Ruben Portinha presents “Conterrâneos”
“Conterrâneos” is the ultimate proof of a son’s love for his father. A living tribute to a poet, José Campos Portinha, who portrays life as he sees it, with words that are now set to music by the hand of his son, Ruben Portinha.
The senders of this letter are well-known artists from the Portuguese music scene, such as José Cid, Rogério Charraz, Ana Lains, Amélia Muge, and Sebastião Antunes, among many others.
A conceptual disc, fourteen themes carefully selected from among the vast work of the popular poet José Campos Portinha (three poetry books and one prose book edited), and a secret that the whole family made an effort to keep: finally the most special poems by José would be set to music by his son, singer-songwriter Ruben Portinha.
It all started with “Saudades da Minha Aldeia“, the theme that would be chosen as the work’s lead single: “This song was the beginning of everything, the fuse that originated the idea of making an entire album. In fact, beyond the poem, it was also my father who created the melodic base, I limited myself to improving it.” – Explains the author.
From then on, poem by poem, Ruben explored until he had enough themes for an album while looking for the ideal interpreters for each theme. “As I created the musical environments for each poem, the choice of each voice was intuitive. In fact, the result is incredibly close to what I envisioned at the outset, and in many cases, it’s even better. But I didn’t limit myself to inviting these artists. just for the musical aspect, and also for the much that I consider and admire them as human beings. Having the privilege of working with all of them was one of the best parts of this whole process.” – continues Ruben.
Fundamental in the direction that each theme would take musically, José Manuel David, a multi-instrumentalist and best known for projects such as Gaiteiros de Lisboa, together with Ruben Portinha, produced the album, giving it that guiding line that united all the themes. Ruben, in addition to providing vocals on “Saudades da Minha Aldeia”, was in charge of playing the cajón, bass, acoustic guitar, and percussion, as well as the arrangement and execution of most of the choirs.
The album also featured the participation of a group of excellent musicians, such as Fernando Silva (Portuguese guitar), Miguel Gomes (bass), Carlos Lopes (accordion), Vasco Sousa (double bass), João Coelho (drums), Nuno Estevens ( fado viola), André Correia (popular bass drum), Miguel Saborida (electric guitar) and José Barros who, in addition to having given voice to the theme “O Forno da Minha Aldeia”, played viola braguesa and the traditional Portuguese and Cape Verdean cavaquinhos.
It was on José Campos Portinha’s 75th birthday that Ruben, together with the rest of the family, offered this gift to his father. The reaction could not have been better and the poet made sure that his surprise and gratitude were recorded: “I would like all the work I dedicated to these books not to be forgotten. I am very honored with this work, it was the realization of a dream that I always thought would one-day bear fruit, but not so quickly and so well done. It surpasses everything I imagined. These poems will touch the minds and hearts of many people and I hope they make someone as happy as when I heard them, they do I was happy.” said José on that occasion.
And that’s how this love letter in disc form now reaches the general public. An album that deviates from the editorial line that Ruben Portinha has accustomed us to, but which is a very interesting turn in his path.
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