Let's talk FADO.
Anyone knows what Fado is...?
Well, Fado is a genre of music from Portugal, dated as back (at least) as 1820 in Lisbon, and described as music of 'melancholy and longing of the Portugese soul.'
When I was visiting Portugal shortly before Covid era dropped on us all unexpected, I became aware of Fado and I couldn't wait to be back every night to a restaurant or tavern that played live Fado music, and listen and weep to the singing of emotive singers and their accompanying players. To me, Fado was an open door to my own melancholy, to my own longing, to my own soul. I thought to myself (and mentioned to anyone who shared my enthusiasm of Fado) that it was the music I've always looked for, and the experience of listening to music that I prefer: with my eyes closed, in stillness, and with tears in my eyes.
Of course classical music, jazz and folk offered similar feelings for me but Fado takes melancholy to the next level. And the longing expressed in the singers' long drawn melodies and faces as they connect to the themes they sing about (the sea, heartbreak, love, loss and anything in between that has to do with life and despair) is at the stark level of... Yulia at the third act of Chekhov's Three Sisters as she is yearning to go to Moscow. 'Moscow, I want to go to Moscow! I want to go to Moscow! I WANT TO GO TO MOSCOW! '~I suppose if you're not a Chekhov fan this reference won't ring a bell, but that's all I got. Sorry not sorry. Unfortunately most cultural references of the modern world don't quite focus on despair and longing. I suppose our modern world is lead by ego or greed a tad too much. But I digress - Fado is its own thing, and I'll try not to compare it to anything and simply enjoy that it exists.
In hopes that I sparked your interest and may convert you to be a full on Fado fan like me.... here is an example for you to listen to.
This is Fado legendary singer Amalia Rodrigues in all of her glory...:
And if you'd like to be transported to an evening of live Fado in Lisbon - here you go:
...See you in Lisbon!
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman