- Mulher do Norte Claudia Aurora 3:23
- Amar Claudia Aurora 4:11
- Mãos de Luar Claudia Aurora 4:04
- Amantes Claudia Aurora 4:39
- Promessa Claudia Aurora 4:25
- Lua Claudia Aurora 6:04
- Silêncio Claudia Aurora 4:28
- Desejo do mar Claudia Aurora 4:34
- Cigana Claudia Aurora 4:38
- Fado d'Alma Claudia Aurora 3:19
With a following to rival flamenco, the haunting melodies of Portuguese fado have always held listeners spellbound; Claudia Aurora is its powerful new voice. Claudia Aurora sings fado – traditional Portuguese folk-blues – like no one else.
Sometimes, you see a place most clearly when it recedes from view…
Claudia Aurora’s second album, Mulher Do Norte, translates from Portuguese as Woman of the North. Written with a clarity that only distance can allow, it is a homage to the city, the surrounds, the way of living, that helped make her the woman she is. To all that she left behind.
It was 2003 when Claudia Aurora swapped her beloved Porto for Bristol. Little did she know that what she began singing in the kitchen as an antidote to homesickness would take her to some of the biggest stages in the world.
She sung fado. Traditional Portuguese folk songs once sung by her grandmother. In time, she wrote her own. Impassioned songs of loss, love, longing. In short, songs of saudade, the emotion at the very core of fado, perhaps best translated as ‘the love that remains after something is gone’. A lover. A comrade. A place.
“People don’t understand what I’m singing,” says Claudia, “so I try to make them feel what I want them to feel. Onstage, my heart is in my mouth, and I think maybe people will see it beating.”
If people didn’t see Claudia’s heart, they certainly heard it. With her first album only a few months old, she was a relative unknown before she played the BBC Radio 3 stage at WOMAD in 2012, yet the reaction to her set ensured Silencio’s sales were seventh highest of the entire festival. Impressed, Radio 3 later broadcast Claudia performing live from the Royal Festival Hall. Further broadcasts followed.
Claudia has since made London her base, gone on to play shows in countries as far-flung as Poland and South Korea, completed the UK’s biggest tour ever undertaken by a fado singer, and been awarded a residency at Green Note, Time Out’s London Venue of the Year 2015.
When it came to recording the new album, Claudia took her team of crack musicians back to the mother country, and the tranquility of Alentejo. Guitars, double bass, cello, bouzouki, accordion, all combining to create fado as it has never been heard before. Fado with arms open wide, embracing those other grand old traditions of the Iberian Peninsula: flamenco, tango, gypsy.
And above it all, Claudia’s voice. Like other voices, it is redolent of personal sadness. Yet it is evocative of so much more. Just as surely as fado is handed down through the ages, then so are the sentiments of which it speaks. Twelve songs evoking a collective folk memory of all the love and loss that went before.
Twelve songs sung with a voice as poised as it is fervent. The emotion Claudia communicates is not blue, necessarily, but visceral. A melancholic ecstasy. A life forever lived, no matter where her home, as a Mulher Do Norte.
Previous shows include: WOMAD, Charlton Park (UK), Union Chapel, London (UK), Southbank Centre, London (UK), Kings Place, London (UK), London International Festival of Exploratory Music (LIFEM) (UK), Colston Hall, Bristol (UK), Folk House, Bristol (UK), Harbour Festival, Bristol (UK), Taste of Bristol Festival (UK), Brighton Fringe Festival (UK), Komedia, Brighton (UK), Howard Assembly Room, Leeds (UK), Norwich Arts Centre (UK), Colchester Arts Centre (UK), The Stables, Milton Keynes (UK), Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham (UK), Hawth Theatre (UK), Forest Arts Centre, New Milton (UK), West End Centre, Aldershot (UK), Norfolk & Norwich Festival (UK), Rhythms of the World Festival (UK), Musicport Festival (UK), Women of the World Festival (UK), Windsor Fringe Festival (UK), Little Missenden Festival (UK), Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh (Scotland), Caird Hall, Dundee (Scotland), Glenuig Hall, Glenuig (Scotland), Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline (Scotland), Triskel Arts Centre, Cork (Ireland), Out To Lunch Festival, Belfast (Northern Ireland), Llangollen Fringe Festival (Wales), Powis Hall, Bangor (Wales), Queens Hall, Narberth (Wales), Alderney Performing Arts Festival (Channel Islands), Globaltica Festival (Poland), Palladium, Malmö (Sweden), Uppsala Konsert & Kongress (Sweden), Savoy Theatre, Helsinki (Finland), Jazzkaar Festival (Estonia), SpancirFest (Croatia), Varna Theatre (Bulgaria), Festas do Soajo (Portugal), Royal Opera House, Muscat (Oman), Jeonju International Sori Festival (South Korea).
SELECTED PRESS REVIEWS AND QUOTES:
“A gem of an album. Exquisitely beautiful.” (musicdeli, UK)
“Utterly beautiful” (Chris Nickson, Stirrings, UK)
“A breath of fresh air. An impressive album.” (Rhythm Passport, UK)
“A heartfelt song… a talent developed in exile…” (Mary Ann Kennedy, BBC Radio 3, UK)
“Every song is a winner, every arrangement full of thought and energy, and Claudia’s voice is majestic throughout. This is modern Fado at its finest – if you have yet to discover this remarkable music, Mulher do Norte would be as good a place as any to start, and better than most!” (Barry Goodman, ShireFolk, UK)
“Un modo nuovo e originale di rinnovare la tradizione, con rispetto e gusto, fanno di Claudia Aurora una voce importante e vitale da custodire gelosamente al fianco di Teresa Salgueiro, Mariza e Dulce Pontes.” (Argonauta Magazine, Italy)
“You may not see her beating heart but you will certainly hear it.” (Simon Rowland, R2 (Rock’n’Reel) Magazine, UK)
“Smart, café-tinged contemporary chamber fado rendering.” (fRoots, UK)
“Classy” (Neil Spencer, The Guardian, UK)
“Tingling beauty” (Simon Broughton, Evening Standard, UK) (Album of the Week) (4 stars)
“(Claudia) Aurora takes advantage of a colourful instrumentation – with an almost chamber-like instrumentation – to close in on a classical French chanson and blur her fado into something else, nuanced by the great Edith Piaf.” (Gonçalo Frota, Songlines, UK)
“Intriguing and lovely lovely singer” (DJ Ritu, A World In London, UK)
“Really rich and still crystal clear. Love how honest and all woman she is. Entirely her own woman. Lovely instrumentation and brilliant production!” (Debbie Golt, Resonance FM, UK)
“Beautiful stuff” (Mary Ann Kennedy, BBC Radio 3, UK)
“Mesmerising sound” (BBC Radio 3, UK)
“Fado sensation” (BBC Radio 3, UK)
“She is a must see live act!” (Equator Festival, UK)
“When her voice unfolds its full force, bittersweet and blue, elemental and operatic by turn, she has the room’s ear tonight, and for life.” (Venue Magazine, UK)
“Her performance was captivating throughout.” (Tom Locke, The Argus, UK)
“The musicianship was superb throughout and came together for a climactic Gypsy (Cigana), whose rhythms allowed Claudia to really show her vocal range, and inhabit the character with a passion that needed no translation.” (Michael Conaghan, Belfast Telegraph, UK)
“Claudia Aurora is an exponent of Fado” (Belfast Music, UK)
“A complete treat of a night, this, as WOMAD-wowing Claudia Aurora wraps her extraordinary voice around self-penned fado (Portuguese blues) songs. For maximum sensory delight – and Iberian authenticity – tickets also include a full Portuguese meal. Hugely recommended.” (Venue Magazine, UK)
“Wonderful music!” (Lucy Duran, BBC Radio 3, UK)
“Claudia’s Fado style full of drama and passion. From the first songs the packed room seemed captivated, hushed attention leading to whooshing outbursts of applause at each song’s end.” (Tony Benjamin, This is Bristol/The Bristol Post, UK)
“Her set of traditional and self-composed fados was packed out in the courtyard of a traditional house in the centre of town.” (Simon Broughton, Songlines Magazine, UK)
“Rising star of Portuguese fado” (Songlines Magazine, UK)
“A remarkable fado singer” (Peter Culshaw, The Arts Desk, UK)
“Your new favourite fado singer” (WOMAD, UK)
“The best thing I saw at the Festival” (Kate McPhee, Brighton Fringe Festival 2012, UK)
“The concert was breathtaking and moved me greatly and I can’t wait to share it with our listeners.” (Sam Murray, Folk Off!, Liverpool Student Radio, UK)
“An exquisite foray into jazz-inflected contemporary fado” (fRoots, UK)
“A beguiling voice! And her instrumentalists are superb!” (Michael Church, The Scotsman, UK)
“As she projected her voice across the audience you could feel the power and soul in the performance; this gave me goose bumps, and made me feel at ease and memorised by her beautiful voice.” (Jonathan Frost, Norwich Evening News, UK)
“Mayra Andrade and Claudia Aurora are the most amazing singers I have ever heard and I will never forget them.” (Jonathan Frost, Norwich Evening News, UK)
“2011, deservedly, has been a heck of a year for Claudia Aurora and on tonight’s showing – one of the most sexy, sensual, affecting and accomplished to fill the Folk House for some time – 2012 should see her fly. Truly, Silêncio is golden.” (Joe Spurgeon, Venue Magazine, UK)
“Haunting Portuguese fado from this rising star of the scene here performing heartbreakingly poignant material from her widely acclaimed 2011 album ‘Silêncio’” (Time Out)
“Exquisitely simple and uniquely traditional – unadorned music at its best. Her deeply expressive voice is a joy to listen to.” (Liz MacIntosh, Festival Previews)
“Spine-tingling” (Alex Denney, NME)
“Drenched in emotion and drama” (Lucy Duran, BBC Radio 3)
“Boy, she has a voice, as elementally strong as the tides of which she sings, and as imbued with ability to induce calm and awe.” (Venue Magazine)
Fado, Fado Novo