Egberto Gismonti

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Egberto Gismonti

Egberto Gismonti (born 1947 in Carmo, Brazil) is a Brazillian composer.

He began his formal music studies at the age of six on piano. After studying classical music for 15 years, he went to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger (orchestration and analysis), and composer Jean Barraqué, a disciple of Schoenberg and Webern. After his return to Brazil, Gismonti began to glimpse a reality broader than the classical world of music. He was attracted by Ravel's ideas of orchestration and chord voicings, as well as by "choro", a Brazilian instrumental popular music where varied kinds of guitars are featured. To play this music he made the transition from piano to guitar, beginning on the 6-string classical instrument and switching to the 8-string guitar in 1973. He spent two years experimenting with different tunings and searching for new sounds, which is also reflected in his use of flutes, kalimbas, sho, voice, bells, etc. By the early '70s, he had laid the groundwork for his current conception was listening to musicians as wide-ranging as Django Reinhardt and Jimi Hendrix... For him, Hendrix's achievements were proof that "popular" and "serious" idioms need not remain opposite poles: There's no difference between the two kinds of music....

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