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On Your Desk

Tunes for a Monday Morning

Today, two women with two of the most beautiful voices in the world -- and they both come from Portugal. Above, Teresa Salgueiro of the band Madredeus, performing "Ao longe o mar." This particular video was made in 1994, but Madredeus is still going strong, creating music that ranges from traditional Portuguese folk and fado to jazz, electronica, and other contemporary sounds. Below is, of course, the queen of Portuguese fado: the incomparable Mariza, with an absolutely gorgeous video for her song "Cavaleiro monge." I chose these two pieces because I'm in a fado sort of mood today.... Not sad exactly, just loving the passion at the heart of these songs, the sense of longing so exquisitely expressed in two exquisite voices.

And last, a reading recommendation for you (via Ellen Kushner): reflections on writing and creativity from Sara Karr, author and keynote speaker at the Society for Children's Book Writers & Illustrators' 2011 winter conference. You'll find it here.

"Your greatest creation is your creative life," Zarr says. "It's all in your hands. Rejection can't take it away; reviews can't take it away. The life you create for yourself as an artist, may be the only thing that's really yours. Create a life you can center yourself in calmly as you wait for you work to grow." 

Amen to that.


Ooh, more delicious links! I haven't heard of Madredeus before, though Mariza has been a favourite for a while. A few years ago I decided (in a moment of lunacy, clearly) that I'd like to have a shot at singing a fado song or two, and tried to work out the words Mariza was singing. But as a non-Portuguese speaker, even with the lyrics in front of me I could not get my tongue around all those gorgeous trills. I settled for writing a song in a sort of 'Fado-ish style' but it really wasn't the same in English!

Such beautiful voices...

thank you, these are simply beautiful. I discovered Mariza last year, but not Madredeus. I'll have to see what I can find by her now as well - lovely music to drive about the Sussex countryside to.

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