Existir

 

Many things have been said about this album. Flattering words of every language have been spent. Existir have been for sure the event that allow to Madredeus to have the possibility to cross the borders of its country. We know well of the success that Existir had in Portugal and we know of the many fans that still consider it the best album of the production of Madredeus till now. What is the magic, the uniqueness of Existir? What is the meaning and the identity of the Existir? As Pedro said on this subject, it is an album "on Portugal" and the people that have been in that marvelous country perfectly know that its colors, its landscapes are the ones depicted in the songs of Existir. The folkloric facade of those songs have been underlined many times showing the influences of the traditional portuguese music, that somebody misunderstands with fado. In the case of Existir, when we talk of "tradition", we talk about the musical patrimony of popular origin, though folkloric, that is well different from fado. Infact, the fado is not exactly folkloric, but is a much more complex genre of musical expression, and it is composite of influences from other countries. Instead, the tradition we are talking about, the one of the popular feasts, shows maybe a much more true identity of the portuguese people, cleaned of the colonial influences, leaving though intact the "lusitan" soul which consider the travel and the exploration as a source for emotional and spiritual inspiration. We could almost say that the traditional portuguese music and the fado are in mutual relation in the same way as cause and effect are: the fado is the concrete and artistic fruit of a concrete and spiritual exploration that happened during the Discoveries, while the traditional music is the cause, the state of mind, the spiritual identity that started the explorations. The traditional musica carries the values that the explorers had with themselves when they left Portugal, while the fado sings the feelings they had when they returned. It is so clear that the saudade of the folklore has a different tone from the one of the fado. The music of Madredeus is full of this folkloric saudade and, in Existir, this dimension is also musical and instrumental and not only conceptual and emotional. Madredeus always carried the values of the portuguese soul, the ones of the traditional music and this is its identity, but in Existir also the musical means (because music is always a means) are inspired in those dances, in that folklore. From the merely musical point of view, all the considerations that we could make are a direct consequence of this interpretative choice. In this light, it is comprehensible the dominance of the accordion and the rhythmical component of many songs (O Pastor and O Ladrao among the others). In the same way, the lyrics are a manifestation of this research for the "primitive" dimension of the portuguese soul. The values that are sung, the themes that are analyzed are the known ones: the sea, the travel, love, saudade. But it is particular the tone which is different from fado; more pacific, more serene, apparently more passive. The last question is about the title, Existir: to exist, to be, to live. Having in mind what we said before, we can understand the meaning of this word. Existir is in effect a declaration of independence, or better, of existence. With this album they try to scream to the world that Portugal is, exists, its people exists, as well as its art and its soul. I would like to say many things on the world's mood towards Portugal and I would like to talk about the reason why it is so easy to forget this people, which, right in the years in which the modern globalization born, was closed in a dictature which isolated this country for so long. With Existir, Madredeus wanted to remember to the world that at the borders of Europe there is a country which, for the inner characteristics of its people, was the first to take a look behind the ocean; a country which opened the globalization era and contributed to give us the "world consciousness" which gave us so much and which has to give us even more. But this is exactly the Espírito da Paz and it is another matter.

Corvinus

from the site Madredeus - O Porto - http://go.to/madredeus