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Monday, November 04, 2013

Fado and its Poetry : A Workshop with Mike Burns

by Mike Burns:


It’s not just that everyone is discovering Fado this year, that we have become infatuated with its exquisite nostalgia, delicate melody and pirouetting accompaniment; and that we have also fallen under the successive spells of beautiful fadistas – Amalia, Misia, Mariza, Ana Moura, Joana Amendoeira and Maria Ana Bobone, and with the literary brilliance of Fernando Pessoa and Jose Saramago. People are also asking “What is Fado?” So let me share my Fado with you.


A few years ago I embarked on a journey into Fado, and after three study periods in Portugal I have managed to befriend some of the greats in that arena. I have explored it in Lisbon, Coimbra, Porto and smaller towns, and learned the Portuguese guitara (its most distinctive instrument) with the legendary Carlos Gonçalves, while other modern performers mentioned above offering me their perspectives.

In these workshops you will learn about Fado’s different meanings – an expanding set of musical forms to which lyrics are set; Fado as a local regional/village expression and identifier; Fado as the sometimes mundane moments of human nature raised to glorious artistic heights by fadistas and guitaristas – as our Fate, and so on.

I will sing and play the songs and translate the poetry, hoping to draw you into the passion and saudade that its Fado’s lifeblood.

You will see pictures of Lisbon’s Fado tascas, the Alfama, Mouraria and the famous Clube de Fado, and the other fado cities Coimbra and Porto. Listening to early recordings and recent collaborative projects, you will see and hear how the artform has used classical poetic forms and modern freedoms, with musical styles that encompass the Baroque to Jazz and Pop, along with other ethnic flavours.


Each week we will learn and attempt to write in a variety of Fado forms, and read and hear some of its regional expressions. Appropriate coffee and refreshments will be available, and the series will close with a small performance and readings.

Cost: 3 workshops $120

Venue: the Deca Bodega basement, Market St Fremantle (behind Gino’s)
Sunday 9:30-11:30am Nov 24th , and Dec 8th and 15th.
Excellent coffee and food available at the venue

For enquiries contact Mike Burns MA, MusB, DipED 0432 219133

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