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Quarteto 1111 - Onde, Quando, Como, Porquê, Cantamos Pessoas Vivas CD (album) cover

ONDE, QUANDO, COMO, PORQUÊ, CANTAMOS PESSOAS VIVAS

Quarteto 1111

 

Eclectic Prog

4.43 | 80 ratings

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Floof-AN
5 stars Where could I begin? When will I be able to make this song justice? How could I even express what I feel properly? Why do I obsess so much over it?

Quarteto 1111, one of, if not my favorite Portuguese band. While I don't find that their previous albums can be exactly considered progressive, they are still high quality records that I enjoy at any time of the day. But this? this is even more special. Perhaps because of how beautiful the composition is? Maybe because of the themes explored in the song? Or is it because of how personal the Carnation Revolution feels to me? Having listened to this song, front to back, almost 50 times already. And having meditated about the reason why it cut so deeply into my soul, I found my answer.

The most obvious part to start, is the composition. I fear saying idiocies while pretending I am a master of music theory, therefore I will describe it in my own words. I have observed that a common point this song is praised for, is the use of the mellotron. I, personally, couldn't agree more, but I would like to go even further than that. The use of this vintage sampler is simply astonishing, that being an understatement. It is an incredible feat to have unleashed the power of an orchestra in the most intense parts of the track, followed by close and personal, even discreet flute and ethereal violins. While this would already be enough to make me consider this song as one of the best usages of the mellotron ever, there's more. The interplay is intrinsically important, and here, it is perfected. Synths, pianos, guitars, drums, bass, all of the instruments in this song feel like they were built around that mellotron. If all of these instruments were considered the bed you rest on, the mellotron would be your blanket; softly wrapped around yourself and bringing you the warmth and comfort you'd be lacking. Its use is pushed to a level of perfection, that on the first listens, I couldn't even understand what I was listening to. As time passed, I started to grasp the genius of this track, as a whole. The guitar solo bringing the two parts of the track together is one of the most awe-inspiring, as well as literally inspiring, pieces of progressive rock that ever graced my ears. In fact, it made me want to pick up my own guitar, to start playing again. Simply with that, the song would already be in my all-time favorite list, but there is still a lot to be discussed about it.

This song made me feel blessed for having a fairly decent grasp of the Portuguese language. The lyrics, while simple on the surface, are extremely powerful, as well as touching. A text does not have to be complicated to be poetry. Even by using the simplest of terms, if one expresses themselves in a way that matters to them, and conveys their feelings and emotions, it is, to me, a great piece of art. This song is the epitome of, as the song itself describes, the simple things that give me pleasure. Not only pleasure, but varied emotions as a whole. In a sense allying sorrow with hope, a deep sadness as positive as happiness.

For most of their lives, family members of mine lived under the dictatorial regime that reigned over Portugal. I heard stories about repression, stories about destruction, stories about the fights for liberty, and the prize that a lot of individuals payed to see their nation and people experience freedom. To me, this song is like one of those stories, or at least the ending to the novel of memories amassed by those who were oppressed for so long. Like the Carnation Revolution, this song is a bloodless triumph, a soft and bittersweet comforting thought, thanks to which the people can finally rest. José Cid's singing reflects what I take away from this song, from a gentle voice transporting you in a better world, to the passionate cries that never could exist for decades. From the dark moments that are strewn upon my life, to those of unrestrained euphoria, I feel a need for this song. While its main focus is on that ultimate liberty from tyranny, I feel that this song can be beyond even that, and reach the depths of my soul. Beyond its original meaning, this song feels, to me, like a deep expression of humanity, and it never ceases to make me look towards my own future with hope, and forever helping me bear the hardships of my life.

Quite possibly one of my favorite songs ever, a milestone in progressive rock for its composition; a milestone in art for the emotions it expresses; and a milestone in my own life, for helping my own hope bloom, like the flowers at the end of a rifle's barrel.

Floof-AN | 5/5 |

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