About the album ‘A Luz’
A LUZ is the latest album of Gimo Mendes and his first one as a solist. It is the result of many years of training and experience in Denmark, as well as a journey into a long career as a musician and composer.
With A LUZ (which means the light), Gimo Mendes wants to express clearly - as the title indicates it - what his message is. He wants to show that his musical style has roots in his background as an islander singing about the life of the people of Mozambique.
In this album, he appears as a more mature musician, with clearer ideas and a convincing choice of rythms. He shows himself as being an African musician conveying the musical treasure of Ilha de Mozmbique and, at the same time, inspired by the progressing globalisation of the world. When you listen to the eight pieces of the album Al LUZ, you can hear Gimo Mendes singing both in his mother tongue and in Potuguese. His soft voice is in perfect harmony with the traditional instruments from Ilha de Mozambique and the modern ones such as violin, clarinet, piano, double bass and udo. All together, those instruments create sounds and shape rythms which carry on the style of MAMA MOZAMBICI an album which was produced in Canada and distributed in England in 1989, and which opened the doors of the world to the musician native of Ilha de Mozambique.
In A LUZ, Gimo Mendes is accompanied by eminent musicians. The album is full of musical variations and interpretations of rythms which range from TUFU, of Ilha de Mazambique, with its percussion instruments revealing a characteristic Arabic influence (listen to OKILALEYA), to Portuguese fado paired with the music of the group Cabo Verdo Morna (listen to 500 ANOS), to jazz (listen to WAHALA) and to Angolian Kizomba (listen to MÀGOAS). The album conceals an immense treasure of musical styles which have always been in Mendes’s mind and which is a way to be close to listeners all over the world.
A LUZ marks a new technique in composing Mozambic music. With new chords and harmonies, but without loosing the style which characterizes Gimo Mendes as the initiator of the group Eyuphuro, AL LUZ is an album which only Gimo Mendes could produce whithout doubt an album which brings forth his talent.
About the songs on ‘A Luz’
This piece is an homage to Eduardo Mondlane, Amilcar Cabral, Agostino Neto and to all the black, the white, the people of mixed blood who devoted their lives to fight for the people’s freedom and to end the oppression under which the Africans had lived during the 500 years of Portuguese colonial regime. It is a story about a people who, eventually, won freedom after years of slavery and humiliation.
The song is nominated to the prize for ‘Danish World Track 2007’
This is a description of Ilha de Mozambique with its hundreds year old heritage of different cultural influences still retained in the architecture of the buildings, the expression on the faces of the people, their customs, religion, dances and culinary tradition. When wandering through the districts of Osteu, Olithini, Santo Antonio, Nanlavia, Passo Mar, Nampahia, Makarripi, Ponta, Quirahi and Sarrerro, you will see people dancing the traditional Shakasha, Macebwa, Etolokhi, Nigungo, N´tsupe, Etufu, Namahan´dja, Moliti, Morro, Masheha et Ekumbidzi. You will notice the beauty of the women whose faces are painted in a traditional fashion the mussiromask -, and also the cheeky impudence of the young men. Kan’lavia
Amor na praia
A young man invites a girl for a walk on the beach to forget everyday sorrow and world conflicts. It is a bright moonlight evening. The two youngsters stand still, arm in arm, listening to the sound of the waves. They see the reflection of the moon in each other’s eyes. Love and peace.
On his way to school, a boy meets the girl he loves and declares his love to her. Instead of answering him, she spreads the news in the town, as ironically as if it was about a new dress she has just put on. She also tells her girlfriends that the boy is poor. Tired of that situation, he asks the girl to explain herself to him and not laugh at his feeling, just because he is poor and in love.
This is about good advise from a father to his son in order to prepare him for the future : humility and good manners are the qualities necessary to live in a society. If you know how to adress people with good manners and ask for help, they will help you. It makes life easier and makes you a respected man. Never beleive that you know everything and remember to ask people for help. When I am gone, please remember these words.
A woman visits a man in his dream. Startled, he wakes up to see her, but she is gone. He would like to fall asleep again and carry on dreaming, but sleep did not come again. For the rest of his life, he is longing for the woman who visited him in his dream.
It is the story of a couple for whom getting children is a problem because they are poor. They would like a better life for their family. Years go by and things don’t change. The woman, tired of waiting and feeling that she is getting older without having children, decides to leave her husbnad and start a new home and have a family. Alone and sad over the lost of his wife, the man asks her parents to persuade her to come back. For, without her, his life has no meaning.
It is the expression of a deep sorrow of someone who believed in perfect love which turned out to be pure illusion. Many years after things had been just wonderful, he continues to live on memories and longing for perfect love, and he shed tears over the sorrow that illusion has left.
Listen to Gimo’s music at Myspace.com/GimoMendes