This "now" page is a part of Derek Sivers' "Now Network"...Derek being known to the world as the man behind CD Baby, from where so many people heard so much!




Now, June 9, 2024: June in the nordeste brasileiro (Brazilian Northeast) is a big deal and big fun! It's the buildup to the feast days of São João (Saint John) on the 24th, and São Pedro (Saint Peter) on the 29th, harvest holidays, the principal harvest being milho (corn). As people do for Thanksgiving in the United States, people in this region of Brazil return to the little towns they came from, where they consume traditional foods and liqueurs, and dance to a wonderful, accordion-based "country" music called "forró" (faw-HAW) and related styles. The second song in the player below — Sina de Cantador (A Singer's Destiny) — is forró; I produced it.


My wife and I live in Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia, and we will soon be travelling to the little town she is from, Miguel Calmon, some 5 hours or so away by car. "Miguel Calmon" was not the original name of the town, it was originally called "Cana Brava", or "Canabrava" (the name was changed in the 1930s). This was a common name for sugarcane plantations, a plantation being the basis for this town's founding, as plantations were one of the bases for Brazil's founding as a colonial nation (the first being pau-brasil, "Brazilwood", "brasil" being derived from the Latin "brasilia", the reddish color of burning charcoal, which is where the English language gets "brazier" from). I like to say that even this country's name was born in heat and flames (the latter having become an unfortunate metaphor given what's happening in the Amazon).


And because this is my first "now" post, and because most of my "nows" are based in Brazil and its culture, I'd like to emphasize that this is a deeply fascinating place, greatly mis- and not-understood by the rest of the world. I tend to work in music rooted in Brazil's aforementioned nordeste, from where so much of modern Brazil's culture was born (in the same way that America's deep-roots music, the blues, formed the basis for r&b and rock 'n' roll, going on and evolving to not only conquer the United States but the entire world). I'm grateful for the amazingness here.


Now, June 14, 2024: Went to a friend's defense of his master's thesis at the Federal University of Bahia yesterday, a thesis dear to my heart...



The thesis is based on Fidelis' work with João do Boi (John of the Ox, for the Portuguese-deprived), João having been at the bottom of an upside-down pyramid of importance...the most important deepest-roots musician in Brazil. Fabulous and fabulously unknown and underestimated, with the exception of a small coterie of cognoscenti (including Teresa Cristina, a Brazilian singer of national renown).




The Matrix invokes a property of mathematics to put creators in reach of each other and the entire world. Wolfram MathWorld explains the phenomenon:

   In English   Em Português

"This is super impressive work ! Congratulations ! Thanks for including me :)))"

—Clarice Assad: Pianist and composer with works performed by Yo Yo Ma and orchestras around the world

"Dear Sparrow, Many thanks for this – I am touched!"

—Julian Lloyd Webber: Premier cellist in UK; brother of Andrew (Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats, Phantom of the Opera...)

"Thanks, this is a brilliant idea!!"

—Alicia Svigals: World's premier klezmer violinist


Conceived under a Spiritus Mundi ranging from the quilombos and senzalas of Cachoeira and Santo Amaro to Havana and the provinces of Cuba to the wards of New Orleans to the South Side of Chicago to the sidewalks of Harlem to the slums of Kingston to the townships of South Africa to the villages of Ireland to the Roma camps of France and Belgium to the Vienna of Beethoven to the shtetls of Eastern Europe...*


Thousands of crossroads (listed in the link immediately above) ... and millions of pathways, uncoiling from the sprawling cultural matrix of Terra Brasilis: Indigenous, African, Sephardic and then Ashkenazic, Arabic, European, Asian... constituting a small world network.

  J. Velloso

Such networks exist everywhere around us, even inside us: our brains contain small world networks. Humanity is a small world network wherein over 8 billion human beings average 6 or fewer steps between any two given people, anywhere. Those steps are seldom all transitable though. In the Matrix they are. In a small world great things are possible.

* conversation with Raymundo Sodré, who summed up the beautiful irony in this sequence by opining for the ages: "Where there's misery, there's music!" Thus A Massa, anthem for the trod-upon folk of Brazil, which blasted from every radio between the Amazon and Brazil's industrial south until Sodré was silenced, threatened with death and forced into exile...

A Massa (do povo carente) / The Masses (of people in need)

A Massa (do povo carente) / The Masses (of people in need)
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And thus a platform whereupon all creators tend to accessible proximity to all other creators, irrespective of degree of fame, location, or the censor.

  Sparrow/Pardal Roberts


Recommend somebody and you will appear on that person's page. Somebody recommends you and they will appear on your page.

🔗connections from Sônia include ↓

  Maria Marighella

Both pulled by the inexorable mathematical gravity of the small world phenomenon to within range of everybody inside.

🔗connections from Maria include ↓

  Fernando Guerreiro

And by logical extension, to within range of all humanity outside as well.

🔗connections from Fernando include ↓

  Kamasi Washington

"We appreciate you including Kamasi in the matrix, Sparrow."

—Banch Abegaze: manager, Kamasi Washington

🔗connections from Kamasi include ↓

  Susan Rogers

"Dear Sparrow: I am thrilled to receive your email! Thank you for including me in this wonderful matrix."

—Susan Rogers: Personal recording engineer for Prince, inc. "Purple Rain", "Sign o' the Times", "Around the World in a Day"... Director of the Berklee Music Perception and Cognition Laboratory

🔗connections from Susan include ↓

  Randy Brecker

"Thanks! It looks great!....I didn't write 'Cantaloupe Island' though...Herbie Hancock did! Great Page though, well done! best, Randy"

🔗connections from Randy include ↓

  Herbie Hancock

🔗connections from Herbie include ↓

  Alfredo Rodrigues

🔗connections from Alfredo include ↓

  Munir Hossn

🔗connections from Roberto include ↓

  Maria Bethânia

🔗connections from Munir include ↓

  Roberto Mendes

🔗connections from Maria include ↓

  J. Velloso

🔗connections from J. include ↓

  João do Boi ↓

The Recôncavo is presided over by the ineffable Black Rome of Brazil: Salvador da Bahia (seat of the Integrated Global Creative Economy* and where Bule Bule is seated below, around the corner from where we built this matrix as an extension of our record shop).



Assis Valente's (of Santo Amaro, Bahia) "Brasil Pandeiro" filmed by Betão Aguiar

  Betão Aguiar

("Black Rome" is an appellation per Caetano, via Mãe Aninha of Ilê Axé Opô Afonjá.)


*Darius Mans holds a Ph.D. in Economics from MIT, and lives between Washington D.C. and Salvador da Bahia.


Between 2000 and 2004 he served as the World Bank’s Country Director for Mozambique and Angola. In that capacity, Darius led a team which generated $150 million in annual lending to Mozambique, including support for public private partnerships in infrastructure which catalyzed over $1 billion in private investment.


Darius was an economist with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, where he worked closely with the U.S. Treasury and the IMF to establish a framework to avoid debt repudiation and to restructure private commercial debt in Brazil and Chile.


He taught Economics at the University of Maryland and was a consultant to KPMG on infrastructure projects in Latin America.






Replete with Brazilian greatness, but we listened to Miles Davis and Jimmy Cliff in there too; visitors are David Dye & Kim Junod for NPR/WXPN


I'm Pardal here in Brazil (that's "Sparrow" in English). The deep roots of this project are in Manhattan, where Allen Klein (managed the Beatles and The Rolling Stones) called me about royalties for the estate of Sam Cooke... where Jerry Ragovoy (co-wrote Time is On My Side, sung by the Stones; Piece of My Heart, Janis Joplin of course; and Pata Pata, sung by the great Miriam Makeba) called me looking for unpaid royalties... where I did contract and licensing for Carlinhos Brown's participation on Bahia Black with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock...


...where I rescued unpaid royalties for Aretha Franklin (from Atlantic Records), Barbra Streisand (from CBS Records), Led Zeppelin, Mongo Santamaria, Gilberto Gil, Astrud Gilberto, Airto Moreira, Jim Hall, Wah Wah Watson (Melvin Ragin), Ray Barretto, Philip Glass, Clement "Sir Coxsone" Dodd for his interest in Bob Marley compositions, Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam and others...


...where I worked with Earl "Speedo" Carroll of the Cadillacs (who went from doo-wopping as a kid on Harlem streetcorners to top of the charts to working as a janitor at P.S. 87 in Manhattan without ever losing what it was that made him special in the first place), and with Jake and Zeke Carey of The Flamingos (I Only Have Eyes for You)... stuff like that.


Yeah this is Bob's first record contract, made with Clement "Sir Coxsone" Dodd of Studio One and co-signed by his aunt because he was under 21. I took it to Black Rock to argue with CBS' lawyers about the royalties they didn't want to pay (they paid).




Matrix founding creators are behind "one of 10 of the best (radios) around the world", per The Guardian.




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