Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Jobim's Living Artistry. (Americas !Ojo!)

Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Jobim's Living Artistry. (Americas !Ojo!)

Article excerpt

BRAZIL'S GREATEST composer of popular music passed away eight years ago at the age of sixty-seven, but the body of work Antonio Carlos Jobim spent a lifetime creating lives on, and his influence is as pervasive today as it was at any time dining his five-decade career. Thanks to a growing number of recording, journalistic, and academic projects that have flourished in Brazil since the time of his passing, the breadth of Jobim's artistry is being documented in innovative ways and is being made available to longtime fans and recent devotees alike.

At the center of the recent swirl of Jobim-related activity is the Instituto Antonio Carlos Jobim (www2.uol.com.br/ tomjobim), a project that was created to preserve and make available to the public, particularly music students and scholars, the fruits of the composer's artistry, his music, and lyrics. The institute is also collecting and preserving arrangements, interviews, recordings, photographs, films and videos, and other archival materials that document Jobim's career in music. The ongoing effort will focus on cataloguing, conserving, digitalizing, indexing, and duplicating Jobim's vast output--over 250 compositions. The website already offers a wide variety of information and images, while a future project will transfer much of the information to digital form for distribution to music schools in Brazil and abroad on CD-ROM.

The institute is housed in a suite of offices in the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of Jardim Botanico in the shadow of Corcovado, a source of inspiration for one of the maestro's best-loved songs. Overseen by his son Paulo, who worked at his father's side as an arranger and one of his primary artistic collaborators during the last twenty years of his life, the institute is particularly proud of how it has perpetuated one of Jobim's overriding passions, his love of Brazil's natural world.

"He had an intuitive sense of nature," Paulo recalls, "and wrote many songs inspired by water, the sea, and animals. In the mid-1970s, his most intensely oriented nature phase, he release songs like the famous `Waters of March' and two albums named after birds, Matita Pere and Urubu. …

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