Humberto “Berto” Oliveira Sales and Madeline Holly Sales grew up miles and an ocean apart.
Berto learned to play his guitar in Salvador, Brazil, while Madeline tinkled the ivories in various states along the East Coast before her family settled in Charlottesville.
In preparation for a performance in Bedford, we answered some questions with Lynchburg’s ‘News and Advance’.
You’ve played in different countries. How does the musical environment of South and Central America differ from that in the U.S.?
“The most distinct difference is the audience’s external response. When we moved to the U.S. and began performing, it took us awhile to get used to very still, polite audiences and understand and trust that they enjoyed the music. In Latin America, people in an audience will either move their bodies more (whether dancing or just responding with their upper bodies while seated) and use a lot more verbal affirmation, even during a song. … And if they know the song, they are more inclined to sing along aloud.”
What inspires you musically?
“A good groove — a strong bass line, a contagious percussive rhythm. Meaningful lyrics. Haunting melodies. Whimsical melodies and lyrics — a good dose of fun is right up there [for] our basic needs. I guess that’s the full spectrum of life. Music really is an expression of all of what it means to be alive.”