Theatrum

 

This album of the co-founder of Madredeus shows itself to us in a colorful and tasteful graphic suit.
This is the first album of Rodrigo that I have the possibility to listen and I have to confess that I approached it with a certain diffidence. I knew that Rodrigo made strange music making the singers sing in latin, but I didn't knew the colour that he gave to that music. Though, I trusted the strong melodic instinct that characterized that artist since the beginning, letting him write unforgettable songs as "Milagre" or "A Vontade de Mudar".
I inserted then the cd with fear mixed with curiosity.

At the first listening I remained a bit stunned by the strangeness of the music, by my inability to categorize that musical ambient that was being created in my room: erudite music? new age? holy? classic? No answer.
I had to listen a second time the cd in order to find the treads, the bonds, the meanings of what I was listening: I found quotations, the melodies cleared themselves, the harmonies unveiled and everything appeared as well built. But that atmosphere remained unknown and, for that reason, fascinating.
Though, with great pleasure, I started to discover in that music the inevitable influxes that the wrk with Madredeus must have had on Rodrigo. The bonds are many and intense one. We should almost say that Rodrigo, in that project, distils from Madredeus the most mystical components, taking from them the taste for traditional sonorities paired with instruments like the strings.
A strong bond that I see is in the use of the voice that I feel strictly linked with that of Teresa. It is a voice that gives significance to words with its sound more than with their etymological meaning of them.
From the melodic point of view I think that this is a very simple album, of an almost disarming simplicity. It is as Rodrigo wants to search new ways to explore that melodic terrains that we consider already known. There is no melodic or harmonic experimentation, but there is an experimentation of arrangments, of the use of the sounds, of the coupling of atmospheres. In this album I see the research of the maximum expressive simplicity; a simplicity that characterized all the songs of Rodrigo in Madredeus, a simplicity that knew how to go directly to heart without passing trough the filter of the brain.

Rodrigo confessed in the past his great passion for Michael Nyman and sincerely I found this influence much more in the atmosphere than in the playing technique which remains completely different.
I think that here resides the main limit of Rodrigo: the technical one. This evident limit that maybe impedes him to explore new melodic terrains (as it is possible to Josť Peixoto), force the composer to a maybe more physiologic return to the emotional core of music, the simple one, the direct one. And Rodrigo succeed easily to play with his limits using one of the most contagious moelodical instincts that I know.

This album as some characteristics of "O Espirito da Paz", in the sense that it much more appreciable if it is listened in its entirety, and this fact witness a great authonomy of this work that starts, lives and finishes in the last notes with leaving nothing untold.

 

Corvinus

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