The Forgotten José


I think that there are few sentences on Madredeus which are wrong as this one:" Madredeus are just Pedro and Teresa". But this is what we read on the newspapers, and it is what we can hear from the fans at the concerts. I think that few are the ways to be more unrespectful of the group and of its music, and obviously of the people we forgot.

José Peixoto joined Madredeus in 1993. He wrote by their side the two albums which generated the path that Madredeus is following up to now. In these seven years he composed for the group and for us unforgettable songs. Songs that I mention among the best of the repertoire of our beloved: you should just think about "O Tejo", "O Fim da Estrada", "Carta para ti", Canção do Tempo". These songs are pillars of Madredeus' production and their difference from the songs of Pedro are one of the wealths of "O Paraíso" and "Ainda".
But talking only about his role as a composer I would forget his other role, the one of arranger. I just wonder how is it possible that authoritative critics didn't underline the volcanic creativity and rhythm of his arrangements, in particular in "O Paraíso"; just listen to "A Andorinha da Primavera", "Canção aos Novos" or "Haja o que Houver" and you will realize that a great part of the rhythm and of the refined texture of those songs come from his strings. You will realize that we can say that, if Pedro gives the color to that cloth which represents the harmony of the song, José enstablishes its intrinsic quality, its workmanship, its details, its shine.
I believe that Josè is one of the best composers and arrangers that I have ever heard and seen, but I believe that a great part of the technical and emotional evolution of Madredeus with "O Espírito da Paz" comes from his own contribution. I have the sensation that José gave to Madredeus the needed technical instruments to create the atmophere that the group just chased in the first two albums; he also gave many new words to the vocabulary of Madredeus and "dressed" its music with the ethereal spirituality that the new lyrics and the new voice of Teresa requested.

The fact that he is not properly a frontman or that he is a reserved and shy person should not close our eyes in front of his work in the group. José Peixoto is a Madredeus just as Pedro and Teresa, as Carlos and Fernando. He is made of the same flesh, of the same blood.

If you will have the occasion to see them live, just take notice of that static figure at the right of Pedro, at the margins of the stage. But didn't judge it for its glance which seems insensitive to the emotions, but listen with your own ears at the generosity of his hands and of his ideas.
And when you will have "Movimento" in the hands and you will listen for the first time to the song "Olhar", just make me the favour to remember that it has been written by him...


from the site Madredeus - O Porto -