Wednesday 31 October 2012

Killer Opening Songs (Há Uma Música Do Povo)

Music that serves as an accompaniment (others would say antidote, but that’s their opinion and they’re perfectly entitled to it. Thank you very much) to autumn’s rich orange and red hues must have a nostalgic feel to it. That’s why this week Killer Opening Songs settled for the first track of the third album by the queen of fado, Mariza.

K.O.S. is not in the habit of bequeathing royal titles on artists just for the sake of it, but in this case, the accolade is thoroughly deserved. Fado is that kind of musical genre of which many people are still unaware, but which, once acknowledged and listened to, leaves an indelible mark on sensitive souls. And Mariza is the perfect vehicle for that conversion. Armed with an extraordinary voice, the looks and stage presence of a modern Marlene Dietrich and a strong production team behind her, the Portuguese singer has been pivotal in the revival of this old tradition. Transparente (released in 2005) is the third CD of what has been so far a stellar decade-old career. The record builds up on the success of its predecessors, her trail-blazing debut Fado em Mim and the exquisite Fado Curvo.

Fundamental in Transparente’s success is the Introductory Melody with Murderous Tendencies, Há Uma Música Do Povo (There’s a Song of the People), a poem originally written by the Portuguese poet, philosopher, translator and literary critic, Fernando Pessoa. This brooding, dark-edge ballad is perfect for the early evenings that become the norm once October kicks in. Its lyrics are testament to the stronghold music has over us: Há uma música do povo/Nem sei dizer se é um fado/Que ouvindo-a há um ritmo novo/No ser que tenho guardado (There is a song of the people/I don't even know if it is a fado/When I hear it, there's a new rhythm/In the being I have in me).

Há Uma Música Do Povo is also the key that unlocks a trunkful of breathtaking and innovative songs. They are supported by a bold approach to arrangements to traditional fado melodies. For fado purists, this means having to put up with non-traditional instruments such as flute and accordion. For fusion lovers, like Killer Opening Songs, what Mariza has done is simply reach out to the Lusophone Diaspora and include rhythms such as morna (Cape Verde) and bossa nova (Brazil). After all, the album was recorded in Rio do Janeiro and produced by the Brazilian Jaques Morelenbaumtakes.

Since Transparente Mariza has released two more CDs, Terra and Fado Tradicional. But for evidence of what a true artist can do with tradition (revive it and rework it) look no further than Fado de Mim, Fado Curvo and Transparente. And, of course, it’s because of the Killer Opening Song, Há Uma Música Do Povo, that you, too, will fall for this fadista’s charms, her haunting voice and her delicate arrangements.

© 2012

Next Post: “Sunday Mornings: Coffee, Reflections and Music”, to be posted on 4th November at 10am (GMT)


  1. I love how I learn so much about music from you.


  2. nice....its sounds beautiful...i dont understand the words but i can feel them, i like your expansion on them as well...will have to look it up for a translation...neat as well that it came from a poem...has me intrigued...

  3. I love her take on the traditional fado music and enjoyed seeing her live too - thanks for the detailed intro to her....

  4. the atmosphere of the piece..the guitar, her beautiful...

  5. Very special. I was truly carried away, first by the guitar and then by the voice. Magical.

  6. Such soothing music to calm the soul. Thanks...

  7. Wonderful...enjoyed her voice so very much! Thanks for introducing another artist to us :)

  8. Piñata.

    There! I DID it!!! Albeit, a bit convoluted, I think. From here, I clicked up on the toolbar for my browser (Firefox) for the drop down under 'edit'. At the very bottom is special characters. It took a bit to get it to show up, got it to how up, but it would not insert. So, from there I did the keyboard shortcut to copy and paste.
    I did it here so that you could see that I was able to do it in the comment box.

  9. Beautiful, the song and the singer. I was just carried away. Killer opening song.

  10. Many thanks for your kind comments.

    Greetings from London.

  11. I know nothing about music so Fado is new to me.



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