24 October 2011

Great new stuff at Rádio Amália

Alot of new things are happening at Rádio Amália.

The nightime program "Amigos do Fado" (Friends of the Fado), which was run by Vergílio Pereira until his untimely recent death, is at last in very capable hands. The new announcer is José Gonçalez, and the show runs Monday through Friday from 8pm to midnight (Lisbon time). Even if you do not understand Portuguese, it is worth tuning in, at least for the following reasons:

1. Grande Prémio Nacional de Fado. They are broadcasting of snippets from the current country-wide quest for the best fado singers, male and female, of various ages. Last week's winner in her age group was Beatriz Felício (she is twelve). Friday nights.
2. High-profile guests who bring their own lists of favorite fados for us to listen to and for them to discuss (either Pedro or Helder Moutinho was there recently). His interviews are good. Maybe his undergrad degree in psychology helps with this? Tuesday nights.
3. Live broadcasts from fado houses. Tonight (10/24) it's the turn of "O Faia", where Lenita Gentil, António Rocha and Anita Guerreiro (among others) are among the features. Monday nights.
4. Fado Vadio. Live fado in the studio. Wednesday nights.
5. Amália. Every hour starts off with a fado sung by "a nossa diva" (as Pereira used to say). Very classy move.

(There is something happening on Thursdays, but I missed it.)

PLUS, during the day you can hear Joaquim Maralhas and Inga Oliveira. Incidentally, I think it was on Inga's program that I first heard him, being interviewed with António Pinto Basto about their musical collaboration (Gonçalez is also a singer).

I should also mention in passing that RTP has a new Internet-only radio station dedicated to the fado. This morning I was listening to a long interview about a recent exposition in Coimbra concerning the fado of that city. They also frequently play live material not available on record. The Internet-based player shows the current and past few tracks (which is good because they frequently do not have a DJ). There is also an iPhone/iPad app for Portuguese radio that enables you to tune in to RTP (TV and radio) when on the go. If you want to hear Rádio Amália on an iPhone, use something like the the Rádio Portugal app.

01 October 2011

Luisa Rocha talks about "Fado Moves"

Luisa Rocha
I think the upcoming "Fado Moves" show is generating a bit of excitement here, so I wrote to Luisa Rocha to ask her if she could offer some additional details on the lead-up to the show, including preparation, and also how the show evolved. Here's her reply, which I've translated from the Portuguese.

"The project requires alot of concentration from the enire team. There are alot of differences that you can find among us: culture, language, musical style. Event within the company of dancers the mix is eclectic: from ballet to Bboy, through Hip-hop and Modern. We have in common a passion for the arts--an affinitiy that is necessary if we are going to do good work."

"About the preparation for the show, she says that it "began before we had our first meeting face to face. When I arrived in the US, I was surprised: all of the dancers had listened to and studied alot about the fado, and just like me felt that the project brought with it alot of responsibility. It needs to be treated very seriously, particularly because it is a genre of music that represents a large part of Portuguese culture, and that is still being considered as "Patrimony of Humanity" by UNESCO."

"At the first meeting, I wanted to sing in a way that everyone would feel the magic of the fado as they would if I were singing in a typical fado house.  After this first contact, a choice of repertory for the show was made based on the music of my first CD, "Uma noite de amor" (A night of love)."

"Even before the first translation of the lyrics were made, it was curious to see that each gesture of the dancers would describe what each song was saying. After the dancers were given the translations, it was interesting to see that, if they had been given the translations earlier, the choices would have been the same in order for them to identify with the story that they would tell."

"The music overcame any barrier of differences. At this moment, it is no longer "a singer with dancers", but rather a group of friends sensitized and motivated to make the "fado move".  

"I know that in a recent article in the Luso-Americano Michael da Silva, the mentor of this project, says that his objective is to bring "Fado Moves" to the world. But I confess that I would be very happy if our next destination were Portugal."

Thanks to Luisa for furnishing these comments on the show. If anyone reading this blog manages to get out and see the show "Fado Moves", or to hear Luisa singing this month at Alfama restaurant in New York City, please leave a comment so that we can all know how it was!