Fátima Miranda has always composed and sung her own work using unusual vocal techniques, either invented or learnt from traditional Eastern and Western cultures and covering a four octave range. She has come so far with her voice that what is extraordinary for her on this occasion is to come so close, singing as she always has, and also as never before, the evergreen songs we’ve grown up listening to- Quite a challenge, indeed.
The repertoire has been chosen based on the certainty of what one is touched or moved by, with no intention of covering all periods or subjects. Medieval melodies, laments, lieder, the chants of chamans or Indian ragas will intertwine in perfect harmony with jazz standards, Spanish copla, pop songs, fado or chanson, creating a map without frontiers that simultaneously addresses and emerges from the collective memory.
Among the many ways of understanding the concept of musical interpretation it’s worth highlighting two. The one perVERSIONS identifies with is hermeneutic and poetic. It has to do with the idea of translation and its objective is experience. The other, more common, conservative, mimetic and kitsch, not poetic, doesn’t hold any interest at all, being a matter of simple imitation, a postcard, a rehash, whose objective is merely to entertain.
The concert is structured in 7 parts or atmospheres, each comprised of 3 or 4 songs. Intimate constraint and extroversion alternate, harmonizing the everyday and the elevated into a result full of grace, unity and meaning.
Photographs by the distinguished Chema Madoz, created ad hoc for peVERSIONS, are an essential contribution to the stage design. The collaboration between these two artists springs from both a special understanding and fundamental affinities. Both are unclassifiable, ingenious and ironical. Both love to take simple, fragile elements to the limits of rigour and perfection, always in the service of ideas and poetic feelings. In the works of Chema and Fátima the everyday becomes extraordinary, leading us to an imaginative, critical vision of reality and to levels of poetry and humour that always offer us healthy ground for reflection.
On the stage: a singer, a pianist and a piano. It’s a stage exempt of any contrived effects. A masterly lighting design and splendid costumes wrap each moment in its particular atmosphere. At precise moments Chema Madoz’s images fade slowly in and out, floating on an unconventional support that recalls the canopy of a bedchamber rather than a screen. Music, image and dramaturgy are integrated in a sensitive, organic whole.
Miguel Ángel Alonso Mirón, a daring and rigorous pianist obsessed by the stage interpretation of vocal repertoire, is the perfect musician for a concert in which the piano is not a mere servant of the voice, but instead a multi-timbral instrument, and in which the pianist becomes a performer in collaboration with Fátima, together offering us a very serious show that oozes playfulness, humour and poetry.
The title, perVERSIONS, gives us a hint that encompasses a whole declaration of principles and allows us to sense how the chosen songs, popular or highbrow, are able to offer us an other taste, an other way of listening and of feeling…