Sunday, March 23, 2008

Goan Music on the Net

Goan Music on the Net

With the recently held Mando Festival at Kala Academy
getting scant attention (and support) I decided to
check out what the Internet held for lovers of Goan
Music in terms of articles and downloads.

According to the official Goa Tourism website
"Mando is a group song-cum-dance of Goan Catholics.
The songs cover the entire gamut of emotions in love,
accompanied by the beats of Ghumat and romantic
strains of violin. Set to the Latin American tune, the
song with a local theme starts with a sad and slow
note and ends on a faster beat called Dulpods or
Durpodha, the rhythmic pattern being akin to Khaiyal
songs. In fact Mando represents the mingling of Indian
and Western traditions. Whereas Suvari is a
traditional folk music, a tone setter to all Hindu
religious and festival performances.
The music is orchestral in nature and relies heavily
on laya and tal, as spoken words are few. The
orchestra consists of ghumat, shamel, cymbals and
sometimes sehnai and surt". " Other forms of Goan
music include Banvad, Cantaram, Dasra Vadan, Gadya
Ramayan, Gaun Kani, Gosavi Gayan, Gudulya Geetam, Jat,
Lagan Geet, Lavni, Pavada, and devotional music like
Bhajan-Dindi, Carol Singing, Kirtan and Ladainha."

A well researched synposis of the evolution of
contemporary Goan music is available at To quote.." Cantaram
(Konkani for songs) have for decades now been taking
their cues from real life. Local Konkani singers are
quick to get across their comments, on men and
matters, often within days of the event, with stunning
boldness, criticism and satire. Today, their bluntness
is often directed against politicians and the
bureaucracy; and on occasions against the feminine
gender. "

For sheer volume and range though nothing can beat the
huge collection of Goan music-related articles at
A researcher could lose himself for days just going
through the pot pourri here. Photos of Chris Perry's
funeral, an article on Brass Bands, Mando Utsav at
Divar, Music Bands in Kuwait, a chat with Basilo
Magno, new releases … and even a huge selection of
downloadable audio (MP3) and video songs (Windows
Media Player). To top it all there is even a Live
Konkani Music section which emulates a radio over the

Sandesh Prabhudesai's revealing interview with Pt
Bhaskar Chandavarkar on the eve of the first All India
Konkani Sangeet Sammelan is archived at " In spite of having such
a rich tradition for four generations, the Konkani
music has still not found its own place in
contemporary Indian music. It is either found to have
been imitating the Marathi music or the western
influence is drifting it away towards new musical
trends - both alien to the original Konkani music."
In the UK the Goan Musical Society
( ) was officially
launched on 7th December 1997 at Woodside Park Club,
The GMS wishes, among other things, to introduce
budding musicians and singers to the local Goan
Community in London, besides organising
performances by visiting Goan musicians/singers from
Goa or elsewhere.

Our very own Remo Fernandes has his own site
( where one can check out his
Facts, Lyrics, Music Videos, Photos, Interviews,
Drawings, Writings... or even join his Fan Club.

The only dedicated site for those interested in Goan
music is Basically a monthly webzine
dedicated to Goa Music. Just three issues old it is a
rather recent site All back issues are archived on the
site. Superbly edited by Caetano De Abreu the site has
articles by prominent historians, writers and
musicians - against the backdrop of a well designed
interface by Mario Alvares ( Owned
and managed by Orlando Fernandes, of Angel Audio
Video, this site has great promise. Orlando is well
known in Goan music circles for his technical
brilliance and experience. He has plans to make into a one-stop-shop for everything related
to Goan Music. Currently one can buy tapes and CDs
from a limited selection. Interestingly the site also
features a link for the long awaited album 'Hridym'
featuring the late Selwyn Menezes.

Goa Trance - It's origins are questionable but it is a
music form which just cannot be ignored in an article
on Goan music on the Net. Best described in quotes...

"We developed the concept of redefining the ancient
tribal rituals for the 21st century and tried to use
the party situation to uplift people's consciousness
through the trance-dance experience. It's nothing new,
every tribal group since the beginning of time has
been practicing this thing.
You know, use music and dance to evoke the cosmic
spirit, and everyone would be rejuvenated and healed
by that, and the earth also. We developed a similar
idea that would be acceptable to the youth of today."
- Goa Gill, one of the original Goa Trance party hosts

"Named after the favoured head-state of those
frequenting the Indian beaches of Goa, trance music
has its roots in the early experiments in electronic
music as well as the parties at Anjuna beach. Playing
to throngs of fluro painted party goers, DJs would add
drum loops to eighties electronic music."
( Very educational site.
"The first step towards what we know nowadays as
Trance or Goa Trance was done in 1988 with the
introduction of the TB 303 sound into straight beat
dance music, and the amazing effect it was found to
perform over people dancing. "

"Goa Trance is at the other end of the Trance
spectrum, recognizable by the following
characteristics that distinguish it from other forms
of Trance, as itemized by Sully's Defintions:
- a very steady 4/4 beat.
- lots of very psychadelic sounding wobbly noises, and
acidy sounds.
- a lot going on, noise wise. No poncey Detroit
minimalism here - just chuck in loads of boingy wibbly
noises, all on top of eachother. Imagine early Eat
Static, but with less imaginative rhythms, and you're
getting close. Pyschedelia is the key.
- It is traditional, but not obligatory, to have at
least one sample from a cheesy 50s Sci-Fi film or Star
Trek sample per track. 'All channels and frequencies
clear', 'The electrons do it to the neutrons, the
neutrons do it to themselves', kind of thing.
- Tracks generally go on for ages."


WEBQUEST is my monthly column in Goa Today. This
article appeared in the February 2003 issue. Each
month I intend researching and reporting (in my
WebQuest column) on Goa related people and issues on
the Internet.
Suggestions and feedback will be much appreciated.

Please forward this to any Goan you think might be
interested. And remember to buy a printed copy of Goa
Today to read about matters related to Goa and Goans.

Cecil Pinto
Everything Goan!

No comments: