foreign corner

Giovanni Guaccero - Canto Estrangeiro - Encore Music, 2022 cover art: Marcelo Guimarães Lima


Giovanni Guaccero and “Italo-Brazilian” popular music

What would Giovanni Guaccero's “Italo-Brazilian” music be? Answer: the forms of Brazilian popular music recreated from the mastery and sensitivity of the Italian composer, born and based in Rome. In many ways, Giovanni Guaccero's songs are, at the same time, creatively faithful to the Brazilian matrix and an individualized expansion of it by a musician of great talent.

It would be possible to say that Giovanni Guaccero practices Oswaldian anthropophagy “in reverse”, and Brazilian popular music crosses the ocean to be “swallowed” and recreated in the lands of Italy in a similar way, we would say, to the appropriation and recreation of European musical forms that gave rise, for example, to choro as a Brazilian musical matrix at the turn of the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries.

Giovanni Guaccero is a composer with erudite training and production who brings to popular music the mastery of structured musical form, enriching the popular genre with nuances, formulations, perspectives and other sounds, always preserving the spirit of intimacy, familiarity, immediate recognition of the listener and for the listener that is typical of popular music. In Brazilian music, the transit between the erudite and the popular, as a kind of two-way street, is represented by names like Villa-Lobos, Radamés Gnatalli, Pixinguinha, Tom Jobim, Egberto Gismonti, among many others.

At a concert in Japan in the mid-1980s, Tom Jobim, reflecting on the reception of Brazilian music by the Japanese public, highlighted the characteristic of “softness” as a common quality between the expression of Japanese culture and Brazilian musical expression, especially Bossa New. “Softness” that we can understand as subtlety, richness of nuances, sophistication, and, at the same time, as acuity, as an expression in its incisive and engaging way, seductive in its continuous flow.

What stands out in Giovanni Guaccero's songs is precisely this incisive and seductive smoothness. The creative, inventive flow of melodies and harmonies of notable beauty in which, as a listener, we imaginatively recognize our own forms, forms of our intimacy, long-awaited forms. The intimacy that characterizes popular music can be understood as a kind of musical “conversation” between the composer, together with the performer, and the listener, a kind of communication represented between intimacies in common recognition in the musical form and in the poetry that complements it. .

On their latest CD titled foreign corner, the brilliant participation of the poet-lyricist Luís Elói Stein and the singer Tatiana Valley enhance the scope and quality of the compositions. The poet's verses invite us to share, in an imaginary way, lived experiences, imagination being here the dimension or process that enhances the intimate truth of the represented experiences. Tatiana Valle's beautiful voice and mastery of musical expression complement and enhance Giovanni Guaccero's compositions. The duo Choro de Rua with the Italian flutist Barbara Piperno and the Brazilian guitarist Marco Ruviaro also participate in the CD.

And so that the reader doesn't just rely on words, but listens and appreciates the composer's songs autonomously, here's a link. The final conclusion, I believe, is that the “foreign song” of Giovanni Guaccero is the song of all of us.

*Marcelo Guimaraes Lima is an artist, researcher, writer and teacher.


Giovanni Guaccero. foreign corner. EncoreMusic, 2022

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