All songs are composed by Itaiguara except track 3 by Itaiguara & Naná Brandao and track 9 by Jacob Bittencourt.
All songs are arranged by Itaiguara.
The album was recorded in New York City and Rio de Janeiro from May to November 2014.
Recording Engineers: Michael Brorby, John Davis, Kamilo Kratc, David Stoller, and Toninho Silva
Mixing & Mastering Engineer: Dave Darlington at Bass Hit Recording, NYC
Producer: Itaiguara Brandao
Recorded in New York City, USA at Acoustic Recording, The Bunker Studio, Soundworks Recording, Samurai Hotel Recording, and in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at Zaga Music.
Arranging consultants: Mike Longo, Oriente Lopez, Klaus Mueller
Pre-production assistants: Mauricio Zottarelli, Gilmar Gomes
Project consultant: Marcos Vigio
The opening track, Why Dream, features the great Dom Salvador on accordion and a unique combination of Brazilian percussion (agogo, caxixi, timbau) with string instruments (violins, cellos). It presents a variety of rhythms such as Afro 6/8, baião with salsa influence, and funk in 5/4.
The title track, Awakening, features a small 10-piece chamber orchestra with combined classical and jazz elements.
Meu Rio is a samba exalting the beauty of Rio de Janeiro and expressing the longing of an expat wishing to return to the city. The lyrics are written by Naná Brandao. Greta Panettieri and Naná sing in Portuguese mostly in unison with solos by Greta. Gilmar Gomes is featured on percussion playing ganzá, reco-reco, torpedo, pandeiro, tamborim, rebolo, tantan, prato, and repiques. The instrumental reprise of Meu Rio is recorded on the last track in Brazilian jazz style with the tenor sax playing the melody.
Cerro is a funky samba in 7/4 with modern harmonic passages, and presents a rare combination of tenor and baritone sax, flute, and trumpet, accompanied by a rhythm session comprising acoustic guitar, bass guitar, and drums.
De Volta ao Brasil (Back to Brazil) uses the most traditional instruments of baião, namely the wooden flute (pífano), violin, accordion, and percussion (zabumba, triangle, reco-reco, rebolo, tantan, timbau), mixed with acoustic guitar, bass guitar, and drums.
Luana is a bossa nova tune written by Itaiguara for his daughter. The lyrics describe, in a bittersweet tone, the difficulty of living far away from one's child. It features the legendary drummer Paulo Braga who was a core member of Antonio Carlos Jobim's band for 15 years.
The rhythm of Cores (Colors) is inspired by the Afro-Brazilian genre afoxé, yet contains an original twist: it is conceived in 3/4, as opposed to the traditional 2/4.
Meditando (Meditating) is a waltz inspired by Bill Evans's music, expressed in a fusion jazz genre with the addition of accordion and flute to the traditional jazz trio: piano, upright bass, and drums.
O Voo da Mosca (The Flight of the Fly) is a technically challenging, high-tempo composition by Jacob Bittencourt arranged by Itaiguara in a way that diverges from the traditional chorinho format (AABBACCA) by shortening the form, introducing a solo section, and alternating the theme between the bass and the electric guitar.
Chorinho pro Cidinho is a homage to groove master Cidinho Teixeira. It is written in chorinho style and features the Cuban virtuoso Oriente Lopez on alto flute.