Carlos Paredes


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Biography

Carlos Paredes was once almost hit by the famed Fado singer Amália Rodrigues, while performing at her home. Rumor has it that this was her reaction whenever she was deeply moved by someone’s artistry. Paredes was one of the greatest Portuguese guitarists, and a symbol of the Portuguese culture — not simply a great composer, but one of the men behind the world-wide understanding of his instrument and his country.

The Portuguese guitar is an instrument that dates back several hundred years. It was built according to different standards around the country, but by the time Paredes began ... Read more

Carlos Paredes was once almost hit by the famed Fado singer Amália Rodrigues, while performing at her home. Rumor has it that this was her reaction whenever she was deeply moved by someone’s artistry. Paredes was one of the greatest Portuguese guitarists, and a symbol of the Portuguese culture — not simply a great composer, but one of the men behind the world-wide understanding of his instrument and his country.

The Portuguese guitar is an instrument that dates back several hundred years. It was built according to different standards around the country, but by the time Paredes began playing it, it had been generally agreed upon the construction: a short-necked, wide-bodied instrument with twelve-strings strung in six courses comprising two steel strings each. It has a distinctive tuning mechanism and it is most notably associated with the traditional Portuguese popular music known as fado.

Carlos Paredes was born in 1925 to the guitarist Artur Paredes (whose collaboration with the luthiers of Coimbra influenced the design of the Coimbrian guitar and helped shape one of the two schools of Portuguese guitar playing). He was involved with music from an early age; first studying the violin for several years, before accepting that the family
tradition of guitar playing was to be his destiny. To play the music the way he felt it should be played, Carlos studied with his father in order to master his instrument. He changed the traditional positioning of the strings to obtain a wider possibility and range of chords. It is a reflection of his desire for perfection that he would not make a record of his music until he was thirty-two years old — and this was just an EP!

Other events conspired to delay his recording career. Shortly after the release of his first recordings, he was detained by the fascist government for suspected subversive beliefs. At this time, the music of fado was being adopted by many young Portuguese songwriters to decry the oppressive Salazar regime, and Carlos was one of the musicians persecuted. While imprisoned in 1958, Carlos Paredes managed to stay sane and even
created some of his most remarkable works. It is said that during this time the guards thought he had lost his mind, as he walked back and forth in his cell pretending to play an instrument, but in fact all he was doing was composing in his head.

After receiving recognition for the 1963 soundtrack to the film Os Verdes Anos, Paredes worked on music for film and stage productions for the next several years. His full-length debut, Guitarra Portuguesa, was finally released in 1967. Th is recording would establish him as the master of the Portuguese guitar. It took four more years to produce another
album. Again regarded as a masterpiece, Movimento Perpétuo showed a more mature Carlos Paredes. His compositions went beyond the traditional use of the instrument in fado musicianship, giving him (and the instrument) a status above folk or regional music. If the tireless playing of his instrument wasn’t enough, throughout the entire album
one can hear Paredes breathe sharply as he forms his phrases.

Carlos Paredes performed around the world following the release of these albums, but he always returned to Portugal. Th e long-standing dictatorship there was finally brought down in the Carnation Revolution of 1974 — an event recalled by many Portuguese when they hear the music of Carlos Paredes, which played incessantly over the radio and television
during news reportage.

Paredes recorded several more records in his career, and performed with many other artists including Charlie Haden, with whom he recorded Dialogues in 1990. His songs became standards in the world of fado and are performed regularly. Th e Kronos Quartet recorded versions of “Verdes Anos” and “Romance No. 1” on their album Caravan in 2000. In 2005, Six Organs of Admittance dedicated the album School of the Flower to Paredes.

Carlos Paredes, “ The Man with the ousand Fingers,” passed away in 2004, after a long, ten-year fight with a disease that tragically prevented him from playing his instrument in those final years of his life. His musical voice has never really been stilled — but this reissue of the Guitarra Portuguesa and Movimento Perpétuo LPs marks the first time
they have ever been released in the United States and the first time they have been repressed anywhere, since 1983.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

Carlos Paredes was once almost hit by the famed Fado singer Amália Rodrigues, while performing at her home. Rumor has it that this was her reaction whenever she was deeply moved by someone’s artistry. Paredes was one of the greatest Portuguese guitarists, and a symbol of the Portuguese culture — not simply a great composer, but one of the men behind the world-wide understanding of his instrument and his country.

The Portuguese guitar is an instrument that dates back several hundred years. It was built according to different standards around the country, but by the time Paredes began playing it, it had been generally agreed upon the construction: a short-necked, wide-bodied instrument with twelve-strings strung in six courses comprising two steel strings each. It has a distinctive tuning mechanism and it is most notably associated with the traditional Portuguese popular music known as fado.

Carlos Paredes was born in 1925 to the guitarist Artur Paredes (whose collaboration with the luthiers of Coimbra influenced the design of the Coimbrian guitar and helped shape one of the two schools of Portuguese guitar playing). He was involved with music from an early age; first studying the violin for several years, before accepting that the family
tradition of guitar playing was to be his destiny. To play the music the way he felt it should be played, Carlos studied with his father in order to master his instrument. He changed the traditional positioning of the strings to obtain a wider possibility and range of chords. It is a reflection of his desire for perfection that he would not make a record of his music until he was thirty-two years old — and this was just an EP!

Other events conspired to delay his recording career. Shortly after the release of his first recordings, he was detained by the fascist government for suspected subversive beliefs. At this time, the music of fado was being adopted by many young Portuguese songwriters to decry the oppressive Salazar regime, and Carlos was one of the musicians persecuted. While imprisoned in 1958, Carlos Paredes managed to stay sane and even
created some of his most remarkable works. It is said that during this time the guards thought he had lost his mind, as he walked back and forth in his cell pretending to play an instrument, but in fact all he was doing was composing in his head.

After receiving recognition for the 1963 soundtrack to the film Os Verdes Anos, Paredes worked on music for film and stage productions for the next several years. His full-length debut, Guitarra Portuguesa, was finally released in 1967. Th is recording would establish him as the master of the Portuguese guitar. It took four more years to produce another
album. Again regarded as a masterpiece, Movimento Perpétuo showed a more mature Carlos Paredes. His compositions went beyond the traditional use of the instrument in fado musicianship, giving him (and the instrument) a status above folk or regional music. If the tireless playing of his instrument wasn’t enough, throughout the entire album
one can hear Paredes breathe sharply as he forms his phrases.

Carlos Paredes performed around the world following the release of these albums, but he always returned to Portugal. Th e long-standing dictatorship there was finally brought down in the Carnation Revolution of 1974 — an event recalled by many Portuguese when they hear the music of Carlos Paredes, which played incessantly over the radio and television
during news reportage.

Paredes recorded several more records in his career, and performed with many other artists including Charlie Haden, with whom he recorded Dialogues in 1990. His songs became standards in the world of fado and are performed regularly. Th e Kronos Quartet recorded versions of “Verdes Anos” and “Romance No. 1” on their album Caravan in 2000. In 2005, Six Organs of Admittance dedicated the album School of the Flower to Paredes.

Carlos Paredes, “ The Man with the ousand Fingers,” passed away in 2004, after a long, ten-year fight with a disease that tragically prevented him from playing his instrument in those final years of his life. His musical voice has never really been stilled — but this reissue of the Guitarra Portuguesa and Movimento Perpétuo LPs marks the first time
they have ever been released in the United States and the first time they have been repressed anywhere, since 1983.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

Carlos Paredes was once almost hit by the famed Fado singer Amália Rodrigues, while performing at her home. Rumor has it that this was her reaction whenever she was deeply moved by someone’s artistry. Paredes was one of the greatest Portuguese guitarists, and a symbol of the Portuguese culture — not simply a great composer, but one of the men behind the world-wide understanding of his instrument and his country.

The Portuguese guitar is an instrument that dates back several hundred years. It was built according to different standards around the country, but by the time Paredes began playing it, it had been generally agreed upon the construction: a short-necked, wide-bodied instrument with twelve-strings strung in six courses comprising two steel strings each. It has a distinctive tuning mechanism and it is most notably associated with the traditional Portuguese popular music known as fado.

Carlos Paredes was born in 1925 to the guitarist Artur Paredes (whose collaboration with the luthiers of Coimbra influenced the design of the Coimbrian guitar and helped shape one of the two schools of Portuguese guitar playing). He was involved with music from an early age; first studying the violin for several years, before accepting that the family
tradition of guitar playing was to be his destiny. To play the music the way he felt it should be played, Carlos studied with his father in order to master his instrument. He changed the traditional positioning of the strings to obtain a wider possibility and range of chords. It is a reflection of his desire for perfection that he would not make a record of his music until he was thirty-two years old — and this was just an EP!

Other events conspired to delay his recording career. Shortly after the release of his first recordings, he was detained by the fascist government for suspected subversive beliefs. At this time, the music of fado was being adopted by many young Portuguese songwriters to decry the oppressive Salazar regime, and Carlos was one of the musicians persecuted. While imprisoned in 1958, Carlos Paredes managed to stay sane and even
created some of his most remarkable works. It is said that during this time the guards thought he had lost his mind, as he walked back and forth in his cell pretending to play an instrument, but in fact all he was doing was composing in his head.

After receiving recognition for the 1963 soundtrack to the film Os Verdes Anos, Paredes worked on music for film and stage productions for the next several years. His full-length debut, Guitarra Portuguesa, was finally released in 1967. Th is recording would establish him as the master of the Portuguese guitar. It took four more years to produce another
album. Again regarded as a masterpiece, Movimento Perpétuo showed a more mature Carlos Paredes. His compositions went beyond the traditional use of the instrument in fado musicianship, giving him (and the instrument) a status above folk or regional music. If the tireless playing of his instrument wasn’t enough, throughout the entire album
one can hear Paredes breathe sharply as he forms his phrases.

Carlos Paredes performed around the world following the release of these albums, but he always returned to Portugal. Th e long-standing dictatorship there was finally brought down in the Carnation Revolution of 1974 — an event recalled by many Portuguese when they hear the music of Carlos Paredes, which played incessantly over the radio and television
during news reportage.

Paredes recorded several more records in his career, and performed with many other artists including Charlie Haden, with whom he recorded Dialogues in 1990. His songs became standards in the world of fado and are performed regularly. Th e Kronos Quartet recorded versions of “Verdes Anos” and “Romance No. 1” on their album Caravan in 2000. In 2005, Six Organs of Admittance dedicated the album School of the Flower to Paredes.

Carlos Paredes, “ The Man with the ousand Fingers,” passed away in 2004, after a long, ten-year fight with a disease that tragically prevented him from playing his instrument in those final years of his life. His musical voice has never really been stilled — but this reissue of the Guitarra Portuguesa and Movimento Perpétuo LPs marks the first time
they have ever been released in the United States and the first time they have been repressed anywhere, since 1983.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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