Monday, July 18, 2011

Friday Fado in Portugal

I have been remiss in finishing my posts about our trip to Portugal, so I shall continue with the travelogue.

We spent the Friday of our "Tapping Into The Flow" week with Teesha and Tracy Moore in the workshop all day.  I think we were all happy to have a full day to focus on our journals and not have the flow interrupted, knowing that the week was coming to an end and we were running out of time to get things finished (isn't that always the way?).  We worked on painting our journal covers after Teesha demonstrated the technique using her own.

That evening, we gathered at the studio downstairs in our accommodations to see everyone's finished tiles. They all turned out really well.

We then took taxis to where we were having dinner, a family run restaurant which provided after dinner entertainment in the form of singing the fado.  Wikipedia describes fado as follows:  "a form of music characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor. However, in reality fado is simply a form of song which can be about anything, but must follow a certain structure. The music is usually linked to the Portuguese word saudade which symbolizes the feeling of loss (a permanent, irreparable loss and its consequent life lasting damage)."

Of course, we weren't familiar with the language so couldn't tell what the singers were singing about, but the music often did not sound as mournful as I had expected and was quite lively most of the time.
We were told by the tour organizer that the less skilled singers would perform first but as far as I could tell, all of the performers were quite talented.  They could certainly carry a tune much better than I ever will! 

The restaurant itself was rather small, with meat cooking in a wood burning fireplace in one corner, wood panelling on the walls, cheery yellow gingham curtains and lots of pictures, musical instruments and various items hung everywhere for decoration - it was a little bit like visiting someone's cottage, very homey feeling.  Quite warm, though, with that BBQ going indoors!

Both men and women performed, accompanied by several guitar players, the youngest of whom was 12 and cute as could be.

One of them was Rosalita, a friend of our hostess who just happens to live in the same part of the city of Toronto as I do (small world!). She has a beautiful voice.

It was a very late evening, as we didn't arrive at the restaurant until 9 and the music didn't start until after 10:30, but it was very enjoyable and interesting to experience something that is very much a part of the Portuguese culture in such an intimate setting.

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