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Fernando Tordo, one of the great Portuguese musicians and composers, took the stage last Friday, May 28, to the stage of the Casino Estoril Auditorium for another great concert, this time the show “Ary dos Santos: The stories of the Songs”.
As could be expected, two great musicians accompanied Fernando Tordo, Valter Rolo on the piano and Lino Guerreiro on the saxophone.
Fernando Tordo told us the story of his life, the birth of his friendship with Ary dos Santos, recalled that they both lived in the same building, at Rua da Saudade, 23, Ary on the ground floor. and Tordo in the attic. Ary’s house had a beautiful view, where a new world was seen just for him, a big sofa in a big room. The artist recreates, on the Auditorium stage, the room where many of the lyrics and songs he sang were created.
Opening this night of stories, the singer recalled a poem written by Ary dos Santos between 1962/63 “O meu é seu”.
He recalled that when his children, João and Joana, were born, Ary, who adored the kids, understood that it was fun to make a song for the children, and sings “Ballad for Our Children”, a song that is 43 years old.
He reported that, contrary to what people think, the songs were first created, composed by you, and it was about these songs that Ary later wrote the lyrics.
The songs “Novo Fado Alegre” and “Estrela da Tarde” are closely linked, says Tordo that RTP organized the song festival at the time, having invited both Tordo and Ary to make the songs that Carlos do Carmo was going to sing, then decided to make a fado, but a different fado, a happy fado and so written in one night “Novo Fado Alegre” is born, this is when Ary tells Tordo that he needed him to make a song for him to write many words, that same day at lunch they both went to lunch and, speaking of words that had meaning, both for one and for the other, and Tordo refers to the word “afternoon”, to which Ary immediately begins to write by covering the text with his hand, justifying that it was for Tordo “don’t copy it” (laughs) and in 40 minutes, from one moment to the next to create “Estrela da Tarde”.
The artist confesses that “Ary and he were a partnership, more than that they were family, soul mates, that endure for life, and it is this partnership that facilitates the work“.
They honour Jack Brell, with “Viva Brel”. This was followed by “Cavalo à Solta“.
With the sadness in his voice he sings “O Amigo que eu Canto“, the last song they both made together, for a musical comedy starring Henrique Viana and Fernando Tordo himself. Before I had told how the song was born: Ary was angry with him, “because I had done 114 shows in the north of the country, it was crazy, I got sick, I had to stop drinking and smoking, things I had always done with poet“. They were writing the songs for a musical comedy and Ary just mumbled. Tordo said “look, there’s only one song left, let’s finish this”, muttering Ary says to him “there’s only one song left, I’m going to make it at your house”. Thrush was amazed that Ary had never proposed to write at his house. At his home, Fernando Tordo had a beautiful piece of furniture, which opened and made a very beautiful, white table, Ary sat at the table, Tordo told him to write a letter based on the end of a book by Eça de Queiroz in which two characters talk to each other and reveal what they are talking about. Then he started to sing the song and Ary started writing the lyrics on paper, but it was “so loaded” that he passed the paper and continued to write on the table, Tordo says “So Ary”, “What is it? ” he replied, “You are writing on the table, outside the paper, how do we do it? folding the paper is easy but folding the table is complicated ”. It was within this environment that both made the last song. The other side of this story is more anecdotal, confesses Tordo that despite the “load” that Ary might be in, his head was completely lucid when it came to composing his songs.
Years later, after the death of Ary dos Santos, Carlos do Carmo went to Fernando Tordo and brought him a poem that Ary had written, a poem where the poet spoke objectively about death, about his announced death. The poet had already written this in a book, of which he always denied being an author, whose title is “Passas“. Carlos do Carmo asked him to put the poem to music, which Tordo did quite easily, because, he reveals, “it doesn’t cost me anything to create music, I usually say that I never worked in my life”.
And that’s how dedicated to the memory of Ary dos Santos sings “Sonata de Outono“.
Right after the 25th of April, 1974, the singer makes songs “like who does the news”. At that time he lived on the 5th floor. One day he arrived home and was giving a news report on the radio about the escape of 89 “Pides” (Political Police) from Alcoentre Prison, something that bothered many people because of the threat he represented. Some fought for Freedom, which is not much, but it is some, and that affected me a lot, I decided to make a pun out of it. After making the song I called Fontes Rocha, musician and we went to a studio in Campo Ourique, discussing the lyrics and music, we were going around because something was missing, I was already upset with that said “what a shit”, the others saying “that’s it” and the expression entered the lyrics of the song.
The recording of the song was done in Porto because the factories in Lisbon were all closed. So it was a friend in a very fast car, a Renault 4 (audience laughter) that took the music up, and at dawn, he called to say he already had 100 copies. That was how the “Fado de Alcoentre” was born
Finally, he said that in 1972 he had sung at the Song Festival and was in the last place (laughs), this has happened since 1969, now he was fifth, now last, but he wanted to know, what mattered was to present his songs and the Song Festival was the only way to do that. So he and Ary made four songs, sent them and they were all approved.
Even today they ask what happened, how it was, who left it, the censorship, he doesn’t want to know about it for nothing, he only knows how the song was made.
This is what he is going to leave to us, the public, with a big thank you.
Before singing his last song, he thanks everyone for their presence, saying that “your presence here is a great help, the presence of all of us, with each other, is a fantastic help for us to deal with our ailments, the physical and mental. We have to meet so we don’t get lost. Your presence here only at the level of the adrenaline that you discharge, made me to be here during this time singing for you.
What else can I do but thank you, as I thank the doctors who brought me out of death? Nothing more.
This one that stays here is such a song that when we go to sing somewhere, and we rehearse 14 songs, there is a “guy” who as soon as we enter screams “Ó Tordo sings the Touradathere”, that is, it was enough to rehearse the Bullfight and it was done”.
Magnificent concert in which Fernando Tordo remembered timeless songs, songs that everyone still sings today, songs with history and for history.