Playing the Lisbon Portuguese
Guitarra by Ronald Louis Fernandez (continued)Section 15d. Recordando,
arranged by Artur Gaipo. Played by Artur Gaipo, Fernando Rocha,
Ron Fernández, José Marques
(Background information written in 1972 by Ron Fernández)
In late spring 1972 the record "Balada de Montreal" was released
for sale in various shops in the Montreal Portuguese community.
Some of the music on this 45 rpm EP disc was composed by Artur
Gaipo, the 54-year old Azorean-born leader of the group. Mr.
Gaipo's technical and interpretive talents on the Portuguese
guitarra are evidenced as he plays melody on all four selections.
The other members of the group include Fernando Rocha, a 49-years
old carpenter, José Marques, a 37-year old cabinet maker (both
originally from Continental Portugal), and Ronald Fernández, a
23-year old American graduate student in Anthropology at McGill
University. Each of these musicians contributed their talents to
On the record cover from left to right are: A. Gaipo (1st
guitarra), F. Rocha (2nd guitarra), R. Fernández (viola), J.
The master recording for this record was made at the Radio McGill
Studio in early 1972 by "Soundbox 72" whose Executive Director was
Thadd Beebe. At the time of Balada's recording, Soundbox was
funded by a Local Initiative Project (L.I.P.) Grant from the
Canadian Federal Government. The purpose of this grant was to
promote Canadian musical talent by recording--free of
charge--professional quality demonstration tapes which musicians
could use to solicit recording or appearance contracts.
Consequently, the master for this record was recorded for free.
While the musicians retained their performance rights on this
recording, financial backing for the pressing of the vinyl records
came from Antonio Mota, the owner of Iberia Furniture. Mr. Mota,
who for years had been importing records from Portugal for the
Portuguese immigrant market in the U.S.A. and Canada viewed the
production of "Balada de Montreal" as worthwhile for several
reasons. On the one hand, it was a help for Mr. Gaipo, his
musicians and Luso-Canadian music in general; on the other hand,
this record was good advertising for his firm, Iberia Furniture.
In addition, he saw the production of 1000 copies (hence the name
of his production company--Mil Records) as a way of learning about
the manufacture of records in Canada. His motive for gaining this
knowledge was, as Mr. Mota told me himself, to corner the
Portuguese record market in Canada. In essence, his plan was to
lower the price of records of Portuguese music by recording
Luso-Canadian musician or bringing talent from Portugal to record
in Canada and thus eliminate customs and transportation charges
which have raised the price of 7 inch, 45 rpm records to $2.50
The record itself was manufactured by R.C.A. in Montreal, the
cover photo was taken by Mr. Mota's brother-in-law and the jackets
were designed and printed by a firm in Montreal. Due to the fact
that R.C.A. and the firm printing the cover had no experience with
the Portuguese language and because Mr. Mota, Mr. Gaipo and an
employee of Mr. Mota were uncoordinated in their contact with
R.C.A. and the printer, errors resulted in both the record label
and the jacket. The errors on the jacket were corrected by gluing
small calling cards over the mistakes.
The record label was left incorrect. The line "VIOLAS: MARQUES, E.
FERNANDES was improperly punctuated and should have read " Violas:
MARQUES e FERNANDES. The spelling of the name Fernandez with an
"s" at the end instead of "z" was intentional by Mr. Gaipo. He
made the alteration to an "s" because he wanted the public to
think of Ronald Fernandez as being of Portuguese rather than
The Songs on the EP (Extended Play) 45 rpm (revolution per minute)
"Balada de Montreal" (Ballad of Montreal) which was written in the
style of the music played by students at the Universidade de
Coimbra. Artur Gaipo had spent some time in Coimbra and liked the
music of Carlos Paredes.
"Chula Bonita" (Pretty Chula). A "chula" is a kind of folk dance.
This piece is based on a folk melody which Artur Gaipo has
arranged. On this record he modulates the melody through several
"Recordando" (Remembering) is Mr. Gaipo's version of an old
composition for guitarra and viola. Artur was unsure of the
original composer but he mentioned either Jaime Santos or
"Tico-Tico" is a Brazilian choro song written by Zequinha de Abreu
in 1917. It is well known internationally. The original title was
"Tico-Tico no fubá" arranged by Mr. Gaipo with an interesting
original section in the middle.