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Mar Português

Mar Português

Visit CD Baby to purchase Mar Português.

Shawna Lenore & Darrell Kastin: Mar Português/Portuguese Sea

Mar Português features Darrell Kastin's original music inspired by Portugal and  Shawna's luscious, jazz-flavored voice. Read the reviews.

Songlist and samples

Mar Português (MP3)

O Desejado (MP3)

O Maior Bem (MP3)

Sonho Vago (MP3)

Voz Que Se Cala (MP3)

O Nosso Livro (MP3)

Se Tu Viesses Ver-Me (MP3)

Conto De Fadas (MP3)

Vem Sobre Os Mares (MP3)

Amar (MP3)


Lullabies for Sinners

Lullabies for Sinners by Darrell Kastin

Visit CD Baby to purchase Lullabies for Sinners.

Darrell Kastin: Lullabies For Sinners

Lullabies For Sinners is Darrell Kastin's debut cd and features his daughter Shawna Lenore on vocals.

Partial songlist and samples

You Want It Easy (MP3)

You Gave Me Something (MP3)

Happiness Blues (MP3)

And So You Remain (MP3)

Marriage On The Rocks (MP3)

Falling To Pieces (MP3)

Lullaby For Sinners (MP3)

For Once In My Life (MP3)

Titillation (MP3)

Reviews for Mar Português

Review You CD Reviews

Posted on March 10, 2011
Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5)
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Shawna Lenore & Darrell Kastin “Mar Português/Portuguese Sea”

Review by Mike Roots

Besides the obvious, the father-daughter duo of Darrell Kastin and Shawna Lenore have a great deal in common.  Kastin, a Los Angeles native, is an author of novels, short stories and poetry, as well a musician and composer.  The Undiscovered Island, a novel written by Kastin, was published in 2009 while he also released a CD, Lullabies for Sinners, in 2007.  Lenore shares her father’s literary and musical talents and passions.  A graduate of Smith College and a singer, poet and writer, she is in the process of furthering her literary skills and credentials at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Recorded in one week, Mar Português is a collection of poem-songs sung in Portuguese and represents a convergence of these gifts and passions as the love of music and poetry are joined in a unique collaboration.  A point worthy of mentioning is that Elisabeth, Kastin’s wife and Lenore’s mother, is Portuguese, thus inspiring a love and appreciation for Portuguese literature, music and culture.  In the spring of 2010, Kastin and Lenore traveled to Lisbon to work on the project with Pedro Barroso, a legendary songwriter, musician, singer and producer, along with his group of consummate musicians.  The result is so natural, fluid and complete that one would think Barroso is Kastin and Lenore’s long lost brother and uncle, thus making Mar Português truly a family affair.  Characterized by stark beauty and a balance of old world flavor and timeless relevance, most of the songs on this project clock at around three minutes.  For those unfamiliar with the language, all of the Portuguese poems (either written by Fernando Pessoa or Florbela Espanca) used on Mar Português were thoughtfully translated into English and printed in the accompanying booklet.

“Mar Português” (Portuguese Sea),” the pensive title track, allows Lenore’s voice to glow, showcasing its heartfelt and expressive resplendence.  With spartan accompaniment, including piano, guitar and cello, the song serves as a fitting introduction, easing the listener in.  The haunting beauty of Miguel Carreira’s accordion, along with guitar and percussion, make for a soothing rhythmic mixture on “Voz Que Se Cala” (Voice That Remains Quiet).”  As she caresses each note, Lenore brings Espanca’s poem to life, projecting an emotional connection with its love of nature and the deeper meaning found in its nuances.

“Conto de Fadas” (Fairy Tale)” with lyrics translated as, “My gestures are like the waves of Sorrento / I bear the letters of a flower in my name / It was from my blue eyes that a painter / Took the light and painted the wind,” is yet another example of the evocative and intriguing poetry brought to life with Lenore’s gorgeous voice and sparse yet fervent musical accompaniment.  “Dom Sebastião” and “O Nosso Livro” (“Our Book”) feature Barroso’s wonderfully rich baritone which contrasts beautifully with Lenore’s voice, the latter of the songs being a lovely duet.

Mar Português also features three hidden bonus tracks, the final one serving as Kastin’s (English) spoken message of his vision for the project, gratitude for all who participated and encouragement for listeners to explore Portuguese literature and culture.  This, along with having all of the poems/lyrics translated, offers a hearty welcome for the uninitiated.  For what it’s worth, fans of bands such as Plumb and Evanescence’s Amy Lee may indeed notice a connection with Lenore’s vocal talents and the mournful winsomeness reflected here.  Whether Plumb or Lee are directly influenced by Portuguese music, such as that contained on Mar Português, is something interesting to consider.  What is certain is the father-daughter duo of Darrell Kastin and Shawna Lenore, along with Pedro Barroso, have created a beautiful recording, full of austere yet refined melody, texture and lyrical depth.

Review You CD Reviews

Posted on March 2, 2011
Rating: 4 Stars (out of 5)
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Shawna Lenore & Darrell Kastin “Mar Português/Portuguese Sea”

Reviewed by: Matthew Forss

The poetry of acclaimed Portuguese poets Florbela Espanca and Fernando Pessoa are highlighted in the most recent work, Mar Português (Portuguese Sea) by vocalist Shawna Lenore and writer/composer Darrell Kastin. The father-daughter duo joins Darrell Kastin on piano and guitar, and other musicians on vocals, accordion, cello, Portuguese guitar, adufe, and assorted percussion. Shawna’s seductive voice, along with the voice of producer Pedro Barroso, provides a classical and jazz foundation that is punctuated by elements of fado.

The opening piano chords of the first song and title track, “Mar Português,” meld perfectly and effortlessly with Shawna’s Portuguese lyrics. The Portuguese guitar and cello also play a part in the musical production. Pedro Barroso’s vocals are featured on “Dom Sebastiao” from a poem by Fernando Pessoa. Pedro’s operatic vocals are superimposed over a somber piano tune, guitar, and cello. He is backed by choir vocals, too. The piano melody is somewhat characteristic of anything Enya has produced. Pedro’s other song, “O Nosso Livro,” includes Shawna’s vocals, too. This is supported by the Portuguese guitar and accordion. On “O Meu Impossivel,” Shawna’s emotive and sweet lyrical display is most certainly poetic with a touch of flamenco or South American guitar. The fado influence is particularly evident on this song, because of the mournful lyrical delivery and the waning accordion with similarly plaintive guitar strumming. In this case, the musical mood precisely fits the somber poem by Florbela Espanca better than other songs.

Overall, Shawna Lenore and Darrell Kastin’s vision of setting music to poetry to showcase two historically significant Portuguese poets is a commendable work of musical ingeniousness. The fourteen songs follow the fado musical vein typical of Portuguese musicians. The mournful and solemn quality of the music is a testament to the creativity and inspiration of Florbela Espanca and Fernando Pessoa. All of the songs are between one-and-a-half and three-and-a-half minutes in length. Shawna’s vocals were not overbearing or terribly operatic. The album utilizes a good mix of melodies and vocals that are never weary or boring. However, the hidden tracks rehashing other songs on the album may be a bite unwarranted. Also, a total running time around forty-two minutes may be a bit disheartening for listeners desiring more. Still, the spoken recitation was intriguing. The task of putting music to poetry is nothing new, but Shawna Lenore and Darrell Kastin approached it from a knowledgeable perspective with better than average results. Fans of Portuguese music and poetry should be especially enlightened by Mar Português.

Press Release for Mar Português

PRESS RELEASE - January 10, 2011

Darrell Kastin & Shawna Lenore announce their new album:
Mar Português – Portuguese Sea
A Tribute to the poetry of Florbela Espanca & Fernando Pessoa

Darrell Kastin’s original music is inspired by the many folk traditions of  Portugal and the Azores, the land of his heritage, and by the words of the great poets of Lusitania.  Shawna's mature interpretations and luscious, jazz-flavored voice compliment and seduce the listener in these poem-songs.

The father-daughter duo traveled to Lisbon last May to work on the project with legendary Portuguese artist/producer Pedro Barroso and his accomplished musicians.  The album was recorded in a marathon week session at Tcha-Tcha-Tcha Studios.  

More info at:

Contact: darrell@darrellkastin.com