Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Elton Medeiros records memoirs at M.I.S.

This morning I received a newsletter stating that Elton Medeiros would be giving his "depoimento" at the Museu da Imagem e Som. Luckily the event was a few hours later at 2pm. I arrived barely on time only to find Mr. Medeiros at the gate of the archive/museum waiting to be let in. I introduced myself and he was nice, but seemed slightly uninterested. I once again tried to talk to him later during a break (he talked for 5 hours!) and told him that I was good friends with Mauro, the son of one of his close friends, Regina Werneck. Regina sang in the group Quarteto em Cy in the late 60s and also recorded and co-wrote with Elton. I have been meaning to ask her to introduce me to him. Elton said "Oh, he lives in the U.S..." and then turned away to talk to some people he actually knew...

I'll be back. He's not rid of me yet..

At the event slightly late and part of the panel was his old partner Paulinho da Viola, one of Brazil's most beloved samba artists. I was thrilled to see them both in a room of about 30 people. Unfortunately I was not persistent enough to try and talk to Paulinho (especially after 5 hours of Elton's talk), but I feel that I will catch him again later soon enough. Rio and the samba world is especially small at times...

So, for a quick post I would like to introduce one of Elton's compositions. Elton, by the way, has also co-authored several memorable songs with the late, great Cartola (see recent post). His best and longest lasting partnership has been with Paulinho da Viola. I would like to feature one of my favorite songs by Elton that he co-authored with Zé Kéti (1921-1999) and recorded with the legendary group A Voz do Morro in 1965. A Voz do Morro was a short-lived group that featured several musicians that went on to individual fame including Elton Medeiros, Paulinho da Viola, Zé Kéti, Nelson Sargento, Anescarzinho, José da Cruz, Jair Costa, Cartola and Nelson Cavaquinho. The last two did not actually record with the group but were part of an early incarnation of the group, according to Elton.

"Mascarada" (Elton Medeiros e Zé Kéti) by A Voz do Morro
from the 1965 album Roda de Samba

Vejo agora esse teu lindo olhar
Olhar que eu sonhei e sonhei conquistar
E que num dia afinal conquistei, enfim
Findou-se o carnaval e só nos carnavais
Encontrava-te sem
Encontrar este teu lindo olhar, porque
O poeta era eu cujas rimas eram compostas
Na esperança de que tirasses essa máscara
Que sempre me fez mal
Mal que findou só depois do carnaval

The lyrics are quite beautiful, but for lack of time (and for fear of another translation compromising the beauty of such poetry) I will only provide the brief story behind the song as told by Elton today. The idea of the song was from Zé Kéti. Kéti was romancing a woman whom he had only seen during several Carnaval celebrations. Every year they would meet and disappear together, remembers Elton. However, she was always wearing a mask, which she never once took off for poor Zé Kéti to see her face. Thus, in the song he laments only being able to see her through the mask. The stuff of legend, no?


Anonymous said...


Nao sei se voce devia ter mencionado o meu nome (haha) para o Elton. Lembra daquela historia do pandeiro? Caramba, nao acredito que a palestra foi de cinco horas! Aja folego gente.

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