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JT Video Premiere: “É Doce Morrer No Mar” by Oran Etkin

The clarinetist's collaboration with Brazilian singer Danilo Caymmi is part of a monthly series of videos filmed around the world

Danilo Caymmi, Oran Etkin, and Davi Mello
Left to right: Danilo Caymmi, Oran Etkin, and Davi Mello

JazzTimes is honored to present the premiere of the video for “É Doce Morrer No Mar” by clarinetist Oran Etkin. This is the second video in a series that Etkin has launched as part of what he calls the Open Arms Project. Each month, he will release a new single on all major music streaming services as well as a video filmed and recorded with various collaborators around the world during his recent tours. This particular video was recorded in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and features vocalist Danilo Caymmi and guitarist Davi Mello.

“É Doce Morrer No Mar” was composed by Danilo Caymmi’s father, the legendary Brazilian songwriter Dorival Caymmi, who inspired a great lineage of musicians born (as he was) in the country’s Bahia region, from Caetano Veloso to Gilberto Gil and Gal Costa. Etkin comments: “This song speaks of a sailor dying out at sea in the lap of Iemanja (the Orisha of the ocean) and his lover back on shore mourning him without being able to say goodbye. It makes me think about all those who have passed away from our current pandemic in the hospital or at home, unable to see their loved ones and unable to be honored with the ceremony of a traditional funeral congregation. In Bahia, where Dorival Caymmi is from, there is a tradition of gently sending off offerings into the ocean for Iemanja, and I think the energy of the musical moment we shared together really reminds me of that type of gesture—this is now our offering for our times, a ceremony of sorts for all those who passed without ceremony.”

Future installments of the Open Arms Project will include songs and videos recorded in Prague, Paris, São Paulo, and Harare, Zimbabwe, among others.

“Open Arms to me is an attitude,” Etkin says. “It’s felt in the warmth with which I was greeted in each country and how we welcomed each other into our musical worlds. It is at the core of how we approach making new music together with open ears, unafraid to discover a new side of ourselves
outside our comfort zone. And it’s also an answer to the rigid isolation of hate and fear that has been growing in the political discourse all around the world, in almost every country I’ve traveled to.”

To learn more about Oran Etkin, visit his website.