Voice of Shadows: Mariza’s Cavaleiro Monge

© José Goulão with CCLicense

© José Goulão with CCLicense

This is quite simply one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. If you are familiar with Portuguese fado, you are aware of the passion, powerful voice and striking looks of Mariza, born Marisa dos Reis Nunes in the nation of Portuguese Mozambique in east Africa. If not, this song is perhaps one of the best introductions to fado and to this expressive singer.

Fado, which translates into English as destiny, has traditionally consisted of tunes and lyrics full of longing, melancholy and grief. Although this definition has widened to include songs on many different subjects with a variety of moods, the genre is dominated and haunted by the emptiness resulting from the loss of something or someone who will never return. Cavaleiro Monge is no exception.

Mariza released her first album in 2001, Fado em Mim, which sold over 140,000 copies worldwide, testament to the immense talent of this new artist. Fado Curvo (2003), Transparente (2005), Concerto em Lisboa (2007), Terra (2008), and Fado Tradicional (2010) have all been well received. Mariza’s unique style incorporates traditional fado with African, South American Latin, and Flamenco music, as well as jazz. She is the recipient of the Best European Artist in World Music (BBC 3, 2003), the European Border Breakers Award (2004), a Latin Grammy Award for Best Folk Album for Concerto em Lisboa (2007), and many awards from countries around the world.

Video via Paulo Franco on YouTube.

Monk Knight

From valley to mountain, from mountain to hill,

shadow horse, monk knight,

through houses, through fields,

through farms, through fountains,

you walk as a friend.

From valley to mountain, from mountain to hill,

shadow horse, monk knight,

with black cliffs behind and before,

you walk secretly.

From valley to mountain, from mountain to hill,

shadow horse, monk knight,

through deserted meadows without horizons,

you walk freely.

From valley to mountain, from mountain to hill,

shadow horse, monk knight

through indigenous paths, through rivers without bridges

you go alone.

From valley to mountain, from mountain to hill,

shadow horse, monk knight,

there is no end when there is no one to describe it,

you walk in me.

Quote for Today: Orhan Pamuk

Public Domain Image via publicdomainpictures.net

Public Domain Image via publicdomainpictures.net

“I’m so fortunate to be red! I’m fiery. I’m strong. I know men take notice of me and that I cannot be resisted.

I do not conceal myself: For me, delicacy manifests itself neither in weakness nor in subtlety, but through determination and will. So, I draw attention to myself. I’m not afraid of other colours, shadows, crowds or even of loneliness. How wonderful it is to cover a surface that awaits me with my own victorious being! Wherever I’m spread, I see eyes shine, passions increase, eyebrows rise and heartbeats quicken. Behold how wonderful it is to live! Behold how wonderful to see. I am everywhere. Life begins with and returns to me. Have faith in what I tell you.”
― Orhan PamukMy Name is Red