26 May 2013

Fado and other emotions

Fado is a traditional music from Portugal. Other than a curious measure or two of music online I had no experience with it. Living in Spain I have more exposure to Flamenco music, so I found it a fun exercise to contrast and compare the Iberian peninsula's folk music recently.

I went to a concert of Minha Lua in la Sala Galieo Galilei in Madrid. I would never have found this on my own but an actor in one of our work projects knew my husband likes world music and he suggested we go hear his friend sing Fado. It made me feel very connected which is very Spanish, but it's a rare thing for me.

Flamenco music is accompanied by dancing. More dancing than singing it seems sometimes and it's full of violent emotions. The dancing is a stomping generally on a wooden surface for maximum volume. The stomping becomes part of the beat of the music. It's hypnotic and in a way shocking for the pure emotion of the thing. It is generally strong themes, love, love lost, why'd you leave me kind of stuff. I suppose it is the country music of Spain but with no relation to US country music in style.

Here's a link to a polished recording of some flamenco.  Even though this was done specifically for camera you get a feel for the emotion of the music.

Flamenco has a sort of gut-level emotion sensation. I've been in a performance where the woman's emotion was so strong that the young man at my table was visibly embarrassed even though he couldn't understand the words that cried out why, oh, why did you leave me.

So if Flamenco is emotion, I'd say it has sadness and anger in it.  Perhaps of sense of having been done wrong.

The Fado music (mind you this is my own experience here) was deep, deep emotion too. Each song seemed to have the ability to tug on a string in your soul. It pulled deeply sad emotions from you. The singer Vicky Cruz of Minha Lua translated some of the songs into Spanish so I understood some. It was a lot of love lost, loneliness, and poetry. It too was pure emotion but without the anger.  Soul wrenching sadness.  There was no dancing -- that's not to say that they don't ever, but it doesn't appear to go hand in glove with the Fado like it does the Flamenco.

It was a lovely evening. Vicky was accompanied by a cello and a guitar and  it was beautiful, touching and full of emotion. Turns out my phone videos won't upload, so here's a link to the group.
Minha Lua

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if the difference between Flamenco and Fado is more related to the differences in culture. Are people in Portugal generally less physically expressive than in Spain?