2009-10-23 05:09:04 UTC
By CLARA A RODRIGUES
Friday, 23 October 2009 00:12
The impeccable smooth flow of words matched with the regal music from the saxophone
and trumpet, is a striking feature of the popular 'cantarams'. Sung at 'tiatrs' but
not necessarily so, as producers also release them in the form of individual albums,
these songs are either hilarious or laden with messages that have a social tint and
can be sung as a solo, duet or trio.
Goa has many successful 'cantar' singers like M Boyer, Alfred Rose, Anthony Mendes,
Joe Rose whose songs are still sung, jazzed up, and get the listeners into a mood
that no other kind of music can whip up.
"In 'tiatr', politicians usually get a beating in a 'cantar' says 'tiatr' director,"
Sandeep Ambey. The singer is the one who usually pens his own songs down are are
generally very topical. It won't be a surprise if you have a 'cantar' on the recent
Canacona floods or something like a broken bridge forming the lyrics of the next one
you hear. Just in case you do not catch up with the daily news or you have just
woken from a slumber or need to get a backroom whisper opinion on the issue, the
cantar is there to help you.
Menin Mario, a 'cantarist', says that anything can be a source of inspiration. A
song can talk about a subject like a tree, fields, on even the attributes of a
mother. The difficulty is not in writing a song but rather framing it in the mind.
He agrees that a song must have a moral message. He talks of his latest song. "I am
writing a song on 'eshtagott', (friendship), and the need to have faith only in God.
Saying one's lines in a drama can be a daunting task, let alone singing a song
without props. Therefore, these singers write their own songs, so the question of
forgetting is minimal. Says Mario, "Even if I forget a line, I know how to balance
it, since I have written it and have the main crux of the song in my mind."
Conny M has just released his latest CD of 'cantarams'. "We sing of issues that give
food for thought and although, a 'cantaram' can be accompanied by a keyboard it
sounds better if it's sung along with brass instruments," says Mario. Roseferns a
director, producer and songwriter says that social issues are highlights at
'cantarams' in a 'tiatr'; social issues like the land sharks, migrants, etc. Even
the serial killer case was turned into a full-length 'tiatr'. Prince Jacob remembers
a particular 'cantar' he composed when he was seriously ill and the people thought
he was no more, "I then wrote a song on 'Hanv melo thena'. It spoke of how the
tiatrist went to heaven and the tiatrists who were already in heaven sent him back
saying Goa needed him more.
'Cantarams' are a healthy sign of a grass-root democracy, where you can give
important messages to politicians (they actually come for the 'tiatr' and also
listen to the songs). But these messages go unheeded as most politicians are not
like the kings of the past who in disguise got updated of their people's feelings.
Although it is creativity that drives 'cantar' writers, some of the songs are
sometimes mixes from an English or a Hindi song, questioning the originality behind
the song. One of the reasons for this is that most cantar writers do not know how to
read or write music. Says Prince Jacob it is a plus point if you know how to read
and write music. I request the younger lot to please learn to read and write solphe".
A writer says, "Songs currently popular in a particular language are a sure way of
ensuring the success of a cantar." Emphasising the need to read and write music, he
also adds, "The level of music scores in another languages has reached quite high
and as such there is no harm in learning from them."