Deluxe digipack edition with bilingual booklet (written in Portuguese and English), featuring 54 coloured pages.
Music is a fundamental presence in the life of the Cape Verdeans. Besides awakening a feeling of connection to their land, their problems and their life, there’s a series of everyday moments of every Cap-Vert community – whether it’s on one of the islands or in Lisbon, Rotterdam, Boston or Dacar – that are marked by the music made and performed by the Cape Verdeans. To the state of Cape Verde music is, besides a rich cultural heritage, an important economic activity that gathers a significant amount of income.
Most of the music played and listened to by the Cape Verdeans includes the traditional genres that eveolved in the archipelago throughout history and that strongly define Capeverdan culture.These musical genres have clear African and European origins. The most promoted musical genres, vigorously cultivated these days, include: morna, coladeira, batuque e funáná.
There are several activities involving music, whether previously organized or spontaneous. Among these, we highlight the Cape Verdeans nights, the balls, associated to religious or profane parties, work as a context of musical expression, the social or religious ritual and the moments of political expression.
The Cape Verdean nights are not an exclusive of any of the islands in the archipelago or any of the Cape Verdean communities around the world but theyfind a particularly adequate scenary in the cosmopolitan and bohemian environment of the city of Mindelo and in the touristic environment of the island of Sal. As for the island of Santiago, although in the city of Praia it is possible to watch Cape Verdean nights every week, whether in hotels and restaurants or private houses – there are other forms of conviviality and musical pratice in rural places. Among these we can highlight the religious parties with their outdoor popular balls or the weekend balls organized in private places with public access. In this context, funáná, zouk and other dance oriented nusical genres are prevalent, either through recordings or played by groups that prefer amplified electronic instruments (track 7 e 10). Batuque is the preferred genre of family parties, wedding and christenings.
Whether it is carried out by informal groups, made up of the participants in the party, or by formally structured groups hired for that purpose, they are performed outdoors, in the inner courtyard of the houses known as terreiro. The formally organized batuque groups (tracks 11 e 14) are also present performing in special social performances such as the reception of important personality or inaugurations.
Another important context of musical pratice across the country are the festivals. Taking place outside, preferably on the beach, where a stage is set, festivals gather hundreds of people who listen to music, dance and socialize.
During one or more days, several Cape Verdean groups and singers will perform at these festivals. For its longevity, number of performing artists and international projection, we should lighlight the Festival da Baía das Gatas, in São Vicent, that takes place every August for the entire weekend. Besides local groups, the festival usually features performances by musicians who live abroad and even foreign groups.
We’d still like to highlight the musical repertoire associated with work and religious domestic rituals, the so called Ladaínhas. In the context of work, vocal music once took place in the communal tasks of the cereal tasks, particularly corn, such as weeding or harvesting. These repertoires are virtually gone. The wharf – the place where the mill is located to crush sugar cane from which cane spirit is distilled – was also a privileged context for singing. However, the type of repertoire designated as cantigas de cola boi is disappearing quickly due to the mechanization of almost all the warehouses on the main islands that have a tradition in this industry: Santiago, São Nicolau, Fogo and mainly Santo Antão. This CD registers a cola boi song, from Santo Antão.