Duarte: No Lugar Dela

August 16, 2021


Listening Post 314. Duarte has three defining missions: “I am married to psychology but fado is my lover,” he says, referring to his clinical practice and his art. And though he has a sterling reputation as a fado singer he is also a lyricist-composer, creating tension between his customary genre and his multivalent vision as a Portuguese cantautor. These revolving identities are all at play on his fifth album, No Lugar Dela (In Her Position), an exercise in empathy—occupying a woman’s place, trying to see the world through feminine eyes but with his own sensibility. Some of the women he presents are real: For the first time he performs a song popularized by Amália Rodrigues, the Queen of Fado (in 2006 he won the Revelation Prize given by the Amália Rodrigues Foundation); and he dedicates a composition to the poet Leonor de Almeida. But most of his characters are archetypes: Women confident or uneasy, those who suffer from depression or abuse. The album glides on the instruments of a fado trio and a string quartet, accentuating Duarte’s emotive, penetrating voice and keeping it rooted in his signature style even as he advances onto chanson, classical and traditional turf, evoking joy and sorrow. ReViraVolta (Turnaround, video 1) portrays a woman dancing to life on her own terms. In Mais do Mesmo (More of the Same, video 2), a restless narrator makes sense of the daily grind. Exquisitely dark, Sou Eu (It’s Me, video 3), breathes slowly waltzing thoughts of solitude, suicide and self-protection; while Por Minha Culpa (It’s My Fault, video 4), expresses a victim’s feeling of guilt for the violence she endured. The protagonist of Saudades Trazes Contigo (The Longing You Carry, video 5) yearns for a departed lover but, like Piaf, without regret. Duarte can say the same: From his complementary pursuits he has forged an album of compassion and discovery. (AVM Music Editions)


Related post. Duarte: Só a Cantar, Listening Post 183, January 9, 2019. https://worldlisteningpost.com/2019/01/09/duarte-so-a-cantar/

Duarte: No Lugar Dela
Duarte: Vocals
Pedro Amendoeira: Portuguese guitar
João Filipe: Guitar
Carlos Menezes: Acoustic bass, double bass
Vasken Fermanian: Violin
Liviu Scripcaru: Violin
Miguel de Vasconcelos: Viola
Teresa Araújo: Cello
Sérgio Rodrigues: Piano
Ruca Rebordão: Percussions
Bernardo: Special guest


ReViraVolta / Turnaround
Lyrics & music: Duarte

(From the Portuguese lyrics)
If it’s important, it will return/If it’s not, it wasn’t meant to be

For life takes many turns/And the turns can be painful

I don’t let anyone hinder me/Nor am I one to be restrained
Whoever tries to hold me back doesn’t understand/That holding is almost like dying

We turn around so often/For every missed turn
Retracing our steps is an illusion/Our laps are numbered

For every turn of sadness/There is a turnaround of joy
Life teaches us/That the turns are like the days

And since every turn/Will bring another, I say
If it’s important, it will return/If not, it makes no difference


Mais do Mesmo / More of the Same
Lyrics: Duarte/Music: Fado Rosita

More of the same But of course!
More of the same Why not?
More of the same Because at last
More of the same Until no

More of the same They give you
More of the same You give yourself
More of the same To be right
More of the same Whatever

More of the same Without thinking
More of the same It’s consuming
More of the same Maybe
More of the same Makes me laugh

More of the same Okay-okay
More of the same Indeed
More of the same But of course!
More of the same Why not?


Sou Eu / It’s Me

I’m your safe bet/But it’s so unfair
My days in a dark house/On Sundays closing in on me

My head held high/By medicated guilt
So often chosen/So often deceived

I’m the one defending myself/From the things I’ve already lived
I’ve learned how to protect myself/Thus am I, am I…

It’s not enough to be who I am/Maybe I no longer want to be
But in my position/It’s not feeling that protects me

It’s not enough to say goodbye/I can’t say goodbye
My days are all dark/To say goodbye is to die


Por Minha Culpa / It’s My Fault

The complaints I never made/The wounds I’ve hidden
Worse than not being happy/Is knowing that I ever loved you.

The threats I’ve received/The answers I didn’t give
Survivors like me/Know what they’ve been through.

It’s my fault/I’m entirely to blame
It’s my fault/I’m entirely to blame

The fear when you go out/The fear when you come back
The fear when you sleep/The fear when you awake

I’m unable to escape/Unable to leave
Unable to feel/Unable to scream

It’s my fault/I’m entirely to blame
It’s my fault/I’m entirely to blame


Saudades Trazes Contigo / The Longing You Carry
Duarte/Fado Mouraria

I’ve heard that you sing/That longing you feel
For the memory of my body/And want nothing more from me

So good that you recall/This body of mine
I regret that you don’t understand/That I tried it to make it yours.

For me nothing was lost/That night when I felt
That someone lost in life/Had no interest in me

I also know that my body/(So much missing yours)
Did not find in your body/What was lacking in mine



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