|About this Recording
76019-2 - MOZAMBIQUE - Various: Afro-Pop
A portion of the proceeds of Mozambique Relief will go to Oxfam for aid, reconstruction and development projects in Mozambique.
Recorded in Maputo, Mozambique in April 2000, this collection of southern African music brings together some of Mozambique's best musicians for a benefit record in aid of rebuilding and helping victims of the country's flooding disaster.
The devastating floods and cyclones that hit Mozambique between February and early April were the worst in 40 years. It affected 4.5 million people (27% of the total population) and a million people lost everything. About this time, Finnish musician Eero Koivistoinen was suppose to travel to a village in the Zavala district and make a field recording with a timbila ensemble for Naxos World. But with the disaster making the project impossible at the time, he and Naxos World executive Andrew Sun drew up a new plan.
Koivistoinen had worked with Ghorwane, the most famous band to come out of Mozambique (they had recorded an album for Peter Gabriel's Real World label) and their leader Joao Carlos Schwalbach rounded up other artists in the local music community in Maputo, Mozambique. The result is an inspired and solid set of Afro-pop music made by artists from the community, but more significantly a portion of the proceeds from this recording will come back to help the country.
As Koivistonen explains, "Every musician involved understood the importance of the matter. There was a possibility of helping to rebuild the country, because the profits from the record would come back to Mozambique through Oxfam. In this respect, the project is unique: the Mozambicans can help themselves."
Of the participating acts, Ghorwane is indeed the best known and most respected band in Mozambique. They contribute three tracks to the CD, 'Mayvavo' (two versions) and 'Wavitika.' José Mucavele is an outstanding composer who was previously with Grupo Radio Mocambique. Stewart Sukuma (originally Louis Pereira) is Mozambique's most popular male vocalist, who is very active in social activities too. His debut album Afrikiti on in 1997 received global critical attention and a portion of the proceeds from that CD goes to an environmental organisation and he himself is actively involved in AIDS Relief programmes. Gito Baloi was born in Mozambique but now lives in Johannesburg. His song 'Danca Marrabenta' is based on a popular urban dance rhythm in Mozambique. The Marrabenta rhythm is a similar to Latin American salsa and merengue. Projecto Africa is a new band whose members are very won the first price in a competition for young artists. This is their recording debut. The lyrics for 'Matxutxubanga' are based on a children's game common in Mozambique. Lastly, Zebra formed specifically for the track 'Tiyisselane.' The song was composed by Eero Koivistoinen when news of the catastrophe was first brought to the world's attention on TV. 'Tiyisselane' means "Be strong."
The intensive recording session was made in three days in the living room of local residents, Elia, Myriam and Iwan Irawan. The South African Broadcasting Corporation loaned the use of a mobile studio van, which engineers Eugene Pretorius and Kevin Starbuck drove from Johannesburg to Maputo. Keyboard player Seppo Kantonen joined Koivistoinen journeying from Finland to Maputo, and supplied his talents on many of the tracks. Final touches and mixing was done in South Africa by Peter Pearlson and in Finland.
A portion of the proceeds of Mozambique Relief will go to Oxfam for aid, reconstruction and development projects in Mozambique. This project is sponsored in part by the Optiroc Group (Finland) and the Mozambican-Finnish Development Co-operation Programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.
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