Deluxe digipack edition with trilingual booklet (written in Portuguese, English and Creole), featuring 86 coloured pages.
“Cantigas do Ceilão” represents an example of musical resistance to the strong voice of the Portuguese culture settled in Africa and Asia in the 16th and 17th centuries. It revisits the texts of Creole Luso-Asian folklore collected on the pages of “Cancioneiro Musical Crioulo”, written by Marques Pereira and published in the beginning of the 20th century (1901), through sung poems.
In “Cantigas do Ceilão” you will be able to listen to many of the texts collected by Sebastião Salgado, Tavares de Mello and other linguists who were in Ceylon in the past century. Some pieces of the romances go back to the travelling time and to a whole folklore that has spread through the coastal communities of India, reaching East.
Overseas Portuguese communities served as a center of linguistic contact and folklore syincretism, of which Portuguese Creole of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) is one of the most persistent examples for historical, religious and cultural reasons. Cafrinha and the whip are proof of the African influence on this syncopated and melodic music, whose verses celebrate the romance of the “negrinha” [young black woman] using erotic and satyrical humour. The verses of «xicote», published by Tavares de Mello in O Oriente Portuguez de Goa in 1915, introduce us to a musical genre featuring a syncopated rhythm and satyrical verses. [“cum lingo de fogo / palavre brazando / quimá sua bôco / assi papiando” (with a fire tongue/ burning words/ burn your mouth/ speaking like that)] (Tavares de Mello 1915).
Fernando explains that “[The] words ‘Cafferinha’ (the name indicating its origin, cafre) and Chikothi are frequently used as synonyms. But there is a marked difference between these two types of music. Chikothi is always slow and majestic, while Cafferinha is faster and turbulent and always in 6/8, with peculiar flips; the last note on the musical sheet is usually a quarter note”. (Fernando 1894:186) Tavares de Mello was also aware of the importance of music among Portuguese Burghers and noted the Afro-Portuguese expression of the songs: «some songs are said to be Portuguse but they rather sound like the ones made by black people in Africa, like cafrinha, chicote, batte batte, etc… they are extremely popular, particularly among Sinhalese and Burghers. [Batté batté] is one of their favourite songs and it’s used by people of every social class on this island: the lines are free and don’t always connect with each other”. (cit. In Pieris 1912:71) “Cantigas do Ceilão” feautures unreleased and unique songs, sung and played by the descendents of Ceylon’s Indo-Portuguese heritage and recorded among the communities of Portuguese Burghers in the 70s. “Cantigas” is a tribute to the popular poem by Jorge de Sena, “Cantiga do Ceilão”, written after a particular listen of “Cantigas do Ceilão”, which listeners will now witness in the Viagem dos Sons collection.