It is with a smiling voice that Carlos Alberto Moniz welcomes us for a nostalgic conversation about the Portuguese sardine.
A Portuguese performer, presenter, conductor, musician and composer, Carlos has that constant and genuine smile that we recognize from television, from the many programs that accompanied our childhood and teen years, and whose memories we cherish as adults. He hasn't stopped. Entangled between staves and musical notes to this day, he is happy because it is what he knows and likes to do; he boasts over 300 original songs under his belt. The ones we know and still love even today have more flavour to them because we can enjoy the special pleasure of sharing them with our children. He tells us about Arca de Noé (Noah's Ark, a very popular Portuguese tv show for children) with the same enthusiasm with which he recalls the many times he took part in Portugal's Song Festival and we come to the conclusion that the world is very small because there are connections between us that we did not know existed.
His roots are in the Azores, where he was born. Fishing with a bamboo cane, conversations with fishermen on the beach, diving at the most inhospitable spots of Terceira Island with friends, walking along the beach holding hands with his grandfather and stories about the sea... these are memories he keeps, smiling again, always with his guitar in his hand. You never know when another flash of inspiration will come because the Azores are that magical land where nature has imposed itself and where you always yearn to return.
Carlos Alberto Moniz has always had a connection to the magical and enchanted world of children. His connection to the sea predates his very existence. When we created O Mundo Fantástico da Sardinha Portuguesa, we wanted to offer a musical environment that would accompany the magic of the shops, full of light, colour, and fantasy, and that would do justice to the ever noble and popular Portuguese sardine. Inviting Carlos to make music for the sardine was an obvious choice but needed a special setting, because with Carlos everything is beautiful, simple, and special. We invited him to our Mundo Fantástico da Sardinha Portuguesa store at Rossio. And right there, sitting on the queen's throne, that is also his own, Carlos revisited his childhood memories and for moments found himself again in the Azores, with his bamboo rod, talking with fishermen, bathing with friends, and holding hands with his grandfather.
From the store to the studio was a matter of time. He gathered together pieces of his memories and elements of time and the sea. The ticking of the clock marking the time, the bells ringing, and the sweet and tender musical notes set the tone and Carlos created a hymn for sardines with the beautiful simplicity that characterises his music for the stores of Mundo Fantástico da Sardinha Portuguesa: “The beautiful sardine leaps from the waves of a sea without parallel. She is the princess and the queen of legends of Portugal!” Carlos Alberto Moniz knew it from the depths of his roots; he never needed us to tell him.