domingo, 31 de janeiro de 2010

Madredeus - O Pastor / The Shepherd

 Pastor / The Shepherd
      Song Performed by Madredeus
Ai, no one returns
to what was left behind
nobody lets go of the big wheel
nobody knows where he walked

Ai, no one remembers
Not even the dreamer
that little  boy sings
the song of the shepherd

still burns
the boat
of fantasy
and my dream ends later
leaves the soul to watch

still burns
the boat
of fantasy
and my dream ends later
I do not wish to awake.

sábado, 23 de janeiro de 2010

A ticket for Eternity / Un billete para la Eternidad / Um bilhete para a Eternidade

"I believe that the soul, the spirit of all human beings, is
 like a powerful tissue that envelops the entire planet,
and that tissue somehow "Lives".
I think  that those who come closer to this collective soul,
In this colective broth shaped in this
living , vibrant and palpable being that forms
the body of our living and universal culture
  somehow survives, and somehow
buys a ticket for eternity "

“Yo creo que el alma, el espíritu de todos los seres humanos, forma
un tejido poderoso que envuelve todo el planeta,
y que alguna manera es el que pervive.
Yo creo que quien aporta más a esa alma colectiva, a ese acerbo colectivo,
a ese ser vivo palpitante y palpable que es el ente de la cultura vivient
 e universal, de alguna manera pervive, y de alguna manera
obtiene un billete para la eternidad”

"Eu acredito que a alma, o espírito de todos os seres humanos, é
 como um tecido forte que envolve todo o planeta,
e que de alguma maneira sobrevive.
Eu acho que quem mais se aproxima dessa alma colectiva, neste ajuntamento colectivo,
que é este ser vivo palpitante e palpável que forma o ente da cultura vivente
 e universal, sobrevive de alguma maneira, e de alguma forma
obtem um bilhete para a eternidade "


quinta-feira, 21 de janeiro de 2010

El Hombre y la Tierra-El lobo

Iberian Lynx PART 3

Somewhere in Spain / 1974

Scene 1 --A somewhat middle aged man is climbing a rocky steep cliff, he doesn´t seem tired in spite of his age. A full cinematic crew follows him up carrying cameras and other filming equipment. They all assume strategic positions. The man starts to howl.
 It seems as if  he´s gone mad .A pack of four teenager  wolfs assume from behind the rocks and run towards the man.
This must be for certain someone with suicidal tendencies inviting death, similar to a maniac tied with chains to a tree during a thunderstorm ! the wolfs are coming...As they approach the man they greet him with “spoiled puppy yells”. He gives them some treats and calls them by their names.
Slowly he turns towards the camera, and begins to talk in a calm and energetic tone with a deep Castillan accent   --  THESE ARE WOLVES, AND THEY ARE VERY HUNGRY ! they could easily tear one of my hands off, but i´m pretty sure they wouldn´t do it ! The wolves are sociable animals; hierarchic animals; they have rites protocols,they do not   harm their own kin or   the humans that take care of them. We don´t want to apologize  the wolf ! we are aware that the wolf in Spain has a very bad reputation, just like the tiger in India or the Lion in Africa.
These wolves are part of a wolf pack that allowed us to study their behavior  for two all years.
We  will show you the many wonderful  things that we found out through the testimony of the cinematographic camera.
Afterwards you can proceed on thinking if the wolves are bad or  good  , i will leave that judgment to you. 

Those were the words of Dr.Félix Rodriguez de la Fuente  in the late and very famous TV show El hombre y la tierra that was  seen all over Europe in the mid seventies.(You can see a small except of it above).     
In this particular case he was educating the world about the Iberian wolf   ( Canis lupus signatus  )and particullary he was showing his countrymen that the wolf was a curious and amazing animal that deserved careful observation and some comprehension and not just the random killing this animal was being subjected to back in those days.
Needless to say “the message got trough”. It would be wonderful  to tell you that no more wolves were killed in Spain and that the message somehow spread  all over the Iberian Peninsula covering not only Spain but also Portugal and the random killing of wolves stopped there for good.
The ugly truth is  the depredation of the wolf didn´t stopped but an alert was made. If today Spain and Portugal still have wolves ( very few wolves) it´s because of the initiative of men like Dr.Félix. We must be aware that back in those days speaking on behalf of the wolf was like defending the rat that was causing the black plague in the middle ages. People knew wolves by reputation. And it was an evil reputation since this wonderful animal is always depicted in folk tales as something as foul like he was Satan´s dog itself or the beast that devours little children, or the monster that engulfs sheep by the hundreds and other stupid folk tales.
   And in countries like Spain ad Portugal back in the 70´s TV shows like El hombre y la tierra were a way of destroying thousands of years of mysticism and stupidity.
I saw this show in my country a few years ago after Dr.Félix died. I was 6 or 7 years old at the time.
It was because of  him that i learned how much richness the Iberian Peninsula had to offer.
It was because of him that i learned that Portugal and Spain  being two separate countries in  language and border share a diversified microcosm of life not only in fauna but also in flora.
Later on i will tell you   a few more stories about the Iberian Wolf.
Goodbye for now.

domingo, 17 de janeiro de 2010

Fishwive , Lisbon, early XX Century / Varina , Lisboa , princípio Séc.XX

Cesário verde - Sentimento de um Ocidental / The Feeling of a Westerner / Avé Marias / Hail Marys

Hail Marys 1ST  Verse from :  The Feeling of a Westerner


When evening falls across our streets
And sullen melancholy fills the air,
The Tejo, the tang, the shadows and bustle
Bring me an absurd desire to suffer.

The sky hangs low and seems all hazy;
The gas from the streetlamps makes me queasy;
The tumult of buildings, chimneys and people
Is cloaked in a dullish, Londonish hue.

Oh lucky travellers in hired coaches
Now hieing to the railway station! Countries
And exhibitions file past me: Madrid,
Paris, Berlin, St Petersburg, the world!

The timber frames of future buildings
Resemble cages for keeping animals;
Like swooping bats the carpenters leap
From beam to beam at the sound of the bell.

Clusters of callous, tar-smeared caulkers
Return from the slipways, coats on their shoulders;
I wander through alleys that lead to the river
Or walk by the wharves where boats are docked.

I evoke the ocean chronicles: the Moors,
Old vessels and heroes – all resurrected!
Shipwrecked Camões swims his book to shore! 
Great carracks that I’ll never see ride the waves!

The twilight inspires, and also disturbs me!
An English battleship launches its cutters
While swank hotels on land bedazzle
With china and flatware clinking at dinner.

Two dentists argue inside a streetcar;
A clumsy clown is struggling on stilts;
Children flit, like cherubs, on balconies;
Hatless, bored shopkeepers wait at their doors!

The shipyards and workshops are emptying out;
The river glints thickly, the workwomen hurry;
And a black school of Herculean fishwives
Bursts out of nowhere, joking, laughing.

Wagging sumptuous hips they come!
Their manly torsos remind me of pillars;
And some, in the baskets on their heads,
Rock sons who’ll one day drown in storms.

On frigates – barefoot! – they unload coal 
From dawn to dusk, then crowd together
In a neighbourhood where cats meow
And the rotting fish breed infection!

Poem by Cesário Verde (February 25, 1855 – July 19, 1886)

sábado, 16 de janeiro de 2010

Cântico negro / Black song by José Régio

“Come this way” — some say with sweet eyes,
Opening their arms, and sure
That it could be good that I would listen to them
When they say: “Come this way”!
I look at them with unattached eyes,
(In my eyes there is irony and tiredness)
And I cross my arms,
And I never go that way…
This is my glory:
To create inhumanity!
Never to accompany anybody.
—For I live with the same unwillingness
I teared my mother’s womb with.
No, I won’t go that way! I only go through where
My own steps take me…
If what I search to know none of you can answer,
Why do you repeat: “Come this way”?
I prefer to slide on muddy corners,
To whirl at the wind,
Like rags, to drag my bleeding feet,
Than to go that way…
If I came to the world, was
Only to deflower virgin rain-forests,
And to draw my own feet on the unexplored sand!
All the rest I do is worth nothing.
How come you are the ones
Who will give me axes, tools and courage,
For I to throw down my obstacles?…
It runs, in your veins, the old blood of the grand-parents,
And you love what is easy!
I love the Far and the Mirage,
I love the abysses, the torrents, the deserts…
Go! you have roads,
You have gardens, you have flower-beds,
You have homelands, you have roofs,
And you have rules, and treatises, and philosophers, and wisemen.
I have my Madness!
I hold it high, like a torch, burning in the dark night,
And I feel foam, and blood, and chants on the lips…
God and the Devil are the ones who guide me, nobody else.
All of you had a father, all of you had a mother;
But I, who never start or end,
I was born from the love between God and the Devil.
Hah! That nobody gives me pious intentions!
That nobody asks me for definitions!
That nobody tells me: “Come this way”!
My life is a storm-wind that got unlocked.
It is a wave that has risen.
It is an extra atom that got animated…
I don’t know where I’m going through,
I don’t know where I’m going,
—I know I’m not going that way.

Cântico negro / Black song by José Régio

sexta-feira, 15 de janeiro de 2010

Freedom, by Alberto Caieiro (Fernando Pessoa)

Oh, what a pleasure
not to follow a duty!
To have a book
and not read it!
Reading is boring.
Studying is nothing.
The sun shines without literature.
Rivers run without original editions.
And the breeze, so natural to the morning, has plenty of time, and no rush...

Books are papers painted with ink.
Studying is something that can´t distinguish nihil from nothing.

The best is the mist.
It doesn´t matter if Dom Sebastião will ever come back.

Great is the poetry, goodness, and the dances.
But the best in this world are the children,
Flowers, Music, Moonlight, and the Sun, whose only flaw
is sometimes burning instead of making life bloom.

And more than anything else, Jesus Christ,
who didn´t know anything about finances,
and never owned a library.

After Dances with Wolves here is:" Hugs with Lions"

quinta-feira, 14 de janeiro de 2010

quarta-feira, 13 de janeiro de 2010

Haiti nous pleurons avec toi !

A man carries an injured child outside Hotel Villa Creole in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010 after the strongest earthquake in more than 200 years struck Haiti. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Montreal La Presse, Ivanoh Demers)

sábado, 9 de janeiro de 2010

sexta-feira, 8 de janeiro de 2010

Outlawed Tunes On Outlawed Pipes

Yellow son R.I.P.
The Lord bless thee and keep thee.  The Lord cause his light to
shine on thee.  The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee.    
And give thee peace.  Amen.

quinta-feira, 7 de janeiro de 2010

quarta-feira, 6 de janeiro de 2010

Roncos do Diabo - Jota Carvalhesa


So, having the south of Portugal shortly covered and after showing you a bit of It´s most peculiar song style, It´s time to show  you a bit about the North. Let me just remind you that this is just  a sort of a taste of an immense musical culture that as been around for hundreads, even thousands of years. As a feedback we could say that the typical Alentejo singing is currently in good health and this is only because there is this "THING" called tourism. And Alentejo is still providing a lot of it´s culture trough the gift of song and some other appealing "GIFTS" such as It´s typical  cuisine and rural tourism, since Alentejo is a place that is still very appealing for Nature lovers and being a rural place some claim that it´s a perfect spot to relax . But  "IT´S NOT MY INTENTION" to hand you some sort of tourist guide Panflet. I´m doing this because I believe there is a real cultural need to do so, since so much as been lost over the years and unfortunately in the future all that will  remain will be this incomplete "TOURIST BROCHURE" of what is Portugal´s culture. And I´m just covering a centesimal part of It´s immense musical culture. That´s why names like ( Michel Giacometti ) will always remain dear to me.       
The North -Here we are entering in a much more complex  and detailed issue since the north of Portugal is geographically different. To speak about music in detail we must also reach inside a bit of Portugal´s history.(I will make this as short as possible, i promise !). Now as anyone that is fond of WAR GAMES  will tell you the soldier that occupies higher ground is always in advantage with the soldier that occupies lower ground.  That is a simple matter  of gravity. Picture that you are a soldier fighting in a medieval war and you are trying to occupie a fort that is on the top of a hill. Well let´s just say that a lot of big stones arrows and other pointy things would find It´s direction towards you much easier way than the other way around. I´ve never seen a rock running up a hill , have you ?.So what does Militar strategy as anything to do with Music genres ?, you may ask. Well, allow me to explain !Like I´ve told you earlier when we were covering the south of Portugal my country had over the centuries a lot of influences from other cultures such as the Moorish Culture and many centuries before that the Romans were also leaving their foot prints all over the Iberian Peninsula. That is Portugal and Spain, when they weren´t even countries "per se". Because the formation of a country usually takes many centuries to built. And with Portugal And Spain this was no exception.
But let me make it short before I give you an extensive history lesson. Let´s just say to summarize that over the centuries the People in the North of Portugal  had a real big advantage military speaking because of the numerous hills and  mountainous country side that characterize this part of the region. And that translates in Cultural matter because a group of people that isn´t overruned and conquered by a bunch of foreigners every two centuries or so, as the ability to perserve a lot of It´s original Culture . If you are fond of history , especially Portuguese history you may get a small taste of what I´m telling you by reading some of Viriato´s accomplishments. But this is the 21st century, and like all things times have evolved and we become more and more similar to one another and unless you are an historian or a person that wants to preserve a bit of your culture past, well let´s just say that all old things wither and die. Fortunately all over Europe a Fenomenon is occurring. And that is the appearance of Folk music festivals. Where you can listen to a lot of the best traditional musical performances that thank God doesn´t fit in the MTV genre. And if you think that bagpipes are an exclusive toy of the Scottish people, well think again. In Portugal  we had them too way up North. Today small groups of people are trying to preserve a bit of the past trough hard work and perseverance. Among these is a really hot band called "RONCOS DO DIABO",which roughly translated into English means something like The Devil´s growl. Above you can listen to a little bit of their performance. LET me know what you thought of it !.

segunda-feira, 4 de janeiro de 2010

Alentejo singuing / Cante Alentejano



    This post is basically a follow up of what I´ve written in SONG PART 8.   I proposed to show you a bit of the Portuguese musical culture in general.  Not of what is being done today in Portugal musically speaking but some of our most traditional  and peculiar forms of singing. Generally speaking and since I´m trying to explain this to folks that live in other countries I must  once again specify that what I am showing you isn´t what everyone is listening and singing in Portugal in our days. It´s more of a small cultural voyage, like some sort of  tourist tour trough  some of our most peculiar  and traditional ways of life , “that are currently disappearing”. I´ve given you in the other posts of Song a rough idea of what Fado song is because whenever the name of Portugal arises in some conversation in some other country   the name Fado seems to pop up like magic. So now  i´m going to show  you two different parts of Portugal, and with it two other different Portuguese music styles. For that I will divide this post into two different parts. I will start with the SOUTH  and later on the NORTH. Because Portugal musically speaking is a sort of microcosms that had a lot of different influences from a lot of different places over the years.
The South - The music style that is most characteristic  in the South of Portugal is the Alentejo singing  (PT: CANTAR  ALENTEJANO). This sort of is  characteristic from Alentejo and the singing, is made from a large group of men (rarely women),that join voices in a choir , and the song themes lyrics are usually "WORK RELATED". But not just that; they also speak  about the beauty of the land or about somethings so peculiar like the way a little bird sings. This sort of singing is usually slow and it paces a slow rhythm. There are usually no musical instruments joining the group (It would be silly to call it a band).
It´s origins are like Fado, difficult to track down it´s origins since there were many influences from the past in Portugal from  the Roman Empire and the Muslim occupation. Especially the South of Portugal that was occupied for many centuries by the Moors. And these left a lot of their Culture behind that blended in with the region. One thing is sure, the Alentejo singing derives from the people that worked the lands, usually the poor people that worked for the rich land owners and the workers from the mines. That´s also the origin of that slow sound, That sounds like something of a THUMP...pause,THUMP...pause,THUMP...pause; rhythm. If you pay attention you´ll see that this is the same rhythm used in hard labour, like cutting down a tree with an ax,or digging the soil with a shovel. Currently, like in the past the men still join in the local taverns to drink an sing.
IN my next post of song we are going to take a little trip to the North of Portugal.

sábado, 2 de janeiro de 2010

Iberian Lynx PART 2

A truly amazing gift, from a truly amazing artist.
Thank you so very much Suni.
Thankyou,thankyou,thankyou !!!

Suni , I loved It !!!

sexta-feira, 1 de janeiro de 2010