On Joao Gilberto and Caetano Veloso
in Buenos Aires, March 1999

Pablo Avelluto <pabloa@ciudad.com.ar >

part four

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Dear listeiros,

I'm recovering after my overdose of Joao and Caetano. And I've been thinking some reflections to share with you.

-Joao Gilberto is more than a musician. He is a way of life.
I believe he opened the window of another way of thinking and living. Music is an argument. An excuse to go after another place. I was remembering the ideas of Augusto de Campos in his book Bossa nova e otras bossas, where he compares Gilberto with Webern.

-Joao Gilberto is one of the last vanguardists
His idea of playing less and singing less goes in other direction than the overproduced music we are accostumed to listen. As the history angel of Paul Klee quoted by Walter Benjamin, he flies to the future looking to the past. His music is so modern as modernism can be. His vanguardism has place when he recreates the idea of a song making it new on stage. He discovers new places and new harmonies that "are" there but we cannot listen to them.

-Joao Gilberto's concept of silence
Silence is the material where his music begins. To silence it goes. It is the white paper where the painter begins his work. In his shows he put us as witness of his creative process. That is a privilege I felt, and a privilege Caetano felt too.

-Joao Gilberto's work goes further than brasilian music
We see Gilberto as one of the main artists in bossa nova or MPB. But I don't think that is true. Can we see Tarkovski, Bergman or Fellini as just cinema? I do not believe that T.S. Eliot is just a poet or Goya as just a painter.

-Joao Gilberto's melancholy
Melancholy is a possible name for that history angel painted by Klee. In the land of melancholy we suffer probably because we discover the truth that lies behind our own history. And Gilberto's melancholy so deep when he plays and sing turns us to that contemplative stage of our own lives. And this is not an instrumental reason. It is another kind and cocept of reason. He does not that as an effect pre designed by him. That is the main difference, in my view, with other musical expressions we love. Music can take us to euphory or sadness. But he do not have many opportunities of sharing that place with the artists himself.

These are just reflections. Ideas that came to my mind as a tourist that is returning from the paradise. These are some of my photos taken during my eight hours trip to that land where Joao Gilberto's music lives. Thanks we have the recordings for remembering that place from time to time.


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