Saturday, August 25, 2012

Returning with a Poem

Sorry that I have been away for awhile, but, there has been much going on in my life. I am happy to report, though, that these developments have been quite positive & I am in good spirits. It also pleases me to say that I have been keeping at my writing, composing new pieces and performing them around the city. Today, I would like to share with you a poem which was inspired by music. For a few years now, I have been a fan of the Portuguese tradition of fado. Introduced to this music by one of my oldest friends, I quickly fell in love with its sounds and melodies. Last December BAM hosted a weekend of fado concerts, which I eagerly devoured. The vast majority of the acts were quite strong and the audience very receptive. The first night I was so swept up in the music that, after leaving the main stage, I was compelled to check out the cafe for even more fado. After the show ended, I stopped in a nearby bar for a drink, and wrote a poem. As a final note, I should add that the word fado is usually translated as "fate."

Fado is a mournful music
Made up of somber rhythms
And solemn tones
Comprising a lament,
As well as an acceptance,
For what once was
But now has been lost.
Yet, its songs may not always be funereal;
At times they might contain the sounds of celebration
Set to a more lively tempo
Offering up defiance
In the face of circumstances
Which try to confine our movements.
We strain, instead, to be their master
By proclaiming our fado
In a voice of our own choosing.

For those interested in sampling the diversity of fado, I would recommend Carlos Saura's film Fados. Not a talking heads history, but instead a series of performances which run from traditional to contemporary, all of which are strikingly staged. (That Saura is well known for his ability to capture dance on film is readily apparent). Here are two excerpts, both featuring Mariza, one of the most well regarded living fado singers: