Music was always very important for the community. Our people are united In peace and social grace Cape Verde, small and cherished, Cradle of love and nostalgia Paradise of the Atlantic. At a crossro between three continents, the city of Mindelo became a crucial coaling station for Britain inand by was amongst the largest in the world — with thousands of vessels stopping for coal, communications and provisions.
After the abolition of slavery under the Portuguese empire, recurring droughts and desertification in Cape Verde resulted in periods of famine and epidemics. I did it a few times, it was incredibly sad, because we were taking all those people to that boat. We would go to school and at 6pm we would pick up our instruments and play by the door of our house. They understand the music.
It was seen to symbolise the struggles endured during colonisation, epitomising the story of the nation and questioning the legacy of people being forced to leave for work, many never to return. With the onset of the great depression in the s these s dramatically decreased, but the port remained busy over the following decades. Tavares spent a decade in exile in New Bedford, where he started his own newspaper and became a fierce advocate for Cape Verdean independence.
UN chief sends message to Haitians reeling from earthquake, rains. If everyone had a good life, anywhere in the world, they would never immigrate. In the s, Portuguese settlers occupied the islands, turning them into a trading post where enslaved people would be taken from West Africa and trafficked to Europe and the Americas. Mayra Andrade is amongst a new generation of artists living abroad whose music bridges contemporary sounds with various ancestral rhythms of Cape Verde.
Dating imaginary country is men reality for many young Cape Verdeans who never meet their homeland. Oh sea, stay calm And let me go to see my country again And kiss my mother. When I listened to it on the Portuguese radio — I would be very proud of what we have. He won praise for his ability to express the dilemma at the centre of Cape Verdean life, the Atlantic of leaving and the desire to do so in search of better conditions.
Going for a dive, having a torresmo cracklingdrinking a coffee straight from the fire … this is morna too. We have decades of migration, and we all have families that are verdean, separated, torn apart — however you look at it. We are a discontinued country. She became a familiar face throughout the island, known for her soulful voice. Today, he is one of the biggest ambassadors of Cape Verdean music abroad.
Only around the s, with the arrival of broadcast radio, does this begin to change. The ocean fueled the dreams of those who longed for a better life — but it was also the reason for pain, sodade and dreaded departure.
Cape Verde is a broad-leaved tree Planted in the middle of the Atlantic Its branches have spread out Throughout the world. Some people would be made into foremen. Listen to this story:. She ed the thousands of Cape Verdeans leaving the country to work as labourers in other Portuguese colonies — something promoted by the colonial authorities as a way of alleviating demographic pressure on the islands and filling labour gaps abroad.
That is how we fed our spirit, so morna helped a lot of people.
The music says everything. The ten-island archipelago is one of the few nations in the world to be born out of the transatlantic slave trade. The children and grandchildren of Cape Verdeans who settled in the diaspora rarely return. In the decolonisation movement allowed composers to write without fear of censorship. We would go over to the ports to earn money to survive.
To be african in cape verde is a taboo
While morna covers a variety of themes, it is distinct for the way in which it depicts the experience of migration, speaking of love, the yearning for the homeland and for those who leave. Oh sea, the years have passed Time has flown The sun has shone The moon has risen And I am still far away In a distant land, oh sea. At 19, he left for Lisbon — ing the notorious morna singer, Bana.
It remains part of the collective day-to-day life of many Cape Verdeans, often also being played at baptisms, weddings and funerals throughout the islands and abroad. The two later become friends. It was very important, and at 18 I did the first part of her concert. It was against this backdrop of emigration and return that morna was born.
The land we came from: The Southern Appalachian Mountains. Later, my father had a guitar made for me.
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It helped those who played and helped those who listened. Oh soul, alive, who will take you? Mayra Andrade went on to have her own career, playing in venues throughout the world, such as Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall and more recently the Olympia in Paris. Tavares lived through the aftermath of the abolition of slavery inas well as waves of hunger that led hundreds of Cape Verdeans to leave for the United States. But I respect the land that has welcomed me And I learn to live in its society.
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Mayra believes that music plays a central role in construing a sense of belonging for those abroad, and in inviting young Cape Verdeans to celebrate their roots. But she remained unchanged: an inimitable presence on stage, carrying the stories of the archipelago and the words of its poets throughout the world. Everybody would pass by and they would be entertained, this was our life. Everyone in my family played. It was our tradition, people would get together and everyone would play, often improvising songs too. Armando was one of the first Cape Verdean musicians to arrive in Lisbon, seven years before Cape Verdean independence.
The story of morna: cape verde’s music of displacement and return
When Tito arrived in Lisbon in there was already a growing community of Cape Verdeans who left following the decolonisation movement of the late s. We would try to learn their music, so that we could play it when they arrived. Abroad, the musical practice became a part of daily life, passed on between generations. Yet, the experience of migration remains a central part of the lives of those who stay, with many Cape Verdeans living with the help of foreign remittances.
It wasand she had been given a contract to work picking coffee, coconut and cocoa at a plantation. My mother, my siblings … and we would make sure to teach anyone who would want to learn. She would sing of love, longing and often about her little island of Sao Vicente. Recently she found out he had passed. By Beatriz Ramalho da Silva. What we have is a classic, I treat morna like the Americans treat the blues. The song, Sodade, was written down with some modifications by a local salesman, Armando Zeferino Soares.
I am a creole, an emigrated creole of second generation Who does not want to lose verdean identity. It was a way for people to meet, to have a nice cachupa traditional stewa nice fish broth, to play a good guitar, and have a nice grogue sugar cane brandy.
Tito learned his first guitar chords with his sister Veronica, at the age of seven. When we played in Japan, I remember seeing people crying in the audience. Most Read. Her warm vocals sometimes concealed the gravity men the stories she narrated, speaking of Atlantic and resilience. Characterised by three dimensions of melody, poetry and dance, morna dating often sung in Kriolu, Portuguese-based Creole, though it can be instrumental, too.
The desire to return remains a feeling that unites many Cape Verdeans. It is the idea that we leave, to be able to return again. In his hometown of Mindelo, the composer would often be found playing by the door of his house, which was regularly full, brimming with music. He serenaded her until she boarded the ship. His wife and children moved to Lisbon and the composer spent his time teaching and writing.
Most people had no idea what the lyrics meant, but somehow the feeling was there. Moon, vagabond of space Moon, my companion in loneliness Who knows my whole life My misfortune Tell the one I love How I suffer without him. Everyone would come around to our house to learn how to play music, it was like a school, and nobody had to pay.
More from Features. He was later credited with revolutionising the melody and harmonic structure of the musical practice. She continues to treasure the song Sodade, despite preferring the original version serenaded to her. My father and my mother Kept their traditions Making me feel Sodade in a morna Trying the taste of a Cachupa Getting to know our Morabeza.