Brazil’s Hermeto Pascoal is a legend among musicians and fans for his ability to conjure beautiful sounds out of just about anything — from tea kettles to PVC pipes to traditional woodwinds.
Earlier this May, the New England Conservatory awarded Pascoal an honorary Doctorate of Music degree and in July, the 81-year-old released No Mundo Dos Sons, the first album from him and his group in 15 years. Pascoal can come up with a melody at the drop of a hat. He says he’s written 9,000 compositions and most, if not all, were created on the spot. “It’s because I’m 100 percent intuitive,” he says. “I don’t premeditate anything. I feel it. When something happens, I don’t say, ‘Now I’m going to do that.’ No. If I want to write the music, I start creating. Every piece of my music, even the one I write on a piece of paper, I consider an improvisation.”