The musical silence of Madredeus

Enrique Blanc

Madredeus exists for all the people that, submerged by the glamour of the pop music, have forgotten the authentic rite of playing a song in front of a public. The portuguese quintet, as it always do, teached, in its only exibition in the impressionant Aguascalientes theatre of this city, that the silence is important as music. Silence as the language thanks to which the musicians and the audience mantain a sweet and reverent intimity; silence as the necessary hommage to all the musical notes which breathe without forgetting its origin (probable errors of translation).

Dressed in black, as the most classical use of the european singers, the four musicians of Madredeus; Pedro Ayres Magalhaes (guitars), Fernando Judice (acoustic bass) and Carlos Maria Trindade (keyboards), disposed themselves behind the microphone used by a magnetic Teresa Salgueiro, in a black dress that did not hide the abundancy of the abdomen with some months of pregnancy.

During a show of nearly two hours, Madredeus proposed a rite that, besides the movement of the lights, didn't show a great variety. But this was not a matter. The respect that they demostrate to have for each one of them and for his work, show that the only preocupation during these two hours was precisely the reproduction of a sober music, melancholic, virtuous and perfect is it's execution.

The Salgueiro teached one an a thousand times a rythmic landscape in the microphone which filtered the hypnotic chant of her voice and far in this landscape that surrounds her in silence, there were the hands of the others which demonstrated that the pure music is another of their obsession. (Very difficult to translate)

The repertoire was, for the main part, from the last album called O Paraiso. Songs like "Haja o que houver", "Claridade", "Nao muito Distante" and "A Tempestade" among them. The interpretation of "Alba" (I think it was "Os Folioes" n.o.t.), which Teresa presented as "a song inspired by a traditional portughese dance", was the only to break the nostalgic tone of the night. During this song the singer leave her immobility to dance on all the stage at the spring rythm that the musicians played.

If it was not for the mimetic keyboards of Trindade, which sometimes played as a cello and someothers os a flute or piano, and for the dramatic games of style in which are played, these songs evokes in a certain manner the fado, one of the most famous portughese musical tradictions. But Madredeus, in its combination of tradiction and technology, propose a style which has converted them in the most requested ambassadors of portughese art.

"O Pastor", one of the most famous compositions of the group, closed the program only a few minutes after the once of the night. Again, the songs of Madredeus returned to ther original form: this blinding silence which always happens before and after all the liturgies.

Musical Fantasies

Enrique Blanc

Fado and saudade are two portuguese words strictly linked with the musical work of Madredeus, to which Pedro Ayres Magalhaes, leader and founder of the group, refers like this:

"The fado is property of fadists. Being fadist is a way of life, is being part of a clan to which we did not join... Exists a very determined fado culture that we do not sustain. Fado exists in our days. Madredeus is not fado, but it knows it. This word take another meaning. We do not follow the music, the traditional songs and their way to harmonize the texts. We follow the feelings of fado, a kind of consciousness of the fate of each other through the public confession of our feelings. In some of our songs, Teresa do it for us"

"Saudade is a portuguese word created to explain that you are happy and sad at the same time. You are happy of your sadness, because your sadness comes from your love. It is a complete fantasy that make a lot of people living and loving in order to concilate with themselves and with what they feel. So, every song correspond to a second of this hope, this condition."



from the site Madredeus - O Porto -