I close my eyes in order to see better
Even today fairy tales still happen – tales sounding as if they came straight out of the Arabian Nights. This is the miraculous story of the blind singer DONA ROSA of Lisbon. Already in the 70s, she turned up in video documentaries as a street singer, accompanying herself only with a triangle in the alleys of Lisbon, where she had long been a local heroine. Then in 1999, André Heller was captivated by her and invited her to appear in the „Voice of God“ TV production. This was followed by her debut recording „Historias da Rua“ in 2000. Two further CDs followed in 2003 „Segredos“ and „Alma Livre“ in 2007
„Sou Luz” her latest CD, is a showcase of her extraordinary gifts in rich, sonorous instrumental settings. Unforgettable melodies like „Beija Flor“ and „Lago de Ontem“ were created by the brother team Raul and José Abreu. While Raul has been for many years her faithful guitar accompanist and composer of the songs, José is the brilliant lyricist for Dona Rosa. Wonderful ballads like „Asa de Anjo“ and „Retrato“, with their poignant strings and piano settings, are among the gems of this CD.
In the finale, „Nesta Terra Portuguesa“ Dona Rosa returns to her origins, accompanying herself on triangle alone. Then, in an extraordinary bonus, she tells us, in her own words, her tragic life’s story.
Dona Rosa embodies the true longing of the soul, rooted in a tradition whose most relevant and famous symbol is Fado. Her voice is the ideal instrument for the expression of this longing. And as she sings, she enables us to see and feel her world, which though outwardly blind, opens vast internal emotional vistas. “The eyes of the body are unable to see. The real vision comes from the eyes of the spirit. It is important to return to that first vision, the vision of the soul“…
The famous blind activist Helen Keller said that the biggest problem that blind people face, is the lack of vision of their friends who see . In a world, where senses are dormant, what is the real meaning of seeing?
Blind people live in a luminous world, even if they can’t see. They live very near the source of the inner life where light is always present. If what is essential is invisible, will it be possible to share and make audible some of the atmosphere and colors of the rainbow that are part of the inner landscape of someone who lost the capability of seeing?
This is the main purpose of this project in which through original lyrics and songs, poems that evoke the possibility of redirecting our attention to the soul dimension, we want to remember a space within us that remains almost inhabited.
Dona Rosa with her generosity and unique way of being gave voice to words, songs and memories of her life. She faced the challenges of this new step in her career with courage and the consequence of her commitment is shown in the particular and different sound atmosphere of this CD called: “Sou Luz”.
Drawings done by blind children that brought another color to the cover of this CD, a poem created by Aliu Baio, a sixteen year old pupil of the Helen Keller Institute of Lisbon, new songs that had the support of “devoted” musicians , contributed for making this challenge of Dona Rosa a visible reality.
Written by: José Abreu