Clarice Assad


Amazônia Sem Lei


AMAZÔNIA SEM LEI, “Lawless Amazon,” is a well-known Brazilian term to designate how corporate institutions are not accountable for their ruthless greed and actions against nature and people who live off the land. The expression is also the title of an incredible podcast of the same title.   For a year, it was my go-to place to obtain information about the daily atrocities and crimes committed against the Amazon. Consequently, it influenced my writing. I wished to convey the power of informative journalism with pure music and emotion without being too specific. Musically speaking, the piece draws influence from what I believe are the three most prominent musicians who have always advocated for nature in their works: Composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, singer-songwriter Antonio Carlos Jobim, and composer, singer, and musicologist Marlui Miranda. 


Each, in their way, brought the sounds of the forest into our collective consciousness. The closest to the sounds of the Amazon we can get is through the music of Marlui Miranda. She lived among the Indigenous people of the Amazon for decades, earned their trust, and collected their music and stories. In 1999 I had the pleasure of meeting her in person and hearing some of these accounts, along with a signed copy of her masterpiece, a CD called IHU. It is pure musical joy; staying true to the source, all the melodies, language, chants, and rhythms she collected are preserved. But with a delightful twist in the orchestration and vocal arrangements performed by Marlui, Grupo Beijo, and the only percussion group UAKTI.  



I. Introduction

II. Seres (Beings) 

III. Sun-Drum 

IV. Curupira






Flute II

Flute III

Oboe I

Oboe II

Bb Clarinet I

Bb Clarinet II

Bb Clarinet III

Bb Bass Clarinet 

Bassoon I

Bassoon II

Bassoon III

Soprano Saxophone

Alto Saxophone

Tenor Saxophone

Baritone Saxophone

Horn I-IV

Trumpet in C I-IV

Trombone I

Trombone II

Bass Trombone




Percussion (4) 

Solo Violin




Meet the Sundrum

This remarkable drum is 100% acoustic and tuneable! Each tongue can be tuned to different pitched so the possibilities are endless.  Made by Valter Percussion 

Bird Calls from Brazil

A gorgeous collection of bird sounds, whistles and bird calls from Brasil

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The Tragedy of Deforestation

The Amazon rainforest is one of the most important ecosystems on Earth. It’s home to millions of species of plants and animals, and it plays a vital role in regulating the planet’s climate. But the Amazon forest is under threat. Over the past few decades, deforestation has caused the rainforest to shrink by an area the size of Delaware. And much of that deforestation has been driven by corporate greed. 


My personal story about the Amazon forest and the native people who want to live in their lands is an old tale. And it begins with music. In the video below, you can watch a mini-documentary by the Orquestra Sinfônica de São Paulo featuring my earliest works, “Nhanderú” which is the Tupi-Guarani word for ” God.” 

Concerto Digital: Floresta Villa-Lobos (Osesp, Coro da Osesp, Marin Alsop e solistas)

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