The founder of Heróis do Mar and musician of Madredeus presents his new album Vitral Submerso on solo piano.
This is the story of a return to his origins. It’s also the title of a solo piano concerto, as well as an album due out by the end of this year, 2023. When I was 5 years old, I accompanied my father to an antique auction where there was an old French-made upright piano with a wooden frame. I opened the lid and started playing Catrina’s Doves with one finger of my right hand. My father murmured: “The kid’s good. I must get him to study music.” And he bought the piano.
At the age of 9 I entered the Conservatory of Rua dos Caetanos and that’s how I started my piano adventure. However, the harsh pedagogical methods of the time did not win me over and it was painful to have to study daily on a piano that was not even tuned. When I was 16, I got into symphonic rock music and began to fall in love with electric keyboards. I managed to buy a Yamaha organ with two keyboards and a pedalboard and joined a group that played at high school socials. It was the early 70s. From then on I surrendered to the synthesisers that were starting to come out at that time and never cared about the piano again… until the 30th of March 2018, when the quarter-tail arrived at my studio.
Carried by four men, the heavy piece of furniture enters the room that was designed for it 11 years ago and which has been waiting for it ever since. Legless, heavy, it enters through the widest door. I myself helped him to put foam on the floor so that it would not scratch the parquet. Moved, I welcome him with a silent look, trying to hide my excitement, aware that these men make this their life and are just focused on finishing another transport, like so many others. As one of them ties his three legs together, I decide on his placement in the room. We straighten it out and there it is: the Grotrian-Steinweg quarter-tail made in 1920 is standing. Black and silent for the time being, you can already see that the room is his.
After a little small talk, the men say goodbye and disappear in the direction of the van. I close the door. The afternoon is cold and rainy, and inside I admire the new landscape: a piano in the middle of the shale and stone hall. The dream come true. The cats come closer to inspect the new object and the smells that waft from it. They carefully circle the huge figure until the Persian jumps onto the top and stays there, enjoying the unprecedented observation point. A few hairs spread across the shiny surface and I realise that from now on I am the owner of an object that needs to be dusted regularly.
Since that day, I started, besides cleaning it, to compose for it. The result of this solitary adventure is in the sound of these pieces, which wander in a kind of assumed neoclassicism, the fruit of varied feelings and a musical life already quite long.
Carlos Maria Trindade.