Thursday, June 19, 2014

Chico Buarque turns 70! "The Time and the Artist"

I just found out that Chico Buarque, the celebrated Brazilian singer-songwriter-poet-novelist turned 70 today! And I really like what the brilliant journalist Mauro Ferreira wrote today (Ferreira has an incredible blog - Notas Musicais [musical notes] about Brazilian music and pop music in general too -- too bad it's in Portuguese, right?).

Ferreira's blog post title says "Chico approaches the infinite tangentially reaching 70 with a glorified oeuvre [body of work]." It's impossible to understand this title without knowing the lyrics of one of Chico Buarque's gems, a song from the 1996 album Paratodos [for all]:
"O Tempo e o Artista"                       "The Time and the Artist"

Imagino o artista num                       I imagine the artist in an
         [anfiteatro                                         [amphitheater
Onde o tempo é a grande estrela       Where time is the great star
Vejo o tempo obrar a sua arte            I see time work* its art
Tendo o mesmo artista como tela      Having the same artist as a screen

Modelando o artista ao seu feitio      Shaping the artist at its will
O tempo, com seu lápis impreciso    Time as an imprecise pencil
Põe-lhe rugas ao redor da boca         Places wrinkles around the mouth
Como contrapesos de um sorriso      As counter-weights to a smile

Já vestindo a pele do artista              Wearing the artist's skin
O tempo arrebata-lhe a garganta       Time captures his throat
O velho cantor subindo ao palco      The old singer climbing on stage
Apenas abre a voz, e o tempo           He only opens his voice, and time
                          [canta                                             [sings

Dança o tempo sem cessar,              Time dances without ceasing,
                        [montando                                    [climbing
O dorso do exausto bailarino           On the dancer's exhausted torso
Trêmulo o ator recita um                 Tremulous, the actor recites a
                     [drama                                                    [drama
Que ainda está por ser escrito          That is yet to be written

No anfiteatro, sob o céu                  In the amphitheater, under the
                   [de estrelas                                              [starry sky
Um concerto eu imagino                 I imagine a concert
onde, num relance,                         where, in a glimpse (?)
     [o tempo alcance a glória                      [time reaches glory
E o artista, o infinito                      And the artist, infinity
                                                                   *work=make an oeuvre

Pure genius. In the same album Chico has another AMAZING song titled (in Portuguese): "The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" and hopefully I'll blog about it someday!

I'll come back to edit the post with a Youtube video later. Now I have to go finish a conference paper!

P.S. I really feel like my blog name when I'm translating. It's still really a huge part of my life, I guess, translation. :-)

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