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Photo Diary: Angie in Brazil

Angie (aka Angie from Circle Pit aka Ange from Straight Arrows aka Angela Bermuda) recently spent a month on a coffee plantation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She wasn't merely chasing the perfect cup of Nescafe though, but rather there as part of an artist residency program called Fazenda Sao Joao which, according to my near-perfect Portuguese linguistic tongue, translates to "gettin' away from the city" and/or "no bloody distractions".

All photos and words by Angie.

In Teresopolis I bought an acoustic guitar for the purposes of the residency. Despite playing only electric guitar my whole life and obsessed with solos, the more cheesy side of effects (wah, phaser etc) I wanted to learn to play the acoustic properly and develop new songs using finger picking and loops for the first time. A project which has been both challenging and interesting, infact I have equally played acoustic and a Yamaha Digital Synthesizer that I found lying around the farm, both instruments completely new to me. In this photo we had walked up a huge mountain and were rehearsing for a concert (for the residents and local people) until the sun set over the hills. This grainy photo was taken about the moment the sun dipped behind.

Since arriving in Brasil I have been completely fascinated with the nature and animals here. There are some similarities to Australia that I haven't yet seen in other countries, like Eucalyptus trees everywhere and plants look like Bottlebrush but are smaller and different in colour. Some plants are completely alien, almost looking like something from another era in time. When walking through dense jungle you half expect a dinosaur to appear. The ferns in particular amaze me, and I have been documenting and collecting them. This one in particular comes in all shapes and sizes, some being very big.

At the residency I have been writing and working on music in an old chapel on the entrance to the property. There is no electricity and at night I work by candlelight. As I look out the window all I can see are fireflies and can only hear the rhythmic clap of frogs keep me in time, like a natural metronome.

Rio from Above. Visually, the city from above is like Sydney and Myst the computer game mixed together.

There are many mountains in and around the farm, this shot was taken at sunset from the tallest mountain around. There is nothing all around, only endless hills and valleys shooting off in every direction. This view looks out to the state of Minas Gerais.

There are butterflies and hummingbirds absolutely everywhere, I constantly see a different one with new colours and shape. This shot was taken at a waterfall where the butterflies rest on the top of the water and the rocks around where you swim. There is something incredibly calming about both species, and I constantly watch them with delight, trying to remember every single one.

What I love about Brasil is the colours. Everything is so vibrant, like you have to look twice.

Everyone seems to drive incredibly fast here. This is a shot of me in the backseat of a speeding car, no seatbelts, trying not to stress out and just take it all in!

This is my friend Bruno, who is from Campinas. He has a folk-rock band and a solo project where he plays a Lebanese Bazooki and samples many old recordings. He played a concert for us here on the farm.

There are abandoned houses everywhere, where the workers have left or moved on. I am so captivated by them, and have been documenting every one I can find, always situated along a windy dirt road or in dense jungle. This one is particularly interesting as it is furnished and filled with possessions such as old photographs, as if the occupants left in a hurry. These houses are filled with so many questions. I wonder about the lives of the people that used to live here, and why they left.

Whilst we wait to hear the creative fruits of Ange's Brazilian Gap Month, give an earful of your time to her debut LP, Turning, which is out now via Rice Is Nice (digitally) and Easter Bilby (Vinyly).

Angie also hits the road next month for a double headline tour with Nathan "Marf Loth" Roche.

Friday, December 13: Sydney, The Square, Sydney
Saturday, December 14: John Curtain Hotel, Melbourne
Sunday, December 15: The Phoenix, Canberra
Friday, December 20: The Underground (The Grand Hotel), Newcastle
Saturday, December 21: Turkey Breakfast Festival at The Globe, Brisbane
Sunday, December 22: Time Machine Records, Nambour

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