Ricardo Vignini and Ze Helder, two violas for symphonic orchestra music.
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Ricardo Vignini and Ze Helder, two violas for symphonic orchestra music.

February 2, 2012, 4:06 am
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The enjoyment of Brazilian viola playing more than country music!
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Viola is a traditional instrument that came to Brazil from Portugal in the XV century; it has 10 strings divided into five pairs. Today it is the country’s fastest growing stringed instrument.

Ricardo Vignini and Zé  Helder are two of the best musicians in this kind of non electric guitar – acoustic guitar. In the last week of January they were booked for shows in Los Angeles – two days – and New York, one amazing night of the best quality of music at BEA – Brazilian Endowment for the Arts. 

The genius of Vignini and Helder impressed the public that left with the music “playing” in their “head.” This review has only one purpose: introduce this duo to those who like Brazilian string “country” music, actually, a lot of influence of classical and rock in its tune.

In 2007, two “Viola Caipira” players born in 1973 and members of the band Matuto Moderno, got together to play and adapt classic rock to “viola caipira” (A Brazilian country viola). Ricardo Vignini and Zé Helder’s initial idea was to show the potential of the instrument to their students and remember all the fun they had as teen with this music as soundtrack. 

The release of the CD “Moda de Rock & Viola Extrema” in 2011 became a media and sales success with several shows performed in Brazil and USA. Transforming Pink Floyd “In the Flesh” into a simple little waltz, Iron Maiden’s “Aces High” and Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” got some viola spree. Among these, the CD has tracks from Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Jimmy Hendrix, Megadeth, Sepultura, Nirvana, Jethro Tull and Ozzy Osbone, all of them performed by only two violas in acoustic way. The track Aqualung from Jethro Tull, has the participation of Brazilian  viola player Renato Caetano and Sepultura”s Kaiowas has Edson Fontes, from tha band Os Favoritos da Catira and Matuto Moderno, with his Catira’s tap  dance, a sound produced by their own hands and feet, in a rhythmic tap dance.

The CD was mastered on Abbey Road Studios in London, studio where 90% of Masterpieces from bands such Beatles, Pink Floyd, Foo Fighters and Green Day were recorded. Produced by Ricardo Vignini and release by Folgedo, a label dedicated exclusively to viola’s music, “Moda Rock” is distributed by Tratore.

“Moda Rock” first DVD release is scheduled for 2012 with participations of great guitar players in Brazil, Pepeu Gomes, Kiko Loureiro and Os Favoritos de Catira, the recording took place in SESC Pinheiro and SESC Pompéia, in São Paulo.

For this year is also scheduled the first tour to Europe.


To buy a track from the album Moda Rock Viola Extrema at iTunes click: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/moda-rock-viola-extrema-rock/id422436705

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Ricardo Vignini and Ze Helder, two violas for symphonic orchestra music.
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