domingo, 27 de março de 2011

Fado, by New York Times

(A fadista Ana Moura, por Ruth Fremson/The New York Times)

O fado, e a magia especial da voz das fadistas, em destaque no suplemento musical do New York Times. Deixo um excerto do artigo, que pode ser lido na íntegra aqui.

IN the beginning was Amália Rodrigues. That singer so dominates the modern history of the fado, Portugal’s soulful, guitar-based national song style, that during a 60-year career brought to an end only with her death in 1999, her name became virtually synonymous with the genre, leaving precious little room for others to flourish.
But during the past decade or so there has been an explosion of new voices, most of them female, as well as the renovation of a genre that had come to seem hidebound and resistant to change. A so-called novo fado, or new fado, movement has catapulted the genre into the 21st century, opening a space for bold experiments with repertory, instrumentation and ways of singing.
Outside Portugal the fadista (as a practitioner of the genre is called) most evident of late is the 31-year-old Ana Moura, whose smoky contralto has drawn the attention of the Rolling Stones and Prince and who has just released a live CD called “Coliseu.”
At home, though, she is just one of a bumper crop that includes Mísia, Mariza, Mafalda Arnauth, Dulce Pontes, Cristina Branco, Joana Amendoeira, Raquel Tavares, Yolanda Soares and Kátia Guerreiro.

“We all have one thing in common, and that is the desire to renew the fado,” Ms. Moura, who will tour California and Canada this summer, said during an interview in New York. “This curiosity of young people for the fado is all very recent, and I think it can best be explained by this new approach to an old music that all of us have adopted.”
Fado, which means fate or destiny in Portuguese, dates to the 1820s and began, as Mariza said in a telephone interview, “as the music of a port, a place where mixtures take place, with sailors bringing influences from Brazil, Africa, the Arab world and even China” to the bars, taverns and bordellos they frequented. From the beginning the essence of the music was contained in the word saudade, which Portuguese speakers claim is untranslatable but which can be rendered as longing, yearning, nostalgia or melancholy.

terça-feira, 22 de março de 2011

Leitura da semana

Que grande, grande capa! O director de arte da Economist está de parabéns, provando que as grandes ideias são, quase sempre, ideias muito simples.
O artigo principal da edição, sobre os dias trágicos que se vivem no Japão, é igualmente bom:

"Up a shallow river, five kilometres from the Pacific coast in Japan’s north-eastern Iwate prefecture, lie the remains of a town. Crushed wooden houses now resemble matchwood, scattered in every direction over swampy wasteland. A purple car is partially submerged in mud. The piles of debris reach two metres high.
Only on close inspection do you see that it was never a town at all—at least not there. It was a rice paddy. The houses, shops, cars and people belonged lower down the valley. But the town is gone, washed away. Its debris settled on the field, high up the valley, that was the tsunami’s high-water mark. That is all that physically remains of Rikuzentakata."

terça-feira, 15 de março de 2011

Está aí alguém?

Será que ainda há quem passe por aqui, em busca de leituras que valem a pena? O meu bebé faz hoje dois meses e, confesso, o tempo para ler tem sido muito pouco... Obrigo-me a comprar um jornal todos os dias, espécie de ritual de «adulta» que tem ainda o mérito de me fazer sair à rua, apanhar sol na cara, sentir o cheiro do café (só o cheiro!) e ver outras pessoas. Mas leituras demoradas da imprensa internacional... tem sido mais difícil :)
Contudo, hoje li este artigo, sugerido por um amigo no facebook, e não resisti a partilhá-lo convosco. É o obituário da actriz Jane Russell, publicado esta semana na Economist. Escrever obituários é uma arte, especialmente acarinhada na imprensa anglo-saxónica. Não sei quem escreveu este texto fabuloso (o artigo não é assinado) mas tiro o chapéu a quem conseguiu centrar o tema não no talento mas no peito da actriz - e sem ser ordinário. O início chega para conquistar qualquer um:

PEOPLE seemed naturally to think in twos when Jane Russell’s name popped up. Bob Hope, her favourite kissing partner, once introduced her as “The two and only”. “What are the two great reasons for Russell’s success?” demanded the posters for her first and most censor-bitten film, “The Outlaw”, in 1943. American GIs, who worshipped her, gave her name to the twin hills that dominated a battlefield in Korea. And the little aircraft sent aloft to publicise “The Outlaw” over Pasadena simply made two large, hazy circles in the sky, with a point at the centre of each one.

The pair in question were neither voluptuous nor pneumatic by the standards of silicone inflation that came later. Miss Russell herself denied that they were even a size 38. A modest 36B was all she claimed.

Boas leituras... e até breve!