Where Berlin - - Contents -

The end of the Por­tuguese dic­ta­tor­ship is def­i­nitely a good XX rea­son to cel­e­brate at the Wasser­musik fes­ti­val.

“The mu­sic of the lu­so­phone world is a

mo­saic of styles.” Tra­di­tion, fate, and revo­lu­tion: Solveig Stein­hardt dives into the his­to­ries and melodies of the Por­tuguese-speak­ing world at the Wasser­musik fes­ti­val.

Lis­bon, 1974: a mil­i­tary coup and a pop­u­lar cam­paign of civil re­sis­tance over­throws the au­thor­i­tar­ian Es­tado Novo regime. The Por­tuguese dic­ta­tor­ship falls, and An­gola, Mozam­bique, Guinea-Bis­sau, Cape Verde, and São Tomé and Príncipe are lib­er­ated from colo­nial rule. Through­out the Car­na­tion Revo­lu­tion, as the event would come to be known, Rá­dio Clube Por­tuguês broad­cast the pro-re­volt songs of singers like Paulo de Car­valho and Zeca Al­fonso.

This month, the Haus der Kul­turen der Welt’s an­nual Wasser­musik fes­ti­val is tak­ing the 40th an­niver­sary of the end of the Por­tuguese dic­ta­tor­ship as an ex­cuse to take a deeper look at mu­sic from the Por­tuguese-speak­ing world. From Por­tu­gal’s melan­choly fado tra­di­tion and Brazil’s dances and ro­mances to Cape Verdean nos­tal­gic morna and Africa’s voices of revo­lu­tion and in­de­pen­dence, the mu­sic of the Por­tuguese-speak­ing, or lu­so­phone, world is a mo­saic of dif­fer­ent styles and gen­res, the re­sult of a mul­ti­fac­eted his­tory.

Tak­ing place on the rooftop of the oys­ter­shaped HKW build­ing, Wasser­musik will in­clude old leg­ends like Por­tuguese singer-song­writer Fausto Bordalo Dias (1 Aug), who has his mu­si­cal roots in colo­nial An­gola, con­tem­po­rary stars like Maria de Medeiros (5 Aug), as well as var­i­ous groups that pro­vided the sound­track for their coun­tries’ newly won in­de­pen­dence; the São Tomé and Príncipe Con­junto África Ne­gra (2 Aug), for ex­am­ple, pro­duced many po­lit­i­cally-charged songs in the 1980s, while the songs of An­golan singer Bonga (9 Aug) ac­com­pa­nied his coun­try’s re­cent his­tory dur­ing and af­ter his exile. A high­light of the fes­ti­val will be the Con­junto An­gola 70, whose “hyp­not­i­cally groov­ing songs of time­less beauty,” as they have been de­scribed, were writ­ten and recorded in the late 1970s against the back­drop of the coun­try’s civil war and fea­ture the now-rare dikanza per­cus­sion in­stru­ment (16 Aug). Check out the web­site (www.hkw.de) for a pro­gram, which also in­cludes nightly film screen­ings.

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