vendredi, avril 22, 2005

THE INVISIBLE CONDUCTOR'S BATON

VILLA-BOBOS, THE PATRIARCH OF HOLLYWOOD MODERN MUSIC(?)



Everyone talks about Tom Jobim and Bossa Nova and how indebted Hollywood music is to them. But it is obvious that the popular musicians Tom Jobim and Joao Gilberto had been influenced by another key figure of Modern Classic Music, Villa-Lobos. Moreover, whoever listens to Villa-Lobos' work finds a set of incredibly similar features between many of his pieces and the melodies made for films, especially motion pictures produced in the US after 1950. Some of his works were actually made for the Brazilian Cinema, like Discovery of Brazil. But others were not and yet you think they were For instance, the third movement of Bachianas Brasileiras #3 and the 1917 ballet Amazons sound like they were composed to be soundtracks of films forged in big studios like Universal, MGM, Paramount, Disney, Warner Bros, etc.

Indeed, in spite of the very Brazilian, South American and African titles of his works, Villa-Lobos' influence seems to be too Universal, and to have shaped Cinema (and specially Hollywood) music. I have the strong intuition that without Villa-Lobos' works the Star Wars trilogy and Chariots of Firewould have very different themes.

Villa-Lobos' influence on the film industry should be a matter for research.



The vitality and the magic vigour that come from Kankikis is one instance of the greatest enigma of music: the power to transport the listener to another world and time, which is so vague and abstract that we can only think of its contours and nameless sensations and indefinable impressions. Till a certain extent, Villa-Lobos' aesthetics is purely formal in the same sense as formal Logic is, and accesses infinite possible worlds like a modal one. But it is not a linear aesthetics: it is geometric and multidimensional, Apollonian and modern at the same time.

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