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Paulo Costa Lima is very active as an editor and administrator, he has held various positions in Bahia promoting new music, and is considered to be the second generation of the Grupo de Compositores da Bahia (Group of Composers of Bahia) that was formed in 1966, with the basic assertion that it was “mainly against all and every asserted principle”. Thirty years later, during the Festival Sonidos de las Americas in New York, promoted by the American Composers Orchestra and the Carnegie Hall, Costa Lima still continued to admire and adhere to this anti-canon, which must be understood in the context of the various musical manifestos launched in Brazil since the 1950s and in the light of an unmistakably Bahian anarchical taste. His recent interests include the theory of rhythm (compositional applications of rhythmic patterns of Bahia’s candomblé), music and psychoanalysis, and the teaching of composition. He has published several articles and two books on these topics.
Paulo Costa Lima is a well-known composer from Salvador, Bahia, has been a professor of composition at the School of Music of the Federal University of Bahia since 1979. He studied at the same institution (with Lindembergue Cardoso, Ernst Widmer and Jamary Oliveira) and also at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Herbert Brün and Ben Johnston).
From 1996-2002 he occupied the position of Assistant President of the Federal University of Bahia, and from 2005–2008 President of the Gregório de Mattos Foundation, an institution which is responsible for the cultural policy of the city of Salvador. Salvador was the first capital of Brazil (from 1549 to 1763) — and is widely recognized as a cultural reference, an important synapse for european and african mentalities.
Costa Lima states: “It is quite possible that ethnomusicology and composition are capable of exchanging respectful looks at each other, shying away from the easy paradises of our past. This has been the hope in some of my recent works, while recognizing that the terrain is as swampy as musical libido”.