Deluxe digipack edition with biligual booklet (written in Portuguese and English), featuring 130 coloured pages.
The Portuguese started navigating the Eastern island of Little Sunda after conquering Malacca in 1511. The catholic missionaries, a constant in the apparatus of the Lusophone commercial empire, established a mission on the island of Solor, from where the priests were sent to Lifau, in Timor, in order to convert the natives to Catholicism. In 1769 Dili was established as a Portuguese garrison, an action that probably contributed to alienate the reluctant Timorese from submitting to Portuguese military control. But only in the middle of the 20th century, during Salazar’s autocratic presidency, were the civic and religious infrastructures shaken and Portuguese Timor became a corporative state with centralized authority in Dili.In August 1975 the Portuguese left East Timor during the civil unrest period. Three months later, on December 7 1975, the Indonesian military launched a large-scale invasion and occupied the island of East Timor until their recent libertation. Maybe it was the messenger ring of the korneta (buffalo’s horn) that firstly attracted the Portuguese explorers to Timor in the 16th century, and not the great sandalwood trade, as told by History books. If that was the case, «Tata – Olhando o Horizonte» is a journey through time and sound, starting with the eternal call of the korneta (buffalo’s horn) by João Betro and ending with the ethereal beauty of the tebe dance (see track 19) from the village of Olpana, near Mount Ramelau.
Among the musical examples it is possible to identify how tension increased in Timorese life and music during the second half of this century. They show us the simultaneous tension and lyricism of the performances by famous violinist Abril Metan who survived the atrocities of Second World War, when Australian and Japanese forces took advantage of Timor’s political neutrality, then a Portuguese territory, to design their war games there. Metan reached his artistic maturity during the more progressive age of that colony when civilian administrators – mostly Timorese – replaced Portuguese military commanders and Salazar’s fiscal plans started to bear fruits through the building of schools and roads.
As a witness of the 70s, we include «Imi Atu Ba Ne Be» (Onde é que vais?), from Fretilin, when nationalism reached its highest point. It was then that ancient Timorese melodies and the music associated with the ritual acquired new meanings through word, thus seeking to reinforce pride in indigenous culture and the change of political orientation of an emerging nation.
We try not to cry to the sad melody «Halibur Maluk», recorded in the 80s, maybe the most brutal decade for the Timorese, which contrasts sharply with the strength, hope and metaphorical complexity that popular contemporary Timorese singer, Armando Araújo, is able to project in the 90s, despite the severe restrictions of censorship. He represents the time when Xanana Gusmão reorganized the resistance into an imposing and effective guerrilla force, during which journalists – who in 1975 were barred from entering Timor – managed to clandestinely «capture» the massacre at Santa Cruz cemitery on video. The musicians of this decade are clearly influenced by the international pop style and play with a series of electronic made available by the technological revolution in the 60s.