I owe it to a fortunate coincidence and a trip to India that Konkani music, this special brand of Indian folk and light music, caught my attention. After visiting Rajasthan I had a week of rest and recreation in Goa, where at the bar in my hotel suddenly there’s this music I have never heard before in my life, yet at the same time it sounds strangely familiar. I’m captured by those songs that remind me of Italian or French pop from the 1950s or 1960s as well as sounding as if the guys from the Buena Vista Social Club had taken a trip to the Balkans. That music makes me wonder, at the same time evoking associations like Mariachi music, Italian folksongs, sounds from the South Seas, Eastern European folklore or Cuban Son.
After lots of conversations during my further journeys to the historic sites where Konkani music originated and with my research being far from completed, this CD is meant to offer a first glimpse of this “Goan Masala Mix” that began to mesmerize me in 2001. Featured are mainly compositions by Chris Perry, Alfred Rose, Frank Fernand and Manuel Alphonso – musicians who played an important role in creating some of those Bollywood songs loved all over the world.
As Naresh Fernandes puts it in “Bombay, Meri Jaan”: “The Sound of India was created by Goan musicians, men whose names flickered by in small type under the designation ‘arranger’. It’s clear, the Hindi film classics that resound across the subcontinent and in Indian homes around the world wouldn’t have been made without Goans.” By merging their varied musical influences and experience with the roots of Goan folk music tradition these people have created Konkani-Songs – a completely unique sound. –Sigrid Pfeffer