Tag Archives: Danças Ocultas

Elegantly Modern Accordion Rooted in Portuguese Tradition

Danças Ocultas – Dentro desse mar (Galileo Music, 2018)

Portuguese accordion quartet Danças Ocultas recorded Dentro desse mar at Casa do Mato Studios in Rio de Janeiro, produced by celebrated cellist and producer Jaques Morelenbaum. Danças Ocultas is a group of talented accordion players who perform exquisite contemporary musical pieces rooted in tradition and classical music. It is a nuanced sound, creating a mix of laid back ambience and melody rather than flashy virtuosity.

Dentro desse mar is a set of charming, elegant songs and instrumentals featuring various musical guests.  Jaques Morelenbaum brought in Brazilian percussionists, highly expressive cavaquinho, several other instrumentalists and guest vocalists from Brazil and Portugal, who provided finely-crafted chemistry around the accordions. Morelebaum also contributed his own enchanting cello work.

Danças Ocultas – Dentro desse mar

The line-up includes Artur Fernandes on diatonic accordion; Francisco Miguel on diatonic accordion; Filipe Cal on diatonic accordion; and Filipe Ricardo on diatonic accordion; David Feldman on pinao; Marcos Suzano on percussion; Brazilian singer Zelia Duncan; Jaques Morelenbaum on cello; Rogério Caetano on 7-string guitar; Luis Barcelos on mandolin and cavaquinho; Marcelo Costa on percussion; Portuguese fado singer Carminho; Robertinho Silva on percussion; Dora Morelenbaum on vocals; Tiago Abrantes on cvlarinet; and Paulo Braga on percussion.

Dentro desse mar features a captivating amalgam of Portuguese and Brazilian influences under a modern prism.

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Artist Profiles: Danças Ocultas

Danças Ocultas – Photo by Pedro Claudio

Danças Ocultas is an ensemble comprising four accordionists from Agueda near Porto, in Portugal. The quartet is among the most innovative and most exciting representatives of contemporary Portuguese music. Their concept is based on tranquil, lyrical, almost traditional music, performed with only four diatonic accordions.

The quartet’s name, Hidden Dances, has nothing to do with mysterious domains but instead means that Dancas Ocultas play music for dances that have yet to be invented. Portuguese fado plays a minor role in the ensemble’s sound; the band’s inspiration comes instead from traditional village music, Tango Nuevo and the chamber music exemplified by the Russian Terem Quartet.

Dancas Ocultas neither engage in virtuosity competitions, nor do they play pure folk music. “Impressionist Folk” is perhaps the best definition for this timeless art music: minimalist, thoughtful sound designs full of unanticipated turns and gracious melancholy.

One of the first supporters of Danças Ocultas was Gabriel Gomes, the accordionist of Portugal’s most famous world music band Madredeus. He encouraged them to explore their own sound worlds.

Dancas Ocultas’ collaboration with choreographer Paul Ribeiro and the Gulbenkian Ballet, regular appearances at international festivals and a highly acclaimed showcase at the World Music Expo (WOMEX) in 2010 have resulted in wide international recognition.

The line-up includes Artur Fernandes on diatonic accordion; Francisco Miguel on diatonic accordion; Filipe Cal on diatonic accordion; and Filipe Ricardo on diatonic accordion.

Discography:

Danças Ocultas (EMI VC, 1996)
(EMI VC, 1998)
Travessa da Espera (L’Empreinte Digitale, 2002)
Pulsar (Magic Music, 2004)
Tarab (Numerica, 2009)
Alento (iplay / Galileo MC, 2011)
Arco, EP (Uguru, 2014)
Amplitude (Uguru/Galileo Music, 2016)
Dentro desse mar (Galileo Music, 2018)

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Portuguese Folk and Classical Music Intersections

Danças Ocultas – Amplitude (Galileo Music, 2016)

Danças Ocultas is a Portuguese diatonic accordion quartet that has developed an innovative sound that crosses musical boundaries. Amplitude was recorded live during the ensemble’s concerts at the Casa da Música in Oporto and at the Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon.

On Amplitude, Danças Ocultas collaborates with a classical music orchestra, the Filarmonia das Beiras; fado vocalist Carminho; contemporary folk music band Dead Combo; and former Madredeus and Sétima Legião musician Rodrigo Leao.

Most of the material on Amplitude is original material by Danças Ocultas along with a composition by Rodrigo Leao and a recreation of a traditional Portuguese folk song.

The result is a beautiful set of instrumentals and songs where Portuguese folk music influences are interweaved with classical and jazz elements.

Danças Ocultas features accordionists Artur Fernandes, Filipe Ricardo, Filipe Cal and Francisco Miguel. The four musicians got together in 1989 with the goal of exploring all the sound possibilities the diatonic accordion, known in Portugal as concertina.

Amplitude features memorable accordion performances and interplay by Danças Ocultas and their guests.

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