What began during a family reunion in 2003 has turned into a way of life for Sonia Shirsat, a Goa-based Fado singer. Shirsat, who has won international fame for her music, will perform on the first day of the two-day music festival, ‘Living Traditions 2012: Goa Gala’ at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) on March 21.
“I am looking forward to performing traditional urban-folk numbers, usually sung in informal set-ups, to the 1,000 people in the auditorium,” said Shirsat, who has trained under renowned Fado musicians in Lisbon.
Often compared to the American blues and Indian ghazals, Fado is a music genre that traces its roots to the early 19th century Portugal, and continues to be patronised by Goans at Fado soirees. “Emotions expressed in the form of melody are more important than the language of the lyrics,” said Carlos Meneses, who will accompany Shirsat on the classical guitar.
Also performing at the festival is the four-member musical family from the former Portugese colony – the Cottas. They will recreate the street charm of Goa with their rendition of popular Portuguese and Konkani folk numbers. “Goan folk art reflects the intercontinental cultural interactions that began during the Portuguese discoveries in the 17th century,” said Franz Schubert Cotta, who is among few Indian artistes who can play the traditional Portuguese guitar. He will perform with his parents, Miguel and Lisette Cotta and sister, Chantale Marie Cotta on the second day.
Dr Suvarnalata Rao, programming head (Indian music) section, NCPA, said, “The music here in Goa not born out of the existing social order; instead, it is constantly evolving.”