Coming to Mozambique I knew I would learn a lot. But what have I actually managed to pick up these past three months?
A vital part of African music is rhythm. In fact the popular and rhythmical music we listen to today has it’s roots in the rhythms of Africa. Knowing this I was of course eager to learn more about the roots of the music I have been playing, listening to and studying over the past few years. In Mozambican popular music these rhythms are even more present. And the mozambicans love their rhythmical music. I have also come to learn that the boys and girls I have been playing with have these rhythms imprinted in their bodies. It is amazing to see the way people move to music here, which can make a stiff, northern trønder feel kind of self conscious about her dancing.
I told you earlier about The Divas. The all girls band here at Music Crossroads Mozambique. This is where my challenges have really been taking place. Mostly when it comes to singing in new languages. We have had some Portuguese lessons, and I have slowly but surely started to speak some. Therefore singing in Portuguese has been challenging, but also good learning process. The real challenge has been singing in the traditional mozambican languages. Such as Shangana and Bitonga. New words and sounds that turn singing into a whole new experience.
It has also been a lot of fun experiencing new instruments. Such as the Mbira. I think this is my new favourite instrument. The sound is like no other, and when you listen to very talented Mbira players it almost sounds like a dream. The traditional drums are of course also extremely interesting to listen to. Hopefully I will get to learn some drumming and mbira-playing very soon.
Even though I have learned a lot of new things, I find that there are so many familiarities, and similarities to what I already know. For example the joy of playing music. This must be the same all over the world. The sense of unity and team work is also essential, and global. Working together to achieve a great product. As I said Portuguese is not (yet) my mother tongue, and therefore communicating can be a bit of a challenge. But when playing music you communicate in a different way. The universal language of music has become a cliché. Yet clichés become this because they are true. Music is a universal language. I have come to discover this through the MOVE exchange, and I am sure it will manifest even more as the time passes.