The content provided by this website can be considered as the first step in the research of part of Moacir Santos' career, resulting from a master's dissertation entitled: "A trilha musical como gênese do processo criativo na obra de Moacir Santos" [The film scoring as genesis of the creative process in the work of Moacir Santos]. This research concentrates in the early 1960s, the Brazilian period of his film music production.
In 2018 a doctoral research was published focusing on Santos' film music productions during the first decades the composer lived in the United States, approximately from 1967 to 1985. At that time, Santos became an in-demand composer for American film and television, having composed for important films and series of the time. As an integral part of the doctoral research, an extensive field research was carried out in California between 2015 and 2016, based at the University of California at Los Angeles [UCLA]. The main focus of the period abroad was a series of interviews with professionals who have worked with Santos. The research also extended to various collections, with special attention given to the personal documents belonging to the Santos family, who live in California, which include scores, notebooks, books, records and other important material. We hope that its findings can be added to this website soon, in order to make available for the public an increasingly more complete and up to date content. Meanwhile, the doctoral thesis can be accessed in this link.
NAILOR AZEVEDO - "PROVETA"
Statement transcribed from an interview with Lucas Zangirolami Bonetti on June 25, 2015 at Bela Vista [São Paulo, SP - Brazil].
I was here in São Paulo and listened to the album Maestro, by Moacir Santos, it was in 1984, 1985. We lived in a shared house, and we studied music, we were four or five musicians, friends. It was Cacá [Malaquias] who showed up with some great things at the time, he already had a beautiful and sensitive musical background. One day we were chatting and he said: "man, you need to listen to this album"! I was arriving from Leme, and my background from Leme was still a more basic one. It was generally musicians from [gazebo and marching] bands, playing that things: valsas, dobrados, choros […], but I was listening to some things with my father, sax players from abroad, Mancini, well, […] Gershwin, a series of information. When I came to São Paulo I was introduced to a different world, of internationalized people, and one of those was Moacir Santos.
I walked with my cassette tape everywhere! I had two tapes that I listened to repeatedly: one from Moacir Santos and other from Thad Jones, what an amazing sound. The Moacir Santos’ one attracted my attention because there was an identity there, and our generation was in need of it. Our generation in the 1980s needed so much an identity, and we didn’t had a lot benchmarks here in Brazil. There were other orchestras, like Tabajara, that were benchmarks, and still is. The orchestras from the countryside of São Paulo state and the ones from Rio [de Janeiro], as well as the ones from the Northeast. Therefore, we had those benchmarks, but we didn’t have much repertoire, it was difficult to get scores, it was extremely difficult! We couldn’t get anything, we had to have luck and find some notebooks or someone who had something written [...] and find those persons. Moacir was already living abroad and this album, Maestro, moved all the young musicians of the time. We didn’t have a clue of what was going to happen in our life’s, but that was really surprising. So, my first contact was that, here in the Bela Vista neighborhood listening to the Maestro.
One of the first compositions I played was "Nanã", an arrangement of maestro Branco. Many years passed by and we still listened […]. We traveled to everywhere and listened to […], there was no CD […], cassette tape, Walkman, headphones, and listening, to understand that sound, and it was very different, so much! It still is unique, very humane and witty. His history is wonderful.
Then, in 2001 I believe, the production of Mario Adnet with Zé Nogueira came up. We met each other to do this work. But, before that, I am remembering, in 1994, I met our dear master Moacir in Campos do Jordão. I went there, I was a professor too [in the International Winter Festival of Campos do Jordão] and I was the assistant of [Roberto] Sion. We conducted a big band in the festival, it was a party! We went to play at night in those incredible places, and one day Moacir showed up, it was in 1994. Sizão [Machado] was there, and he said, "Proveta, let’s do a homage to Moacir? He is here"! I said, "really? It’s cool, what we are going to play"?
He said: "there are a composition of him, which he composed in homage to Stan Getz, it is called "Stanats"". He likes to play it on the bass, a passionate. His story is that he was in an apartment in the United States with Moacir, and Moacir was composing this theme, composing at the piano.
He brought that fresh score, he said, "look, take it for you to jam"! Then we were in Campos do Jordão and I won this gift. We didn’t have a clue, did we? [...] were there with us: [Walmir] Gil, trumpet, Sizão, Nenê on drums, Radegundes [Feitosa], trombone player, [Toninho] Carrasqueira, on flute, Sizão, on bass, and I believe, I’m not sure, I thing André Mehmari was also there with us playing piano! What a team! I am talking about 1994, twenty-one years ago. It was really cold, we were writing […] I did the arrangement, and we performed for him. He was set in a chair somewhere, we arrived there: "hey maestro, we came to pay a tribute for you, to play". Then he said, "I am so flattered". And we played that arrangement for him, in Campos do Jordão in 1994.
Later, finally, I did an adaptation […] we are playing this composition again with Banda Mantiqueira and now I would like to record it. Simply because this arrangement was made by me with Sizão and […], this prizes we win […]. I will never forget, that I was passing through a room in which he was lecturing, I came in a little bit to hear his lecture and he said this: "can you see this chord"? I was at the door, I didn’t come in, I was standing by the door listening. He said, explaining to a student: "if you put this note here, it can be good, but if you put this other, the flavor is different. It has another taste" I said, "wow"! I didn’t know, but music is quite similar to culinary, […] the mixtures. I liked the way he spoke, I never forgot. It was the best harmony class I ever had, listening to the guy talking about food. I said, "wow, it’s possible to mix". After that, I got to study with wonderful teachers, I learned a lot then.
In 2001, afterwards, I would record the Ouro Negro, and soon after, in 2005, we recorded Choros & Alegria, both with Mario Adnet and Zé Nogueira.
Along with other great musicians, it was a fabulous experience. I believe we are always learning, every single day we learn things. We look back to all the life history of Moacir and it moves us because he is not an ordinary person, if I can put in that way. […] you comprehend the most profound origin of that human being. The few times I had the opportunity to sit by his side and ask him something. He never answered nothing with arrogance, stating he knew this, knew that, […], but that was because he was knowledge in person. He didn’t need to explain nothing, his compositions sounded good, sounded people, sounded humanity. Then, when I listened to those film scores that we are listening to for three, four months, analyzing and taking care kindly, because that was the way he took care of his music. At that point, I realized something really important: how much of his history he placed in that music. Therefore, listening to all his film music work, I remember of my childhood listening to bands: listening the trombones, the trumpets, the clarinets, the bass drum, the snare drum, […] those memories came up. [...].
I remember the story I lived with Cacá Malaquias, there was frevo, maracatu, his rhythms, with the urban, with people. It’s not the urban that we know by saying "look, this is a symphonic orchestra", that’s not it! No, he worked with musicians that performed inside that symphonic orchestra, which is the most important thing. So when you listen to those recordings, that’s what come into my mind. I said, "wow, what a great experience", you are able to see the music mixed with "dirt". It’s not a super controlled music, that someone rules on this, that someone possess that. No! This is a living music, that walk, that is made of people. Then you understand why the guy did those film scores […] there are persons who look at the music and see people playing. It’s outstanding, those months came up to be real classes for me.
Everything that comes in a in a humane manner, everything done, thought as a donation. People who devoted themselves, not exactly to the music as profession, but who lives inside this profession.
Inside this profession, there are some people, humans, and there are people who take care of those people inside the profession. Moacir was one of them, you can count in one hand, all over the planet. He became famous because he took care of many people, this happened to me and many other musicians who had the opportunity to study with him.
Thus, this is a material of great importance to the new generations that are coming, to taste, listen and mainly to grow, I believe in the sense of understanding music as something more organic and less plastic. To know that people need it, due to a simple matter: the evolution never stops and we continue improving. Each day we have to improve, and there are persons who make a difference in our life. Moacir’s music make a difference in peoples’ lives. Then, who access a material like this, listening and seeing. This person will grow, he/she will have the opportunity to grow a lot more, a lot more than we can imagine. That’s the reason we did it, only considering those four months I improved, and listened to several things, I said "wow, that’s beautiful".
This is a seed. Then you plant more Moacir’s things. I mean, I don’t need to say "this is cool", I am not talking about it. We are talking about someone that look toward others with care, and make an essential difference for this person to have the opportunity to grow too.
This material will be available soon. I believe this is another gift from Moacir. He used to say, "before you play a note, you have to cook it properly", that’s how he used to spoke. That’s it then, I think we are in this mature and prepare process. This material will be released full of taste, flavor, great diversity, a lot of information. I believe that people […] can experience the same luck I had, of being close to Moacir one more time, who makes a difference for the rest of our lives. This is a very beautiful work, noble. I think we, somewhat, are chosen to do something good in our lives. So, I believe Moacir gave us this gift again, and we must pass it on to people, with great care. Let him continue illuminating us. Speaking as they spoke in the past: "bless me Maestro".
Statement transcribed from a Skype interview with
Lucas Zangirolami Bonetti on August 24, 2015 [Rio de Janeiro,
RJ - Brazil].
I found out Moacir by chance, because I was an enthusiast album collector buying at the famous and extinct Modern Sound shop in the early 1970s, […] I have never heard about Moacir Santos, and then I found that album which was, in fact, his last Blue Note release, the Carnival of Spirits. […] I felt in love with that album and kept looking for the others […], I’ve got to know Moacir like that, collecting his albums as a fan.
[…] since 1980, I played with Djavan’s band, Sururu de Capote, […] and in 1982 we went to Los Angeles to record the album Luz. Then I said, "Djavan, we must look for Moacir Santos in Los Angeles, you have to ask him to do an arrangement for the album".
He did and Moacir wrote an amazing arrangement for the song "Capim" […]. We spent a lot of time in Los Angeles, we hung out with Moacir, we ate a feijoada at his house. […] Mine second contact with Moacir was even more interesting, in 1985, in a tour with Djavan we played in a Jazz Festival in New York, […] and we came back with the idea of producing a jazz festival in Brazil. That was when the Free Jazz Festival appeared, since then I am one of the festival curators, which changed names throughout time. [...] for the first night of the first Free Jazz we came up with idea of putting two important names of the Brazilian music, Radamés Gnattali and Moacir Santos. Then Moacir said, "I want to play with Luizão Maia, Wilson das Neves and I will be coming with my piano player, Frank Zottoli, then you set up the rest of the band". I set up the woodwinds, he wanted three woodwinds, I was one on them and I call Bidinho and Zé Carlos, I also called Rique Pantoja to play keyboard and two percussion players, Café and Marçal.
[…] This experience was outstanding, to play with Moacir Santos, it was very moving!
I believe Moacir was a musician that was born with his music, […] it is quite different from everything. […] Even his choros had a choro structure but always with something innovative, he had a really personal thing since very early. […] He was a thorough guy and with a deep musicality to an extent that when you talked with him, it seemed like he talked about everything but music.
[…] I never saw Ganga Zumba, O Beijo, Seara Vermelha, I never saw none of the films Moacir composed music for. For me it was a gap, something that was missing […], I believe you took a great area because no one never dealt with it, also because talking about Moacir is a new thing, fifteen year ago no one knew who he was.
[...] Moacir commented several thing [about his film scores] with me and Mario at the time we were recording the Ouro Negro, he talked a lot about Love in the Pacific. But not about the older movies, they were his past, and you need to consider we lived more with him after a stroke. From 1995 on, he couldn’t play anymore and had some speech difficulties. Once we tried to talk with him about the ghostwriting time, but he only laughed and never said anything.
A lot of musicians got involved with Moacir Santos’ music after what we have done, [...] from this point of view, I believe a website on Moacir’s film music will be really great for the people who enjoy music, for Moacir’s scholars, […] or who follows his career curiously.
Statement transcribed from an interview with Lucas Zangirolami Bonetti on May 19, 2015 at the Itaú Cultural [São Paulo, SP - Brazil].
First of all, I was very pleased when the project was selected. Everyone understood, not only obviously the importance of Moacir Santos for Brazilian music, but also this specific thing of his work for the cinema. And I believe that anything that is done regarding Moacir’s work is of an astounding importance for musicians in Brazil. I don’t know if this term can be used for this, but it is something really important. Moacir was a fundamental musician for Brazil and his work is still in the process of actually being revealed, and I believe this project is proof of this. I’ve always greatly admired Moacir’s work, and always had a lot of curiosity to find out how he emerged, in a certain way, as a person with so much power. And unfortunately I didn’t know him personally, but those who knew him are passionate when talking not only about his work, but about him personally as well.
Recently, I read a biography of Moacir written by Andrea Ernest Dias, and the book is wonderful because it increased my admiration for him. His life story, coming from the hinterlands of Pernambuco and how things happened, it’s a story […] for a movie. He was a very sweet person, very strong and kind for having shared his knowledge with so many people. So many people have studied with Moacir [...] I wanted to have been his apprentice. Nowadays, I think that I’m attempting to at least capture what he left us and I'm very encouraged, for example, by this project we are talking about now.For us here at Itaú Cultural, within this new format of the Rumos project, on which we worked intensely so that we could be instigated by the creativity of people. We have travelled throughout Brazil talking a bit about this during the application period. We wanted people to take their most sensitive and dearest ideas […] out of their drawers, their heads, in a certain way, and apply. There were no restrictions to the projects.
We received more than 15,000 applications from throughout Brazil and from other countries as well. This project, which dives into the work of Moacir, was one of the hundred selected ideas.
Close to a hundred selected projects out of approximately 15,000 applications. I also think that this selection process, which was quite intense as you can imagine […] it was […] this project focusing on the film work, Moacir’s music for film, it captivated all of us with its importance, evident from what I’ve mentioned about Moacir. Almost everyone, even those who didn‘t have a deep knowledge of his work or who were not musicians, know the importance of this man, this musician, this powerful Brazilian. And about the specificity even of this research. So I also believe that in this selection process, going from 15,000 or so to about a hundred, we can also understand the importance this project has for the institution and for the Rumos project.
MOACIR SANTOS JR.
Textual statement sent by e-mail to Lucas Zangirolami Bonetti, written on May 23, 2015 in Pasadena, California - US
As a toddler I felt something special existed observing my dad, and since my juvenile admiration I wanted to be like him. Early on I learned of his superior musical talent; great insight, he played well several instruments as a teenager. He was a wise teacher and mentor; creator of unique rhythms, composed quality music for the universe. He was a good father, and my friend. In reality he set a high standard of achievement for me to follow; since he became an orphan at the age of three. He is my star!
Statement transcribed from a debate held in the event Retrospectiva Cinema Novo on May 30, 2015 at the Cinemateca Brasileira [São Paulo, SP - Brazil].
Cacá Diegues is the blackest of all filmmakers to tell this story […] with a fantastic dignity, a fantastic sensitivity. It is not a coincidence that he called me to play the king, it’s the first time in Brazil […] that [a film] leaves the point of view of slavery and enters a space that is cinema to tell a real and important story of this country, the story of the quilombos [runaway slave settlements]. [...] I say: "Cacá, you’re Ganga Zumba himself". Palmares […], we know that it’s not written in the books because the books were written by the colonizers, so we know very little about the history, we began rewriting the history at the CPC [Centro Popular de Cultura / Popular Culture Center].
And Cacá had this generosity, this vision, this love for this country […] and Moacir Santos is a genius. So, who is going to compose the film music for Ganga Zumba? Moacir Santos! I didn’t know Moacir Santos. Moacir Santos was not part of the Bossa Nova movement, and Cacá brought him […]. And he masterly made one of the most beautiful music of all the films that I have ever made! A film music: [sings the melody of "Nanã"], sung by Nara Leão, who was married to Cacá in those days. And Cacá never abandoned Moacir. Moacir felt the need for even greater challenges and went to live in the United States. However, the enjoyment and the opportunity we have of knowing Moacir through his music, his film music, and his projects, we also had through Solano Trindade, of who little is mentioned.
Solano Trindade was a poet. We had this closeness, without having it, differently from what we had with Solano Trindade, this much closer opportunity to have to spent time with Moacir Santos, and we did spend time with him, starting with Ganga Zumba. [...] He was certainly, in terms of film scores and his own music, after Villa-Lobos, on the same level as Pixinguinha: he was a genius, he was a genius! And we earned so much […]. It’s a pity people know so little of him, even today, of who he was, who he is […] and who left us this great fortune, this great wealth of music.
Statement transcribed from a Skype interview with Lucas Zangirolami Bonetti on June 25, 2015 [Rio de Janeiro, RJ - Brazil].
[...] my first contact with his work was from an album that I won when I was a kid yet. I started playing acoustic guitar at the age of nine, in 1966. Soon, I became interested in Baden [Powell], because of the guitar, and all that. It's funny that I have learned a lot of people via Baden, the music of Tom [Jobim] was via Baden, as well as Moacir's music. Someone gave me that Elenco album entitled Baden Powell swings with Jimmy Pratt. This album is a benchmark, it contains the firsts released compositions of Moacir, he recorded "Coisa nº 1" and "Coisa nº 2" arranged by Moacir, and it’s interesting that those two tracks vastly diverge from the rest of the album, it was very different. Well, for me Moacir was there, "stored". Later, in the end of 1990s... Zé Nogueira already talked a lot about Moacir, I got a copy of a CD, a copy containing several of Moacir’s recordings, which the musicians shared with each other’s, and I got crazy when I heard April Child.
At that time, I was already working with Zé Nogueira, and he had had a history with him. [In those days], I was doing projects and using the Lei Rouanet, […] I said, "That interests me a lot, let's talk about it!" Then we joined, and we came up with the Ouro Negro project. The first contact I had with Moacir was by phone. We had to transcribe all the Coisas arrangements. In 2000, Petrobrás funded the project, and we started the recording sessions in the beginning of 2001. Before that, we needed to talk to Moacir because of the transcribing process, we wound split [the work].[We was] trying to understand the instrumental combinations of the arrangements: trombone with tenor sax, sometimes alto sax with French horn […]. Therefore, it was insane, we worked a few months, three intense months of listening. Zé Nogueira had the [original] Coisas tape, which he copied. When Roberto Quartin, who owned Forma, which released Coisas, sold his label to Phillips, at the time, between 1969, 1970 he handed to Phillips, naively, everything he had.
He handed a big box containing, besides the original Coisas arrangements, the tape […], and all other, there was Baden, Luiz Eça, many things, and he handed all the papers along with the phonograms. Then what happens in Brazil that has no memory? Now, thanks to us all, it will have, if God wills. They threw it away and only kept the phonograms. There must be somethings there that we couldn’t even know. I don’t know where those files are. Well, we had the original tape, and it was really difficult to understand the instrumental combinations, the mutes, but we indeed accomplished our goal. I can tell you that this work changed my life. I learned so much listening and writing, because we had to transcribe the bass line, the drum rhythms, and it changed the manner I looked at music. I interacted with Moacir during six years, it was almost like a father-son relationship, with fights and everything that a father-son relationship has. And it’s funny that we didn’t had proper music conversations, he talked more about philosophy, theology […].
At this point, Moacir had had a stroke in 1995 and, no matter how well he was treated, he had some sequel, as a reasoning aphasia until his thoughts reached his voice.
Then I had some telephone contacts with him to solve, for example, my trouble with "Coisa nº 3", which was insane. In order to understand what was happening in "Coisa nº 3" I spent several phone calls to Los Angeles. And he treated me as a student, he: "Mario, rhythm number 3"! As if I know what it was, as if I had his workbook called "MS Rhythms". Therefore, we transcribed Coisas arrangements quite successfully.
Then we worked on the songbooks, when I dealt even more with those scores, which obviously should have some problems. I've noticed a lot of problems that I would have to fix in a new edition, but I believe it was worthy, for the musician to play! There were some people in the United States who recorded only using those songbooks, even the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra used this work to rearrange the material.
By this time when we did the books, we closed a deal to do other CD [Choros & Alegria], taking the opportunity, and we managed to sign a partnership with Canal Brasil, along with João Mário Linhares from MP,B to perform the DVD. The occasion of Choros & Alegria was very nice because he came here to my house every day, […] he sat on the living room table, remembered of a choro from the 1940s and wrote it down, slowly, it took hours to write the melodies, chords and bass lines. Then I edited it in Finale, and in the next day he would came again. Meanwhile, we took some breaks to chat, to eat, to philosophize, to look at what I was doing, to discuss harmony, and it was really good!
I started to record the Jobim Jazz on the same day that Moacir passed away, but I was unaware that he had died until the end of the day. It was something otherworldly, because I went into the studio with the rhythm section musicians, Jorge Helder, Marcos Nimrichter and Rafael Barata. We played so smoothly, without rehearsing, and I said, "my God, it’s not possible"! We recorded seven tracks that day.
I said everytime, "someone is helping us, it’s so good. It’s so good, the musicianship, an incredible thing". Then when the end of the day arrived, my wife was there and already knew, due to an e-mail from Moacir [Jr.]. It was very moving, me speaking every time that someone was helping us there and then we know about him in the end of the session, it was awfully sad.
[About the transcribed scores] I believe we need to do it! Because Moacir is a musician that deserves to be at pantheon of great, he deserves to be by the side of Tom Jobim, Ari Barroso, Dorival Caymmi. This is something that I set out for the eternity, we need this memory and it’s great that young people are doing it too. For him, everything was sacred, dealing with it was sacred, he treated it a sacred thing, and this penetrated on us. At least in the sensible ones, and good musicians are generally sensitives.
Cool, I am here for anything, and best luck for the project!
Statement transcribed from an interview with Lucas Zangirolami Bonetti on July 21, 2015 at the Campinas Department of Culture [Campinas, SP - Brazil].
I got in touch with Moacir Santos work as a musician and as a spectator, in my adolescence and youth. I always felt certain strangeness thinking why he wasn’t well known in Brazil, because of his importance and his work’s quality. I believe it happened due to his move to U.S., moving away from the Brazilian market of the period, which was very effervescent for Brazilian music, mainly sung, but also instrumental from the 1960s and beyond. However, it was a superficial knowledge, and what lead me to know better the Moacir Santos’ music was working along with Lucas Bonetti, who was supervised by me during his Master’s degree and wrote a dissertation on Moacir Santos’ film scores. For me it was a discovery, as I told before, I knew Moacir Santos as a composer, arranger, by his work in the few albums he let us.
But I didn’t have a clue, me, a film music scholar, I didn’t have a clue about the importance of Moacir Santos as a cinema musician, a cinema composer. It is impressive to see how his métier adapts itself to the audiovisual and how he leads well his film scores, so, it was a great pleasure to supervise this work. And it was also a great pleasure to see what we all expect during the academic life: that our work passes through the university walls and conquer the world, conquer the audience. Therefore, when we research a composer like Moacir Santos, we do it to bring him to the public, for the people to listen to him, for the people to be aware of his work. So, from the moment that this work, that is a Master’s dissertation, become a public project, with film exhibitions, a public discussion, outside of the academy, of Moacir Santos’ work, it will certainly contribute to a better knowledge of his work by the public.
In a way rescuing his name nowadays, that as I said, did not acquire the importance and the awareness of the Brazilian public that he did deserve when he was alive. It is a Moacir Santos rescue, and some kind of debt we have toward him, toward his memory, taking this project to the public, exhibit it and let the people to know him better, get involved, and enjoy the work of this great Brazilian composer.
CARLOS ALBERTO OLIVA - "POLLACO"
Statement transcribed from an interview with Lucas Zangirolami Bonetti on April 16, 2015 at the Souza Lima Conservatory [São Paulo, SP - Brazil].
I studied with Moacir Santos from early 1986 until September or October of 1987, a year and a bit. This period was extremely important for my education as a musician and also as a human being. Because I already had something very strong from Koellreuter, when I studied with him in Brazil, regarding education, the seriousness of study, dedication… Koellreuter already had this attitude, but it was in a European way. Now Moacir, it was in his wake […] he studied under Koellreuter and also had all this conviction and dedication to music, but he was a Brazilian, with our culture and our language. And this ended up consolidating and adding more positive elements to my education as a musician. The classes Moacir taught me were, if you will, complementary in a technical way to those taught by Koellreuter.
And he had a very strong personal and spiritual orientation, meaning he was a very committed guy. There is a way to everything, a solution for everything, creativity for everything, it’s presence of mind and patience. He easily transmitted all these human qualities of the highest level. And his classes were like parables, he had stories to tell and he loved to talk. Sometimes you arrived in the classroom and he would play a C note, "Carlos, what do you hear after this?" And I would answer: "You talking!" Then he would talk up a storm, telling us one of the many stories he had. I think all this was priceless for my personal, professional and musical education… I feel blessed.I believe this current that has been flowing since the 1990s regarding the study of Moacir’s work is extremely important. So many people, so many students, academics and musicians, have been perpetuating Moacir’s work. Allow me to make a comparison to what was made in the 1980s and 1990s with the work of Tom Jobim, which spread Bossa Nova around the world.
I believe Moacir is now being discovered more and more, that is, expanding the horizons of musicians and the public in general that have been getting in touch with his work. So I think that any project that preserves his scores, brings back…re-releasing films, CDs. Anything that can increase this demand, or the ease for searching for Moacir Santos’ work is extremely important for Brazilian culture, without a doubt.
LUCAS ZANGIROLAMI BONETTI
Statement transcribed from an interview with Marianna Kamiya Gouveia on July 26, 2015 at SESC Pompéia [São Paulo, SP - Brazil].
Thinking about Moacir Santos’ music is something stunning, it’s overwhelming. And thinking about his paths, both personal and career, from the sertão of Pernambuco, to Rio de Janeiro, to the U.S., is super interesting.
I started researching and getting involved with his work in 2010, mainly about some compositional processes. And since 2012 I began a more systematic research into the film music he composed. Especially, at first, focusing on the Brazilian period, in the early 1960s. More recently, we’re expanding the research to include his North-American period as well, from the late 1960s through the mid-1980s.
It is also great that the project was born from an academic research and with the present support of Rumos, we managed to leave the university and reach a broader and more diversified audience.The project basically consists of the publication of a series of transcribed scores from some of the Brazilian films that Moacir worked on in the early 1960s, for now. Besides that, it also contemplates other types of production on this work, like some texts, some analysis of the scores, texts about the films, several photos, well, it’s a project that will gather all this material and make it available to the general public, interested in this part of his work. It is also interesting that we were able to make available important excerpts from the films for people to watch, thanks to the good will and assistance from the copyright holders. This will bring the public to know this films again, this films that unfortunately weren’t reedited, making the access difficult. Therefore, it will take those relatively forgotten fifty years old productions to the today’s public a little more.
This project can bring new perspectives for new productions, new researches, people can access this material and develop new works, both academic and artistic, other musicians can use those scores to create new arrangements, new compositions based on this work, and keep this repertoire alive, and keep this repertoire resonating.
Statement transcribed from an interview with Lucas Zangirolami Bonetti on April 27, 2015 at the UNICAMP Arts Institute [São Paulo, SP - Brazil].
It was 1992, I was still studying, and I was an undergraduate student at USP. There was this Arrangers Project, I went to see it in Moacir’s day by chance. I loved it. After a while, they broadcasted on television and I recorded a VHS. After, in the end of the other year, came up the news that he would be at Campos do Jordão [International Winter Festival of Campos do Jordão]. What I consider interesting of having seen Moacir in 1992 is that almost nobody knew him […] maybe Teco Cardoso, who studied with him or other old musicians. However, nobody from my generation knew him. So that was nice, it was a super discovery! Then some time passed by and I came to know that Moacir would be teaching arranging at Campos do Jordão, I signed up and managed to be accepted.
Among the students, there were [André] Mehmari, Sérgio Basbaum, some folks from Rio de Janeiro too. Then we did three weeks of classes every day, all mornings and afternoons. The interesting thing is that he had a very special approach, and soon we felt that it was not the case of having a traditional arranging class when you will learn technique. The human material there was the best thing, so what happened: he brought his things and explained how he composed it, the context. As it is known, he didn’t have any scores from Coisas, that’s why Coisas was transcribed. What he had was some scores from The Maestro, the Carnival of Spirits, the ones made for big bands he also had, then he showed us. I remember I took a cassette tape, I used to copy from his tape to mine. At that time we didn’t have anything, there was no internet. I bought the vinyl of The Maestro two years after in a sebo, but it was difficult to find those things and that cassette tape was my benchmark, in this tape were recorded The Maestro and Carnival of Spirits.
We also had some scores that we managed to photocopy, because it was very expensive to photocopy in Campos do Jordão, we could photocopy only four scores or so. Then when I came back to São Paulo, after a year, I started lecturing at Santa Marcelina University. One of the thing I did in the ensembles class was to do some versions. The first version I did of April Child, was for Mônica Salmaso, [Fernando] Hashimoto, and [Sérgio] Kafejian to play. I didn’t have the English lyrics, then I lend the tape to Mônica for her to transcribe the words, it was very fun. Then, when I joined the Big da Santa I started introducing his arrangements, the ones that I had, digitalized [...].The Big da Santa started in 2001, the Ouro Negro concert is from 2000. Anyway, it was when we started, what I call, a revitalization of Moacir, which started with Ouro Negro when they made the CD, then the scores. Even at this time, the scores weren’t easily available. I believe that Big da Santa probably was the first big band to play Moacir’s music, those arrangements at least. Only after Savana Band, because Savana performed in the concert, they played at Arrangers Project.
Then it started to spread out, the Coisa Fina Project came up, various groups playing. When they edited and transcribed Coisas.
I expect that the transcribed scores, maybe, have the same long life. It was the same contribution to set up this archive, of getting together with all this work that have been done and in an unknown field. In the same way Moacir was unknown, this film scores field is super unknown, of course, people know that he did it, know a little bit. Now we enter in this detailed level, you are going there, transcribing, bringing to light this music. Therefore I believe the contribution that this project have adds itself to this effort of setting up a "Moacir Santos Archive", about what Moacir have done, which is a lot. He had a quite personal view, really interesting, about why he did his music, what music meant to him, and in this sense those compositions mirror that point of view.
Statement transcribed from a telephonic interview with Ronaldo Evangelista on March 5, 2015 just before his trip to Brazil, in a South-American tour.
I've been aware of his music for a long time. I recorded in one album with Mario Adnet [Choros & Alegria, 2005], I played in one song. We recorded in Brazil years ago. In 2014, we did new arrangements of Moacir's songs for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. We did a whole concert of Moacir's music [called "The Brazilian Duke Ellington"], with new arrangements, some months ago at our home in New York City, House of Swing. We streamed it, a lot of people wrote from Brazil saying they like it.
The internet is great. I learned a lot, I got a lot of people sending information, things like "you should check this out" or "you have to read this arrangement". In Brazil in 2015, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra also performed "Coisa nº 8", "Coisa nº 5" and "Coisa nº 2". What enchanted me in Moacir's music is the craftsmanship, the depth of soul and feeling and insight, and the spiritual engagement. The music is engaged. We always try to play it live. Jazz musicians always play Brazilian music, we love the music.
ANDREA ERNEST DIAS
Statement transcribed from an interview with Lucas Zangirolami Bonetti on June 3, 2015 at the Century Paulista Hotel [São Paulo, SP - Brazil].
I knew Moacir Santos in 2001, at the recording sessions of the Ouro Negro project, which I am honored to be a part of. Then came up the Choros & Alegria CD, the Ouro Negro DVD. All this process lasted five years, between 2001 and 2006, when we played […] and I got into Moacir’s music, effectively […] playing music, discovering those sounds, and how great his music is. During those five years we had a quite close relation, because he came to Brazil to join the recording sessions and the events on his music. He became then really awarded and, at that time, very well known, at least among us, the musicians. Therefore, the importance of the Ouro Negro project was essential for all the musicians and I include myself on it, because from then on I began to get involved with the subject Moacir Santos, with the human being Moacir Santos and the composer Moacir Santos.
Leading me to a more profound study during a doctoral research at the Federal University of Bahia, which I concluded in 2010. This research took me to California, where I could get in touch Moacir’s compositional and study material more closely. It was a wonderful access, with the collaboration of the Moacir Santos’ family: Moacir Santos Jr. and Cleonice Santos, to whom I am so grateful for the opportunity. This research ended up resulting in a book publication on Moacir, entitled Moacir Santos or the paths of a Brazilian musician, an adaptation of my thesis. Then a lot of things happened and many people showed interest in Moacir’s work, from this decade on, let’s say, working on his music. Among them, among all those things, there is this extremely important project about the Moacir Santos’ film scores, focusing on this Moacir Santos’ vein as a film music composer, especially for the Cinema Novo in the 1960s, even before his move to the U.S. in 1967. A moment of great production, he had an excellent film scoring métier, he was a composer working closely in the cinema market.
With his knowledge, herded from the great teachers he had, from the contact with the National Radio musicians: Lyrio Panicali, Radamés Gnattali, among others. People who composed film scores in the 1940s, […] and Lucas’ research brought this aspect, as Moacir used to say, brought this aspect to light.
This project, which is now granted, awarded […] not granted, it is an awarded project and very well awarded, because it will show to all of us how important is Moacir’s work. A Moacir Santos that shows himself symphonic in several scores, as the score for Seara Vermelha, which is a […] until now for us it was basically a big question mark […] how this score could be hidden for so many years and we didn’t know of his symphonic ability. We were aware of his symphonic activity in the National Radio, because of the arrangements he made. But bringing this scores and making them available, this film scores, it can only be something really wonderful that is happening.
I would like this project to go on with all its plenitude, bringing us much more information about Moacir Santos and, as well as Ouro Negro project, my book, we are composing a "score" of Moacir Santos’ life, let’s say, showing his ability as a choro composer, as a big band composer and now as a film music composer. Then I congratulate all the people that maintain alive this interest in Moacir Santos’ work, we will continue to join along in this great parade to spread this music.
> Nailor Azevedo - "Proveta"
> Zé Nogueira
> Edson Natale
> Moacir Santos Jr.
> Antônio Pitanga
> Mario Adnet
> Ney Carrasco
> Carlos Alberto Oliva - "Pollaco"
> Lucas Zangirolami Bonetti
> Paulo Tiné
> Wynton Marsalis
> Andrea Ernest Dias
the future of the research project
credits and acknowledgments
Conception and production:
Itaú Cultural coordination and production:
Itaú Cultural legal advice:
Additional musical transcriptions:
Musical transcriptions reviewers:
Scores editing and final layout:
Graphic design and website programming:
Textual content and editorial coordination:
Lucas Zangirolami Bonetti
Glaucy Tudda, Tânia Rodrigues, Edson Natale, André Judice
Lucas Zangirolami Bonetti
Nailor Azevedo - "Proveta"
André Mehmari [general musical reviewer]
Nailor "Proveta" Azevedo [woodwind and brass reviewer]
Ari Colares [popular percussion reviewer]
Fernando Hashimoto [symphonic percussion reviewer]
Fernando Corrêa [guitar, electric guitar and bass reviewer]
Paulo Moura [vocal reviewer]
Douglas Berti [piano, accordion e bandoneon reviewer]
Sérgio Schreiber e Marisa Silveira [bowed strings reviewers]
Lucas Zangirolami Bonetti
Rose Zangirolami - LPG Graphic Production
Lucas Zangirolami Bonetti
Andrea Ernest Dias
Nailor Azevedo - "Proveta"
Carlos Alberto Oliva - "Pollaco"
Lucas Zangirolami Bonetti
Moacir Santos Jr.
Atelier das Palavras
Lucas Zangirolami Bonetti
Marianna Kamiya Gouveia
Personal archive of Santos family
São Paulo Research Foundation [FAPESP] [grant#2012/11195-4; grant#2013/23992-9; and grant#2015/03111-3], Itaú Cultural, UNICAMP Arts Instituct, Marianna Kamiya Gouveia, Gilberto Bonetti, Rose Zangirolami, Moacir Santos Jr., Andrea Ernest Dias, Mario Adnet, Zé Nogueira, Ney Carrasco, Paulo Tiné, Flávio Ramos Tambellini, Regina Werneck, Adriana Vendramini [Copyrights Consultoria], Carlos Diegues, Fátima Fonseca [Luz Mágica Produções], Ruy Guerra, Nei Lopes, Sony ATV, Sara Kim, Andre Checchia Antonietti, Daniel Tápia, Renan Paiva Chaves, Lucas Brogiolo, Ivan Eiji Simurra, Marcos de Luca, Bárbara Ianelli, Randal Johnson, Paul Smith, Mark Levine, Sanifu Hall, Dean Christopher, Ray Pizzi, Patrick McLaughlin, Rique Pantoja, Sergio Mielniczenko, Schuyler Dunlap Whelden.
The opinions, hypotheses and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of FAPESP.
additional credits - transcriptions/reviewers
Lucas Zangirolami Bonetti [general music transcriber]
Lucas Zangirolami Bonetti is a post-doc fellow at University of São Paulo, Brazil, and holds a Doctoral and a Master degree at State University of Campinas, Brazil (supported by the São Paulo Research Foundation) where he studied the work of Brazilian composer Moacir Santos through analysis of his film scores. He has presented his research at conferences in Brazil, Argentina, and the United States. Bonetti has also performed as a guitar player at Orquestra Jovem Tom Jobim and Big Band da Santa, as leads several authorial projects. Bonetti currently teaches teaches Theory, Ear Training, and Guitar at the Municipal Music Conservatory of Barueri and Harmony in the Film Scoring graduate program at Anhembi Morumbi.
André Mehmari [general music reviewer]
Pianist, arranger, composer e multi-instrumentalist. Awarded both in the classical field [Nascente-USP, Camargo Guarnieri Competition and Carlos Gomes Award] and popular [Visa, Nascente-USP], André had his compositions and arrangements played by some of the most expressive orchestral and chamber groups, among them OSESP, OSB, Sujeito a Guincho and Villa-Lobos Quintet. As a pianist, he performed with Milton Nascimento, Guinga, Mônica Salmaso, Toninho Horta, and many other names musicians from the Brazilian popular music. Besides that, recorded and released Contínua Amizade, with Hamilton de Holanda; De Árvores e Valsas...; Miramari, with Gabriele Mirabassi; Nonada, Grammy nominated in 2008; and Afetos.
Nailor Azevedo - "Proveta" [additional music transcriber, woodwind and brass reviewer]
Started his professional career in the late 1970s, in São Paulo, yet played and lived with music since childhood. Joined the orchestra of maestro Sylvio Mazzucca and, throughout his path, performed at concerts and recordings with several Brazilian and international artists. He is the bandleader of Banda Mantiqueira, Brazilian jazz group with which released the albums Aldeia , Grammy nominated in 1998 in the Latin Jazz category; Bixiga , Terra Amantiqueira ; besides three albums in partnership with OSESP. Nowadays, he is the artistic director of the School of the Auditório Ibirapuera and conductor of the Furiosa Orchestra.
Ari Colares [popular percussion reviewer]
Musician and educator specialized in percussion and Brazilian rhythms.
Perform in Brazil and abroad, teaching or playing with important musicians. Already performed along with Naná Vasconcelos, Egberto Gismonti, Mônica Salmaso, Zizi Possi, Ceumar, among others. Takes part of several projects with the pianist Benjamim Taubkin, as Clareira and Al Qantara, traveling to many different countries.
Fernando Corrêa [guitar, electric guitar and bass reviewer]
Guitar player, holds an undergraduate and a master degree from Kunst Universitat in Graz [Austria]. Teaches guitar at FASM since 2006 and perform at São Paulo State Jazz Symphonic Orchestra since 2000. Recorded and released several albums: Em Contraste , Marea , Fernando Corrêa  and Dez Arranjos . He is also the author of a number of didactic books: Improvisação para guitarra e outros instrumentos , Brazilian Play-Along [Ed. Free Note, 2006], Estudo rítmico sobre Coltrane [Ed. Som, 2010] and Guitarra básico 1 [Projeto Guri, 2011].
Paulo Celso Moura [vocal reviewer]
Professor of Choral Conducting at the UNESP Arts Institute [São Paulo] and conductor of the OSESP Foundation Youth Choir, which also provides training courses for public school teachers. He was professor at FASM and at São Caetano do Sul Municipal University, where he worked intensively on the implementation process of the Culture Municipal Plan of the city.
Sérgio Schreiber [bowed strings reviewer]
BA in Music [cello]. He was a member of OSESP [São Paulo State Symphonic Orchestra] between 1989 and 1994. Plays at São Paulo State Jazz Symphonic Orchestra since 1997 [since 2005 as first cellist] and at OSUSP [São Paulo University Symphonic Orchestra] since 1995 [Concertino].
Marisa Silveira [bowed strings reviewer]
Studied at the Dramatic and Musical Conservatory "Dr. Carlos de Campos" of Tatuí. Played at the São Paulo Municipal Symphonic Orchestra from 1984 to 1994 and, since 1994, perform at the São Paulo State Jazz Symphonic Orchestra as a cellist.
Douglas Berti [piano, accordion and bandoneon reviewer]
Composer and conductor graduated at UNESP, has a Master degree on film music [UNICAMP]. Transcribed and digitalized works from the colonial period, from composers from the state of Minas, works of the UNESP Arts Institute [VillaniCortes], and important hymnbooks from CNBB. Composed film scores for TV [Record/SBT], perform as a music productor in São Paulo studios, and most recently as a piano player of the Café Latino Brazilian Orchestra [Pullmantur], in European tours.
The scores were transcribed over eight months, for an academic research. Afterwards, six more months were needed to submit them through meticulous reviews by important musicians, each one being responsible for one instrument or a group of instruments. Lastly, the material went through a general review and the diagramming process, in order to provide the best possible content.
Fernando Hashimoto [symphonic percussion reviewer]
Professor of percussion e rhythmic at UNICAMP since 2001, he is also the founder and director of GRUPU – Percussion Group of UNICAMP. Fernando is Ph.D. in percussion at CUNY [with CAPES/Fulbright grant], and graduated in music at UNICAMP. Performed as a timpanist at the Campinas Municipal Symphonic Orchestra and, as a soloist, has already taught clinics and recitals at various universities and international festivals.