For Carlos Barata ’14, a double major in music and anthropology & sociology, music is about so much more than sound.
“Music is a common ground for humanity,” he explains. “It carries out different purposes/meanings for many different types of people, in different types of settings, but at the end of the day it brings us, the ‘varied’ human race, together, and that’s what I love most about music.”
Barata is a singer, songwriter, and acoustic guitarist who performs throughout the Lehigh Valley. On Wednesday, Aug. 8, at 8 p.m., he will once again take the stage for his third summer at Musikfest in Bethlehem, Pa. He will perform a solo act on the Martin Guitar Lyrikplatz Stage outside ArtsQuest’s SteelStacks building.
Often playing at Easton’s Farmer’s Market and other Main Street events like Tunes at Noon, Barata is busiest during the academic year, playing shows on campus, keeping up with his academic pursuits, and writing new songs.
Barata, who has been writing songs for almost six years, is driven by his love of words.
“I write because I have many things to say,” he says. “I write because I consider too much detail in everything I encounter. I write because things happen to me. I write because things happen to people I love. I write because it is the most simple, but ultimate form of reflection and creativity.”
His passion for understanding culture also fuels his songwriting.
“I am deeply interested in studying the dichotomy of peoples and cultures,” he says. “Culture drives each and every one of us, and our understanding of our place in this world of diversity and complexity. Anthropology & sociology gives me the skills to think successfully, and to develop outlooks based on significant trends. It has also played a paramount role in the development of my creativity thus far.”
In 2009, Barata released his first solo, original album, Believe. Last year at Musikfest he released his second album, This State We’re In.
When he is not writing, Barata keeps busy as a resident adviser, a member of the percussion ensemble, an usher at the Williams Center for the Arts, a bartender at The Spot, and as a member of numerous student groups, including Alternative School Break Club, College Democrats, Anthropology & Sociology Club, and Lafayette Activities Forum.
Barata hopes to one day perform within the realm of mainstream, popular music, but he is also pursuing music therapy. After graduating, he plans to attend graduate school and focus specifically on music therapy in cultural contexts.
“Music healing is saving lives—not in the sense that we are bringing people back from the dead—but it is giving lifeless people life. Further research and practice are needed,” he explains. “I want to explore what and how music is being used in other parts of the world. Using my music and anthropology skills, I want to discover what they are doing that we in the United States are not. As a result, I then want to put this into practice back at home to further music healing.”
To listen to Barata’s music and to find out more about his touring schedule, visit www.reverbnation.com/carlosmbarata. His music can also be accessed through iTunes and Spotify.