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Virgínia Rodrigues - Mama Kalunga – 2015

Mama Kalunga is the fifth album by Virgínia Rodrigues, a mythological and earthly narrative about the black presence in Brazil and in the World and which has won her the "Best MPB Singer" award at the 27th Brazilian Music Awards.
Tiganá Santana, producer of the album with Sebastian Notini, writes in the album's presentation text: "sujo de mud e espírito". It is the synthesis of the album, released seven years after the previous Recomeço (2009). In its dilated 56 minutes, from the first to the last cut, it is presented as a mythological and earthly narrative, philosophical and affective, of the black roads through the Earth and its trail of mud and spirit.

Its opening, a cappella, announces it. In "Ao senhor do fogo azul" (Gilson Nascimento), directed to Nkosi / Ogum (the warrior and forger entity to whom she dedicates the album) Virgínia evokes the "Essence of Everything" with "To or world to be / To be no world". A ritualistic tone that goes on in the second theme, "Mama Kalunga" (Tiganá Santana), this time a prayer to the "mother of water", to whom she introduces herself saying: "Eis-me aqui / Serei eu a voice that never be. " The loudness is chamber music, with atabaque, cellos and violão-tambor (instrument modified by Tiganá) that condenses this proposal of the disc, tuned on different levels with the guitars of Dorival Caymmi and João Gilberto.

After asking permission from the Lord of Fire and the Lady of the Water, Virgínia deepens her ritual (in the mud and in the spirit) away from ritualism, leaving the direct reference to the Orixas and falling into the reading of the cosmos proposed by Paulinho da Viola in "Nos horizons do mundo", which links the movements of the universe to the solitary thinking of each person "to overcome loneliness". Once again, the guitar and the cello (with an insert of "Choro negro", also by Paulinho) treat the blackness with delicacy.

The album continues to alternate declared religious themes (the santeria of "Traditional Afro-Cuban / Belen Cochambre", with the voice of Susana Baca) or Afro nuance (there are songs of Tiganá in the African languages ​​kikongo and kimbundo) with themes that expand in a way indirect that look on the sacred. "Teus olhos em mim", by Roberto Mendes and Nizaldo Costa, is a romantic song that approximates the eyes of the beloved person (and the other eyes that can carry themselves) and the water eyes of the stream. In "Sou eu", by Moacir Santos and Nei Lopes, the lover puts on as "lila flash" and "teu Ogum Megê". "Luandê" (by Ederaldo Gentil) refers to Africa, and joins the guitar of Bernardo Bosisio (fundamentally his participation in the album), with verses such as "Neste mundo, todo mundo / Tem um nego na famia".

Like the afoxé "Luandê", "Vá take care of your life" (by Geraldo Filme, already significantly rewritten by Itamar Assumpção) addresses another transversal issue of the album in arrangements and lyrics: the white / black dichotomy. Treated here with acid humor and samba de roda, it translates into images like the black who goes to mass while the white goes to the macumba, a slight and incisive portrait about a deep cultural dynamic, forged, again, in mud and spirit, in the special voice of Virgínia. (Source: O Balloon)

Tracks list:
01. Ao senhor do fogo azul
02. Mama Kalunga
03. Nos horizontes do mundo
04. Vá cuidar de sua vida
05. Babalaô/amor de escravo
06. Mukongo
07. Teus olhos em mim
08. Cântico tradicional afrocubano/Belén Cochambre (feat. Susana Baca)
09. Mon´ami
10. Luandê
11. Yaya zumba (feat. Ruth de Souza)
12. Sou eu (feat. Tiganá Santana)
13. Dembwa (10 de agosto)

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