Carlos Paredes
August 16, 2007 6:24 AM   Subscribe

This post is simply to call attention to the gorgeous music of Carlos Paredes (1925-2004), soulful master of the 12-string guitarra Portuguesa. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite (9 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
There's tragically little on the nets about Paredes: here's the Wikipedia entry. Apparently there is a Portuguese-language documentary on the great guitarist, but unfortunately there's very little info on it at IMDB.

Here's a YouTube clip of a classical guitarist performing the same Paredes piece as is featured in the YouTube link of this FPP, but on a "standard" guitar: Verdes anos. I must say, though the classical guitar rendition is lovely and very well played, I find the piece much more engaging when played on the Portuguese guitar, and by the composer himself: he imbues it with such life, and the chiming sound of the guitarra Portuguesa is so vibrant.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:24 AM on August 16, 2007

I was into Paredes heavily after traveling and touring around Portugal in 1998. Portuguese musicians used to warn me that Paredes was a phenomenon on his own, and couldn't be neatly fit into categories such as fado. But I could never get accustomed to the bizarre tuning on the guitarra... it's a pretty limiting instrument. Done sold it.

Julio Pereira is another great portuguese musician who specializes in all sorts of regional guitar-like folk instruments. Don't let the Portuguese lingo deter you...
posted by zaelic at 8:04 AM on August 16, 2007

During the 1950s and 1960s, being member of the Portuguese Communist Party, he was imprisoned for opposing the Portuguese dictatorship, some of this time spent in solitary confinement. He would walk around his cell pretending to play music which led some prison inmates to believe he was insane (in actual fact he was doing compositions in his head). When he returned to his working environment in the Hospital, relates one of his colleagues, Rosa SemiĆ£o, he was deeply grieved for he was denounced by a colleague of his. "He felt betrayed, but even so, when he crossed one of his traitors, he didn't fail to greet him, showing an enormous capacity to forgive."

Awesome, thanks.
posted by mediareport at 8:05 AM on August 16, 2007

the man of a thousand fingers
Really nice stuff. Thank you, sir. And you weren't kidding about there not being much available. I found this at pandora. Sounds like there's two people playing.
posted by sluglicker at 8:32 AM on August 16, 2007

I found this at pandora.

Heh. I created that station in response to this fpp. I've been listening to it all morning and enjoying myself immensely. I tried to give you credit in the station description, flapjax, but pandora doesn't allow anchor tags.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 9:24 AM on August 16, 2007

very nice. thanks!
posted by gnutron at 10:02 AM on August 16, 2007

Just beautiful. I'm a big fan of both him on the Portugese side as well as Andres Segovia on the Spanish. I used to travel in Portugal (as well as Spain) during the eighties when I was still living in Europe. The experience was of a beautiful country full of warm and welcoming people many of whom were living in abject poverty at the time. Things have been improving since but many areas still aren't doing so well. I always enjoyed the music there and had been invited to a few local fado sessions. I remember being very impressed with the respect of the audiences for the artists. Everyone would be silent during the performances and children were only allowed in below or above certain ages where they would either be sleeping or old enough to be able to sit still and be quiet.
Anyhow, thanks for posting this!
posted by Hairy Lobster at 11:18 AM on August 16, 2007

Hey flapjax, what a great post and thread! This is all new to me, so thanks for turning me on to it.
posted by snsranch at 3:48 PM on August 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Thanks for this post, I'd never heard that instrument before and what Paredes does with it is beautiful, haunting.
posted by AtDuskGreg at 9:47 PM on August 16, 2007

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