January 12, 2009

B Fachada

Bernardo Fachada, teamed up with producer Tiago Pereira, recently released a documentary over oral tradition in Portugal, and its sense in the 21st century. "Tradição Oral Contemporânea" (Contemporary Oral Tradition) shows him absorbing ageless folkloric tunes and analysing their change over time. The 'lisboeta' Fachada has visited villages in Portugal and orally exchanged songs with the people, trying to prove the natural aspects of traditional music and giving life to it outside rural boundaries. In both Viola Braguesa and in the documentary,the sense of transmission and change can be understood as aspects of tradition itself - opposed to the idea of crystalization of popular (mostly rural) culture. Similar results can be seen in the work of the mythical António Variações in the early eighties, but with massive repercussion and lacking Fachada's conceptual and intellectual approach.

Musically, the album's broody atmosphere and slow paced tempos, its lovely lo-fi aesthetics composed of organ and viola braguesa (portuguese sort of guitar) and great vocals sung in portuguese, make this album not only conceptually, but sentimentally, a great achievement.

(2008) Viola Braguesa / V0


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