The Experimental Music of Hermeto Pascoal and Group, 1981-1993
Conception and Language
The Brazilian multi-instrumentalist, composer, and bandleader Hermeto Pascoal produces music that is unmistakably individual, drawing on a kaleidoscopic variety of influences, including contemporary...
The Brazilian multi-instrumentalist, composer, and bandleader Hermeto Pascoal produces music that is unmistakably individual, drawing on a kaleidoscopic variety of influences, including contemporary jazz and the popular musical styles of the Northeast of Brazil, such cocos, emboladas and repentes, as well as baião, frevo and choro, with results verging on contemporary art music. His complex compositions are highly demanding of the performer, with use of dissonant harmonies, polyrhythms, unconventional timbres, atonal improvisations, aleatory techniques and more. He became known to American musicians and music-lovers through a brief period working with the late Miles Davis, and through a remarkable series of recordings for Warner and the Brazilian label Som Da Gente. Luiz Costa-Lima Neto's book is the first publication in English focusing on the work of this musical genius, looking at music produced between1981 and 1993. During this period Hermeto worked with a group of five musicians in an ensemble that was called "Hermeto Pascoal e Grupo". Working with Hermeto were Itibere Luis Zwarg (electric bass, tuba and bombardon), Jovino Santos Neto (piano, keyboard, flutes), Antonio Luis Santana ("Pernambuco") - (percussion), Carlos Daltro Malta (saxophones, flutes, piccolo) and Marcio Villa Bahia (drum kit and percussion). Luiz Costa-Lima Neto explores the sourcesof Hermeto's experimental music, their development and characteristics, and describes how these were transformed into a musical system. He reconstructs the processes of creation and music-making by the group, with analysis of a selection of the ensemble's pieces, and demonstrates the innovative role played by Hermeto Pascoal in the history of popular music in Brazil, fusing regional, national, and international elements to create a universal music which continues to affirm it roots.