Skip to main content

See also:

Joseh Garcia brings ECHOES to the Bay Area

Joseh Garcia
Joseh Garcia
Courtesy of Joseh Garcia

Interview with Joseh Garcia whose newest show, ECHOES, makes a stop in the Bay Area on Saturday at Far Leaves Tea in Berkeley.

Wendy:

ECHOES is a really unusual solo show, using only your voice as both vocals and instrumentation.

Joseh:

This is perhaps the most [inspired] and creative concert I have done; in it I sing accompanied uniquely by my voice in vocal layers. The whole [of the] music that is created onstage is created with the help of a vocal processor so as I sing I can record what I'm singing and I can create loops that constitute the foundation, the layers that I can create on top of. The repertoire is basically Brazilian popular music, and also a few songs in english, including a Madonna song with a very unusual arrangement. The thing about this concert is that the arrangements are so different because it's just voice. People tell me that it's very mesmerizing. This concert is about singing and being curious about the encounter [between] technology and voice. Maybe that's the singing of the future - that we can discover layers of our voice, textures of our voice through the help of technology.

Wendy:

There's also a story behind ECHOES, which is the story of someone who is the sole survivor on the planet, so there's more drama to it than what's provided by the music alone.

Joseh:

There is. The concept of the show is human civilization as we know [it] had collapsed and there was one survivor on the whole planet. He's feeling alone, and with the hope that someone will hear him, he starts to emit sounds to the sky, to the night. What he hears back is only echoes of his voice. The first sentiment was loneliness but then he started to establish a relationship with the echoes and create songs with the echoes. He started to feel that he was not alone anymore; he found a place of resilience inside, and love - love for being with life, with the cosmos. It was not just him anymore; it was him with the universe.

Wendy:

Self-discovery through music is something I'm sure you visit in your other work, in sound healing. Also in your last show, Bicho Do Mato, it was a different story but self-discovery was still a theme within that story. In that case it was about someone who had gone out into the woods seeking to be alone and found a connection to himself again.

Joseh:

Very interesting that you reminded me of this other concert because, both of them, what is implied there is that in your deepest solitude, if you go inside yourself you're gonna discover the universe. You're not alone. You're gonna find a connection. That's what these two concerts have in common. There's this huge potential - if you're curious you start to awaken to the vastness of who you are. There's so much to explore and I think music is such a beautiful way to explore. The rhythm, the melody, gently guides us. When I create concerts I create music with that care, of people having gentle experiences. There's always the hope that, when they come to my concert, they're gonna get something valuable for them - maybe something deeper than they expected, maybe not, but something that they can stay with.

Wendy:

You mentioned that you'll be doing some Brazilian popular music, as well as some songs in english by other artists, but you'll also be doing some original material in ECHOES.

Joseh:

Yes. Some new songs that I haven't recorded yet, I'm presenting in this concert. A song in english called Nothing Wrong; the song is a message, a good reminder to myself. [During] a day when I was feeling that my inner critic was visiting me the inspiration of the song came to me - Nothing Wrong. I love this song and it seems people have really enjoyed it too, because it's good for us to remember that there's really nothing wrong in who we are. We are part of the whole, so there is a place for every little aspect of ourselves in the universe. That was the treasure of the song to me and I think to people who hear it.

Wendy:

It sounds like the tour's been going very well.

Joseh:

It has been received with openness and curiosity and appreciation, and that's really good because [the] creation of this concert was a joy for me. I always did concerts with a band or with guitar - with Bicho Do Mato - guitar and some pre-recorded material, but I've never done anything like this. This whole concert, for me, was a discovery too.

Joseh Garcia presents ECHOES on Saturday, April 19th at Far Leaves Tea in Berkeley. Show is at 7:30

For more information please visit www.josehgarcia.com