Is there something that connects Swedish polskas with Portuguese fado? At first sight – nothing! Perhaps it was this simple fact that made me so interested in the Stockholm Lisboa Project. After listening to the record I immediately knew the answer – in the musical emotion everything becomes possible. Fado is the blues of Portugal – a music that means a lot, a music that makes a difference. Fado is vocal music in the first place. A singer, fadista, is in focus, accompanied by a small instrumental group. Swedish spelmansmusik is in many ways its opposite – instrumental, solo, connected to dance…
But the keyword – the mutual core – is saudade, a Portuguese term for a state of mind or an emotion. A feeling of sorrow, melancholy and longing. Often a desire for something unattainable; an impossible love or a longing to a place that will never be seen again. Saudade is always present in fado but its also a part of Swedish music – even though we don’t have a word for it.
In the feeling, in saudade, the musics and musicians meet. In saudade can the two corners of Europe come together, the periphery becomes central and love springs out.
I like this CD!
Director of the Centre for Swedish Folk Music
and Jazz Research
Musician & Ethnomusicologist