The Voice which Enchants, The Sound which Paints


Who could live on earth
If not for the sea...
(Luis Cernuda)

In the night of 28th of September the milanese experience of Madredeus, the portuguese group become famous for having inspired with their music the last film of Wim Wenders "Lisbon Story", finished. In the months of April and May they came in Italy with their concert, they got interviews and they showed in the television: though a friend yesterday, when I talked enraptured about their last concert, asked me with a perplexed glance "Who are Madredeus?". In effects their music, even if passed through the official channels, the promotional messages and the tours, remains a solitary event, distant from the frenzied noises of the discographic market, almost lost in its ancient and deep rhythms, suspended in its crystalline harmony. A musical group born 9 years ago, in the heart of Lisbon, between the alleys of Barrio Alto and the remains of an ancient convent, that of Madre de Deus; and in their music appears the fervid humanity of peoples, voices of men and women, of shepherds and sailors, holy prayers and chants of joy, run of meninos. Small sounds that merge simply in melodies: and suddenly this underground humanity, vivid profane world, remains suspended in time, as if, without a reason, it embraces every age, every place, every people. Even us. But also a group of voyagers: they travel the world with their concerts, Europe and Brasil most, and everywhere the audience is enthusiastic; but everywhere they pursue a precise poetic and musical project: a continuous research of rhythmic and vocal shades that could "paint" and narrate "nature and spirit", a wondering between sounds and colours, shadows, brightnesses and silences that rediscover mysteriously already signed paths, scoured and lost.
Strange destiny, or maybe it is only fado. Two guitars (Pedro Ayres Magalhães and José Peixoto), a cello (Francisco Ribeiro), an accordion (Gabriel Gomes), keyboards (Rodrigo Leão and Carlos Maria Trindade) and voice (Teresa Salgueiro), now accompanied by the warm one of Francisco, interpenetrate naturally and an intense music that have no definition born : traditional, popular, classical, erudite, new-age... And the instruments tune to the voices, sometime pursue each other, sometime weave, and accompany at unison the words, short poems, done of few essential words, sometime sweet, sometime bitter, with the own sonority of the portuguese language, but always vibrant of a secret vigour, sustained by a simple rigour: certainly it is not only music, or better, the musical experience is felt like a total experience that embraces all the perceptive and emotional levels. "It goes to the soul!" Someone would say; but to what "soul"? "The soul of the world", or better "The spirit of the world", where we find ourself in a common feeling, in harmony, where everybody gain his meaning and light in the others, even if for a moment. It is an indefinite dimension, indistinct the borders, you perceive its power, you guess its strength and the intimate beauty. Maybe only enchantment, where earth, irony and hard, and ocean without limits, touch each other, and the colours of the sun, of wind, of sea and of the entire life confuse, which is warm rhythm of peoples, sorrows, passions, researches, restlessnesses, silences, laughs, meetings, distances and memories. And returns: wave that call another wave, windmills that pursue the same vortexes, suns that arise, time rhythmed by the beatings of desires, of breathes, and we all would want that everything started again, and this time without fear, again.... ainda.



Paola Rossi

from the site Madredeus - O Porto -