He sings the sounds of the earth, though it was the Beatles who woke everyone up to the range of melodies that are to be found in the musical scale. Filipe Mukenga’s career has been acknowledged both at home and abroad and is part of the generation that saw an explosion of music in Angola during the 60’s and 70’s.
She lives now in France, where she founded the association for Angolan artists resident there. Her companion is a Croatian musician who also “does a touch of painting.” Whenever there’s a chance, she’s up on stage. And there’s no better end than her own words: “every time I sing, I live the moment with the same amazement as the butterfly on the only day of its life, perched on the coloured petal of a flower.”
Musseque residents would likely have said, “my suffering, yes, but ours as well.”
Music, in late colonial Angola took private grief and by performing it publicly made it collective. The sound, and perhaps even the process, was attractive to whites as well and in an ironic twist on the lusotropical narrative, by the early 1970s, whites made their way to the musseques in sizeable numbers to hear Ngola Ritmos and other popular bands play.
Tchiloli is a story of blood and justice that the local people have made their own. They have turned it into a way to raise their voices against opression but also to retie their links with their African ancestors. Behind the colourful spectacle there is a hidden invocation to their ancestors, in references to a cult that was forbidden under colonial rule. Defeat comes, but there emerges an identity in territory that the first players could take for their own as a means of survival.
Real recognition for her talent came in 1966, when she wins the performance award at the Luanda song contest, with the famous song “Maria Provocação” by Ana Maria de Mascarenhas and Adelino Tavares da Silva. She still has vivid memories: “That night, in September 1966, in the Aviz cinema, there was only typically Angolan music to be heard. It was an overwhelming success and the sadness was also overwhelming when they announced that “Maria Provocação” could not be entered, because the organisers wouldn’t authorise the typical Angolan instruments of Ngola Ritmos to be part of the orchestra.
Her compositions were first known only in a small inner circle, but with the Luanda Song Festival, her work became known to a wider public. In the 60s she had formed a duo with the Portuguese journalist Adelino Tavares da Silva, who had just arrived in Angola. They composed four or five songs together and then registered in the Portuguese Writers’ Association, with Adelino as songwriter and Ana Maria as composer. It can be said that the duo revolutionised the Song Festival, when Maria Provocação was performed by Sara Chaves and Mulata é a Noite by Concha de Mascarenhas. They were both accompanied by Ngola Ritmos, the Angolan rhythm group.
Congo sends their hottest stars, but Mali is the African country with more representatives in FMM Sines 2010: Tinariwen, Cheick Tidiane Seck feat. Mamani Keita and Founé Diarra Trio (along with Breton Jacky Molard Quartet).
At the horizon of imagined cities as “transcultural megacities”, music tends to gain agency in the promotion of senses of place and belonging in, and to the city. We attempt to show the ways in which the processes and values associated with the internationalization of culture – which, more generally, are taking place within the context of the “new political economy and its culture”, may be explored under the light of some musical manifestations taking place in the city of Lisbon.
Kepha Oiro is a contemporary dancer and choreographer from Nairobi – Kenya. He's the artistic director of a new contemporary performing group: Tuchangamke, which conducts research into movement fusion in ethnic African communities, based at the Kenya National Theatre, Nairobi, and is the artistic director of the Dance Marathon initiative. This encounter with Nadine Siegert took place in Cologne (Germany) during an artist residency until March 2010.
Kuduro sprang up Luanda's musseques (shanty towns) and spread rapidly through the Kandongueiros (street vendors or hawkers). New music appears on a daily basis, feeding Luanda's vocabulary with new expressions, new beats and new moves. This frenetic creation of urban languages plays an important role in today's Luanda, especially among the younger city dwellers.
On the one hand I try to understand how African dance and as African considered corporalities are used as an aesthetic medium in common European cultural practices. How does European discourse create which images of African dance and performances? On the other hand and crucially, I focus on the African side of the coin: how do African dancers and choreographers (re)act and which are their individual choices in the scope of various challenges and do European discourse have any significance on African dancers’ and choreographers’ decisions?