Watch our short film on the cosmic sound of Cabo Verde

Share

Share

How a censored music became the heartbeat of resistance and independence.

In the spring of 1968, a cargo vessel set sail from Baltimore bound for Rio De Janeiro with a shipment of musical instruments from synth and keyboard manufacturers like Moog, Farfisa, Hammond and Korg. Its final destination was the EMSE Exhibition – the first major expo of electronic instruments in South America. The shipment never arrived.

Instead, as the story goes, the ship washed ashore on the Sao Nicolau island of Cabo Verde, spilling its precious cargo onto the beach. Under the instruction of anti-colonial leader Amílcar Cabral, the synths found their way to churches and schools, where they were hidden from the eyes and ears of the Portuguese regime.

In these spaces, a style of music emerged that combined Cabo Verde’s tradition Mornas, Coladeras and highly danceable Funaná rhythms with a cosmic, joyous and defiant electricity. This new sound was censored by the regime and, as a result, came to define Cabo Verde’s fight for independence, which was ultimately achieved peacefully in 1975.

Half myth, half reality, the music and its story is captured in Analog Africa’s 2016 compilation Space Echo – The Mystery Behind the Cosmic Sound of Cabo Verde Finally Revealed, which featured 15 tracks, 8 of which were recorded with the backing of the band Voz de Cabo Verde, lead by Paulino Vieira.

Film-maker Joe Fletcher picks up the journey for this new hybrid documentary – exploring both the mythical and the political resonance of Funaná. As he describes:

“At its heart it is a story of the raw, transformative power of music, of different worlds colliding against the brutal backdrop of war. By banning and torturing those caught playing Funaná, the Portuguese clearly recognised the power the music possessed, and the emotions it could rouse in Cabo Verdians. But they underestimated the sheer determination and will of the people. They had no way of predicting the chance shipwreck and the cargo it carried.”


Credits:

Directed by Joe Fletcher
Produced by Joe Fletcher, Anoushka Seigler and Anton Spice
Animation by Marc Torrent
Colour by Lita Bosch
Translation by Rita So, Bia Macedo

Featuring the voices of Pedrinho and Telo Peres

Actors:

Nilza Aline Antunes da Silva Lima Barros
Hermano Jorge Da Cruz Gomes
Fatumata Djaquite
Diego Renato Gomes Neves
Agnelo Alberto Koenig Pinto de Sousa Mendes

Music by Antonio Sanches, Joao Cirilo and Pedrinho

Special thanks to Samy Ben Redjeb at Analog Africa and Ian Vigstedt at Moog

Latest Articles

Privacy Preference Center

Required Cookies & Technologies

Some of the technologies we use are necessary for critical functions like security and site integrity, account authentication, security and privacy preferences, internal site usage and maintenance data, and to make the site work correctly for browsing and transactions.

gdpr, woocommerce_cart_hash, woocommerce_items_in_cart, _wp_wocommerce_session, sucuri_cloudproxy_uuid_*

Site Customisation

Cookies and similar technologies are used to improve your experience, to do things like:

- remember your login, general, and regional preferences
- personalize content, search, recommendations, and offers

Without these technologies, things like personalised recommendations, your account preferences, or localisation may not work correctly.

wp-settings-*

Personalised Advertising

These technologies are used for things like:

- personalised ads
- to limit how many times you see an ad
- to understand usage via Google Analytics
- to understand how you got to our web properties
- to ensure that we understand the audience and can provide relevant ads

We do this with social media, marketing, and analytics partners (who may have their own information they’ve collected). Saying no will not stop you from seeing our ads, but it may make them less relevant or more repetitive.

_ga, _gid, gat,_gads,_fbp