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NEWS from Brazil – ONG dona de vasto arquivo da MPB planeja shows para a semana de 7 de setembro

January 12, 2012

An interview we made last September in NYC and Rio, for Brazil ‘s largest media company, O Globo, was published today in the print + online version of the newspaper.   Now I am loath to ever read anything written about ARC –  I just check the dates, thank the writer (Thanks Carlos!), wait for friends to tell you that you sounded smart, dumb, right-on or wrong.  My comments and correction is brackets, and by the way an NGO is EU for a not-for-profit, and in Brazil is ONG, pronounced, “on-geh.”

So here’s the link:

Here’s the Google translation (bless their heart).  Hope you like it and spread the word about Brazilian World Music Day NEXT September…

Brazilian music has day in his honor in New York

NGO owns vast archive of MPB plans shows for the week of Sept. 7

Carlos Albuquerque       Posted: 12/01/12 – 7:53 a.m.

Bob George, a researcher, creator of the event and founder of NGO Arc, which has one of the largest collections of U.S. pop music: disc collection of 21 000 Brazilian Disclosure [B sez: my guess is they  mean, ‘discs’]

Independence Day of Brazil will become “independence day”. The next September 7th will be remembered in the United States – more precisely, in New York – as the World Day of Brazilian music. The initiative is the American NGO Arc (Archive of Contemporary Music), a research and documentation that meets at its headquarters in Manhattan, one of the largest collections of pop music in the U.S. with more than two million recordings – vinyl , CD and even cassette tapes – not to mention books, magazines, videos, movies and photos.

In partnership with Columbia University, the organizers of the Brazil World Music Day is intended to promote the week’s events, shows, seminars and lectures, and create a website with information about artists from nearly every genre, from rock to bossa nova, through electronic and forro.

– The interest in Brazilian music has always been constantly abroad. There has never been a fall, and this motivated us to create this date – said Bob George, a researcher, founder and creator of the Arc of the event, alongside Brazilian Beco Dranoff. – Our idea is to make the most of the time activities, including shows in New York and other capitals.

Producer of the single “O Superman,” Laurie Anderson [B sez:: I released the recording, not the producer] which launched in 1981, Bob George created the Arc in 1985 with the sole purpose of not having to throw out the vast collection he had acquired throughout life, especially during the time that was a radio DJ.

– I had about 50 000 records, most of soul, hip-hop and rock. I did not want to sell that stuff and see it diluted or lost in bookstores around. And he had nowhere to store it. As any music lover, I have much attachment for my records – says George. – I tried to give everything for some institutions, but none showed interest. Then I decided to create, even I, an institution from this material.

With the help of some friends, George got money to rent a warehouse and lay the foundations of Arc. The few, those same friends – distinguished people such as David Bowie, Lou Reed, Keith Richards, Nile Rodgers, Paul Simon and Martin Scorsese – were donating items from their own collections. Today, part of the team of Arc, as advisers or consultants.

– Their contribution was incredibly valuable and gave us the support we can grow. In addition, they gave a material of incredible historic value – tells George. – We have, for example, a fantastic collection of blues, courtesy of Keith Richards, the soundtrack of “Taxi Driver”, on vinyl, signed by Robert De Niro, and a large collection of singles from the early days of dance music.

Used by Hollywood Collection

For lack of structure, the files of the Arc are not fully open to the public and can be found only through a request online ( ) or directly on site.

But the material has been used in research programs for the BBC, HBO, VH1, and CBS, and numerous Hollywood productions.

– We have a dedicated team of volunteers, including some technicians, who have helped us to catalog and organize this material, and we hope to fully open the files to the public soon. The partnership with Columbia University has been very valuable in this sense – says George.

Annual contributions of collectors around the world – the U.S. and Japan in particular – have increased the assets of the Arc, so that the institution becomes, increasingly, a reference pop culture preservation. The Arc has about 21 000 records of Brazilian music, most donated by a collector of St. Paul [Sao Paulo] during a visit to the country of George [I WISH there was a country of George!] at the end of 2011.

– There is [not] a Ministry of Culture in the U.S. as it exists in Brazil. There is therefore a clear policy of the authorities on the preservation of cultural material, especially pop music, which many institutions in the U.S. believe, mistakenly, of little value – says George. – We run the risk of going through the same problem as the film industry has for some time, when he discovered that many films produced in 50 years had been lost by neglect or poor maintenance. We can not just throw out the first single on vinyl, Madonna, or just stick with your digital file on a cloud. In the future, it will have a great historical value.

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