December 27th - Playlist Spotlight
Bridget B. here, I really enjoy, listening to and playing for you, international music, which I strive to convey in the first hour of An Evening of Afrotainment. My professional work as an event producer has taken me to many countries and I always take pause to inhale the surrounding culture, mostly through various forms of visual and musical, artistic expressions. The world is large, but it still finds ways to connect us and I believe the connecting point is through music.
I played a piece by Lura, pronounced Loo-Rah, called Bida Mariadu, off the Putumayo Presents: Women of the World: Acoustic CD. This compilation is "...an exploration of contemporary acoustic music by some of the world's leading female artists." http://www.putumayo.com/en/catalog_item.php?album_id=231 I always preview the songs that I play and this one was just so touching that I couldn't pass it by and then I learned more about the artist...read on...
Born and raised in Portugal, Lura's soulfulness comes from here Cape Verdean heritage, the homeland of her parents. Cape Verde is a former "...Portuguese Territory, a string of ten islands, ten volcanic pebbles scattered in the ocean off Senegal." Invented by European colonists, tilled by transported Africans and seared by drought, Cape Verde has managed to heal the wounds inflicted by a history of famine and [has] become a hospitable, peaceful, proud country. Cape Verde split away from Portugal in 1975, the year she [Lura] was born in Lisbon. Portugal's capital is home to most of the Cape Verdean diaspora, although large communities are also to be found in Senegal, the north-east United States, Holland, France and Italy. Two-thirds of Cape Verdeans live outside their country and the same is true of their artists. In Lisbon, the Cape Verdean population is mainly concentrated in the suburb of Benfica, in a makeshift district of narrow streets and jerry-built houses. However, the Portuguese-African "centre" of Lisbon is Rua Poço de Negros (Well of the Blacks Street), a long thoroughfare that runs from the historical quarter of Bairro Alto to the Parliament district, and holds many African restaurants, shops and nightclubs." read more
Bida Mariadu, the song I played on December 27th, means Bad Life and in her vocal expression Lura "...relates a conversation between a mother and her son, who bemoans the struggles of life:
"Mother, I've gone to see life / This sad, bad life.
" But his mother finds hope even in adversity, and encourages him to be brave:
"My son, tighten your belt / Don't lose heart / Life never kisses your hand / You must have willpower."
As the song closes, Lura offers a final reminder that "mo quem ki ta spera sempri t'alcanca," or "he who hopes will always be rewarded."
Lyrical information taken from an article by Claire Blaustein as written for the NPR Song of the Day series found here: www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php