6 – THE FIXED AND THE FLEXIBLE
The polarity established between ephemeral and eternal is a key point for this study. The ephemeral of the spontaneity inherent in the musical gesture that continuously and freely reinvents itself obeying the dynamics of the oral transmission – herein represented by the universe of the popular song – is one of the poles; and the other is the eternal, recorded or crystallized, which crosses a process in which the musical gesture gains the meaning of the written tradition –, which may also happen through the “approximated” writing current in the popular music or – on the extreme point of the polarity herein outlined – through the “formal” writing of the concert music and guitar. [i]
Aiming at approaching this question, we propose to minimally introduce the problem involved in the processes of fixing on scores the musical contents that have a flexible nature.
6.1 – seeing doing it: “Jimbo no jazz”
The talk with Luiz Tatit departs from guitar resources that he is used to utilizing in the development of his songs and gets to the dichothomy between guitar gestures able to be represented by some kind of writing or only by means of recording.
From the guitar I play, I can take chords, [i]
but then a tiny something is left out, two chords remain …
It’s not that that is going to convey
That solo beside the melody of the voice has got to be carried out,
there has to be that articulation there.
It is still a guitar score, right?
But normally the score doesn’t give the inflection,
because there’s always the rhythmic side…
Which is difficult for you to express only in the figures. [i]
Then the ideal, nowadays, is to have the recording, the filming.
I think that is a very strong way towards understanding what the instrument is doing.
A guitar like that of João Bosco, or that of Gilberto Gil,
you need to see doing, it doesn’t work to see the musical cipher.
It is that rhythmica, that groove.
The “seeing doing” that comes up at this moment of the dialogue with Luiz Tatit – in the project’s inaugural interview – justifies the making of a film, a spin-off of this project, as well as our efforts towards making this video-site, presenting the complete material of the project, in which João Bosco’s musical execution is included not only in the audio form, but also in video.
The link between rhythm and gender is so close that makes, for example, the baião, tango, samba or bolero be popularly called “rhythms”. Because the Brazilian history is frankly mestizo [i] , even genders/rhythms that we consider “fixed” are constantly put into perspective, whether in the author’s action, whether in the interpreter’s performance – coupled up in the arranger’s role – , in the re-readings that are so common in the dynamics of the popular song.
The following talk with João Bosco departs from that polarity:
00:00 musical gender affirmation and hybridity
There is a polarity that takes place between, on the one hand, the gender affirmation –
when we do something that we can say: this is a bolero, like that, boastfully,
and, on the other hand, the hybridization , when we want to yield to the temptation to mix. [i]
You are a very consistent composer of this polarity,
thinking of that song in your latest album ‘Jimbo no Jazz’ that is a jongo and it is not…
00:37 Jimbo no Jazz (João Bosco/Nei Lopes)
[sings Tarantá , a melody made known by Clementina de Jesus’s interpretation on the rhythmic groove transcribed as follows]
02:13 Jimbo was a lyric to which I made the music [i]
02:35 it has a jazzistic harmony.
The same rhythmica of Jongo is now executed in the intricate digitation that, also on the left hand, the composer developed departing from the transcription we tried to make previously, based only on the C7(9) chord.
The G Blues chord, as well as finger 3, highlighting Bflat on the third chord [the blue note of the tone] that alternates with G of the same loose chord, implies a positioning that demands great mechanic flexibility of the left hand – which is very difficult to accomplish in a relaxing manner.
Due to the quantity of elements involved, the passage seems to be impossible to be transcribed on the sheet music, however, as we can follow it in the video herein presented, in some inexplicable manner it becomes even more fluent through João Bosco’s gestures of hand and body, who then reveals his “internal pulse” or “time” more clearly, and helps me to finally assimilate at least the proposed general rhythmic lines and condensate them in a vocal gesture (mnemonic) – which is usually used as a resource to incorporate rhythm.
From then on, the talk revolves around Jongo.
04:06 Jongo da Serrinha (RJ)
there are several feelings of Jongo.
LINK with the idea “to indicate everything may freeze” presented in – 5.1 – Gagabirô – by Sérgio Assad and with the idea “from the moment that you write it on the paper it turns to be your intention” presented in – 6.4 – the moment of writing – also in the statement of Assad.
LINK with the idea “alphanumeric cipher” of “vertical” cut – generally used for harmonic notations by those who handle popular song, presented in 2.3 – harmonic-melodic matrices.
LINK with the idea “the notation on rhythmic score used by the accompaniment guitar in songs and in the popular music generally represents a challenge”, presented in – 5.4 – Brazilian rythmica.
LINK with the idea “the authentic rises from the impure”, presented in – 5.5 – “Boi de Mamão” – from Hermano Vianna’s quotation.
LINK with the idea “sometimes I don’t know where it starts or finishes for example the samba” presented in – 5.4 – Brazilian rythmica
LINK with álbum Sobre Palavras, recorded in partnership with singer Verônica Ferriani, with repertoire completely composed on Mauro Aguiar’s lyrics.