, but Mrs. Smith will remain in our memories as vividly as we saw her in every one of our musical exchanges. She was a music teacher and she always requested the same Brazilian tune, so she could hum along the song over and over, as we performed it at her bedside. Music and soothing voices provided her the meaningful opportunity to express what she felt. We’ve also wondered how our lives would be without the experience and privilege of working with Mrs. Smith and all the generous patients that opened their doors and hearts to us. There is simply no substitute for the beautiful and seamless opportunity that music and smiling faces provide to people during difficult times in their lives.
Brazilian Voices, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
Brazilian Voices is a non-profit musical organization of about 34 women who sing Brazilian and international music during concerts, educational and philanthropic events in hospitals, chemotherapy infusion units, nursing homes, and other venues. The group has released seven CD albums and has performed around the world during the past 17 years with singing engagements in Barcelona, Madrid, Mexico, New York, Phoenix, and London. In addition, Brazilian Voices has conducted over 630 performances in South Florida, reaching approximately 30 thousand people last year. The group’s repertoire honors the great composers and artists who lead the birth of Brazilian Jazz, comprising songs specially selected and arranged for the unique audiences we entertain. One of the relevant details we would like to share with your readers is related to the power of the Arts in Medicine and how artists can be prepared to support healthcare professionals and patients towards a brighter mind and a healthier body. Brazilian Voices’ Arts & Healing program aims to bring a little encouragement and lightness to hospital and nursing home patients, caregivers and staff. Our vehicle is Bossa Nova, which we deliver smoothly, with high spirits and lots of smiles. Brazilian Voices singers are very proud to share their views on the positive effects these musical performances have on children, hospital patients, and staff. Such sessions have been described as “magically delicious” by children in the audience. As qualified by a physician we meet regularly, our visits provide “a positive experience uniting the whole family in the midst of what would otherwise be a traumatic experience of chemo…” The retribution of our actions is immense, and sometimes, almost imperceptible, but any moment of lightness that we manage to cause fills us with joy and energy and the benefits are visible for everyone involved. Our aspiration is to expand and enhance this innovative work model, securing more support and promotion, so we can continue to bring Bossa Nova music to additional healthcare facilities and better serve our community.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative in your experience?
Artists have the gift of being creative, not only onstage but offstage as well. Brazilian Voices leverages the creativity and ingenuity of its members in the achievement of the group’s vision, continuously looking for innovative and entertaining ways to bring art and culture to the community through our different departments. The group’s ability to quickly adapt to the limitations imposed by the health and safety protocol caused by the pandemic is an excellent example of the commitment and perseverance of its members. Brazilian Voices continued offering musical interventions for hospitals’ closed circuit TV, patients tablets and cellphones performed via Zoom or Facebook live. We felt that music and soothing harmonies would be the perfect medicine at this crucial moment. Under the leadership of its directors, Brazilian Voices designed and assembled an A/V studio to broadcast interactive performances attended by more than 30 thousand people. The recognition we receive from our virtual audience through live chats and other social media channels is, by far, the best reward we can receive. Seeing the expression of gratitude and the smile of a patient during a walk-through performance in the wings of a hospital is an invaluable experience. We strive to lead united and enthusiastic groups towards the development of new ideas not only about our own culture but also about how we can all work together, unlocking the richness of the creative, cultural and intellectual treasures within ourselves and the community. By bringing joy, hope and healthy and harmonious experiences we hope to serve and treat our beloved community.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
Art builds resilience by making creative choices. In 2020, due to the pandemic, the leadership of Brazilian Voices implemented ingenious mechanisms to continue the training and maintaining vocal excellence through virtual rehearsals and exercises that singers could conduct while in isolation. These rehearsals enabled more focused musical classes. Asynchronous video and audio recordings were largely used for practices at home, which improved individual skill development. While visiting hospitals is undesirable during contagious outbreaks, essential medical care and chemotherapy treatments can’t stop or pause. Brazilian Voices found ways to cheer up adults and children, helping them to cope with stress and anxiety by conducting virtual or in-person performances. Being resilient throughout this crisis does not mean that we were shielded from traumatic experiences, stress, and suffering. We cried together and kept singing together – however apart. We witnessed these singers tapping into their strengths and activating our support system to overcome many challenges we were facing.
- Website: http://brazilianvoices.org/
- Instagram: #brazilianvoices
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brazilian.voices.7/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/brazilian-voices-inc.
- Twitter: @brazilianvoices
- Youtube: brazilianvoices