To London on Saturday last, to see the Portuguese Fado singer Mariza at
the Royal Festival Hall - and all I can think at the moment is how mad I
am with myself that I did not take my camera!
I didn't think I would have much opportunity for taking photographs, and
certainly did not think I would be able to take them in the auditorium.
I was wrong - the evening was light until late, the riverside skyline of
London is just spectacular these days, and there were flashlights going
off all over the auditorium while Mariza was performing. So I am here to
tell you that I mucked up big time this time!
This photo gives just a tiny idea of the London skyline at night - though in
fact on Saturday it was MUCH more beautiful than this - the sort of
beauty that you can really only appreciate on the spot rather than in a
photograph, as the scene stretches as far as the eye can see.
The concert was wonderful. It's difficult to describe Mariza's voice -
its difficult to describe Fado if you do not know it. I think the
description on the programme starts to get close to it - its the sort of
music that came from Billie Holiday and Nina Simone, but of course with
a totally distinctive style of its own.
I think I would add in Edith Piaf and Leonard Cohen, as a sort of "if you liked them, you might like this" corollary - though in fact Mariza and Fado are like none of them exactly. Deep, deep soul, deep connection *with* their soul, and oceans of Passione, Passione, Passione! The music soaked into me like nothing else I have ever heard - just as well that I am off to Lisbon in a few weeks time, so that I can get a longer fix in the Fado houses there, and from where Mariza herself grew up and learned her craft.
If anyone is interested in hearing her spectacular voice (still as
powerful at the end of nearly two hours as it was at the beginning),
watch and enjoy this video (Click on the CD), of the making of her new album, "Transparente" . Narrated in Portuguese, but with considerable content of some of the songs that she sang in her concert - and there are many lovely photgraphs and other interesting content at her own website - enjoy both!