27 March 2006

Fado Obssession

There is no doubt that the first requirement for a composer is to be dead.
~ Arthur Honegger

Call me obsessed. But when I am introduced to a new song or style of music, or when I have written a new song, that song or music style becomes my favorite and I cannot get enough of it. Of course, this is not to say that I do not have songs that never fall out of favor. But the new kid on the block is always big news for a long, long time.

The flavor of the month is fado. I am surprised the Dulce Pontes CD my friend generously lent me this weekend (after prying it from his own CD player) is not worn down already. It’s gone from car to house stereo back to car to office computer. I was playing it at home and one of my housemates who speaks Portuguese, burst into my room and said “Hey, that sounds like fado!” I said, “It is! Can you translate?” She could not. Not a big surprise, considering that like most English songs, you cannot always tell what the singer is singing. Unfortunate, because if you’re like me (and I know I am!) the lyrics are the most important element of the music.

Anyway, I have become so enthralled with the style, that when I sat down Saturday evening to compose Song Two of the MacBeth Project, I ended up with a tribute to fado instead. No title yet, and it is by no means the real deal. But the Portuguese-speaking housemate heard it and said that I had captured the feeling that fado conveys: waiting, loneliness, deep, soul sadness and melancholy.

Sullivan was over on Sunday and paid me a great compliment when he heard the new piece: “You just keep getting better! Every new song you compose is better than the last.”

Which proves Honegger correct: by the time I am dead, my music should be perfect. ;-)

Oremus pro invicem,
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