There seems to be a theme going on… When you mix awesome locations, with phenomenal musicians everyone’s pretty happy! For those of you who are new around here we’ll give you a brief introduction.
Gimme the Beat is a 6-part documentary series that follows the evolution of rhythm around the world. Like food, rhythm is fundamental to every culture, from performance to language and everyday actions like walking and breathing. By speaking to experts in the performance of rhythm (percussionists, drummers, etc), and experts in the origins of rhythm (zoologists, linguists, ethnomusicologists, etc), we hope to trace where certain rhythms began, how they changed, and how central they remain to cultural life everywhere.
This week, our crew is in Portugal interviewing skillful and passionate percussionists. Our first location was the city of seven hills. Lisbon, Portugal is perched atop seven rolling hills, well actually eight, but who’s counting. The city is the capital of, and the largest city in Portugal. It is home to the largest container port in Eastern Europe. Large cities, and Lisbon is no exception, are known for their mix of cultures, and customs. This adds a special element to the rhythms and music of the region.
Our location was the rural village of Monsanto. Monsanto is the most Portuguese village in all of Portugal – it’s a thing, we promise. The village recently merged with another civil parish, Idanha-a-Nova. Monsanto e Idanha-a-Velha. The village is rich with traditions that have been passed down for generations. We were thrilled to be welcomed by a well-known group of Adufeiras. The group has been keeping the women-only tradition alive for many years!
We’re headed for home, and we’ll be sharing on our Portuguese interviews next Thursday!