Dubspot Alumni Spotlight: FJAZZ / Fernando Arruda (Brazil) Joins Eno, Bowie on ‘Concussion’

We are happy to report that former Dubspot student Fernando Arruda a.k.a. FJAZZ has recently licensed three tracks (EmbodySalt Waters and Round Edge) from his album Sound Bending to the new film Concussion, which also features music by Brian Eno and David Bowie. Arruda is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and performer whose music pushes the boundaries between improvised acoustic jazz and electronic music. You might have caught him a few weeks back during our Ableton User Group session at Dubspot NYC, where he explained how to create a “hybrid performance” combining DJ tracks and live instruments.

Concussion, which was directed by Stacie Passion, features an original score by Super Buddha Music’s Barb Morrison who helped Arruda get his foot in the door for music licensing. He explains:

“Through Dubspot’s Director of Student Affairs Kelly Webb I got hired as an audio engineer to run Logic for Super Buddha Music producer Barb Morrison. After a few sessions I got to co-write a song with her and Debbie Harry from Blondie. Barb, being super generous, asked if she could send my CD Sound Bending to Stacie Passon, the director of Concussion. Barb composed some great music for the movie, and there is also music from some of my childhood heroes including David Bowie and Brian Eno. The movie premiered at Sundance in January, and in February at the Berlin International Film Festival. I just heard it won the special jury award there, which is pretty exciting news. It will be released for the general public in October. Check out Concussion when it comes out and listen for some FJAZZ in there while you are at it!”

Originally from Brazil, Fernando began his music career on the saxophone, studying classical saxophone performance at the Federal University of Brasilia. After some time he became a bit frustrated with his classical studies because he wanted to learn more about composition and improvisation, and ended up moving to New York City to study jazz at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. While living in NYC and studying at the New School, he was exposed to a lot of new music and began listening to electronic music more, getting into the drum’n'bass he heard at Club Love in Greenwich Village and other places.

“I came to the USA in 2007 to study jazz performance at the New School. By the time I finished my degree and was four years into my New York experience I realized that the ‘edge’ of the NY music scene was no longer in jazz. I felt in love with drum’n'bass and soon felt the need to learn how to make such music. I walked past Dubspot and felt an instant connection with the place. I have been part of that community ever since.”

Fernando combined his interests in jazz and electronic music to create the 2011 album Sound Bending, mastered by Dubspot’s Daniel Wyatt: