1994 – Nominee – 4th Annual LA Music Awards
A very deep ray of music is coming from the Valley of the Sun. Mauro A’sha Martins de Oliveira has just forged his fifteen song disk, IC2, from his mystical furnace, combining the elements of the indigenous with the contemporary. Technically his roots are classical, Spiritually, he is rooted to the Earth.
Mauro’s horizon’s, not unlike his sound, is boundless. He has successfully integrated the many influences of pop/rock, classical and native cultures that shine from his being. His strength is interpreting the ancient while channeling a powerful performance. Taking on the characters of his songs, his baritone tenor vocals move from tears of pain to melodies of joy.
In particular “Winds”, Mauro’s vision of an eternal moment between soldier and victim, is driven deep into the listener by his strong intimate lower voice. The foundation is a world-driven beat calling up the ghosts of the lost people. Pained guitar and a haunting female vocal fill the landscape while power-FUL backing singers embrace those key pronounciations that make “Winds” an epic work.
In his classically pompous “About Love” he is angry and cynical. He begins factually enough, recanting the rebellion that we all feel as we pay our taxes to “the man”. He sounds more like a prostitute, cold and indifferent to his Uncle Sam John. Behind him, timpani and strings punctuate the frigid and airy verses. Again his backing singers add temper as they whisper the secret of truth…It is About Love. When his cup of tolerance is full, Mauro breaks loose into the pain that can no longer be denied. Grunge-like guitars and drums power him to the finish, spiraling downward into the fire. The music is underground raw power. It represents the masses.
This calibre of work has attracted some well known L.A. musicians. The band is both stealth and exact in its execution. Daniel Pearson performs bass, John DePatie on guitar, Darren Ross & Makoto Izumitani behind the acoustic and digital drums and Jon Dunmore pads the keys. On larger shows, Mauro is joined by Janine Freeman (1994-LA Music Awards), Annette Austin and Laureen Clair. They assist in the backing vocals and the many different
indigenous drums and percussion that nest on stage.
The whole experience gets pretty sexy too. Every movement and vibration Mauro and the band make in “Come with Me” sends an erotic chill up the spine. An eastern tabla rhythm beds down a phasing liquid of keyboard drones and
climaxing guitar. Toss in bagpipes and sensual invitations from his voice and Mauro directly comes to the point.
Mauro sings endearingly using affectionate gestures. He exudes a power, both physical and mental. Throughout the performance, themes of universal significance flow from one to another allowing the listener to get lost in the combination of enlightenment and innocent sexuality. The connection grows quickly. His up front presentation and sublime articulation penetrate deep within the witness, creating an experience that one will long hold close to the heart.