The BEST thing is happening here. We got a little bit of funding for music and AMAZINGLY it covers the cost to record one CD here in Nampula! AND we have now started recording!
About three weeks ago at 3pm we packed all our instruments and all of the band (8 kids) + me + Victor into our car + Domingos and Silva on the bike and drove to this tiny little recording studio that is in a part of the city that has an overwhelming garbage pile plus smell to go with it. (Thankfully the recording studio itself did not smell bad). The studio is a tiny room and the inside is painted red, yellow and green - the colors of Africa. It is cute, cosy, and HOT (or very cold when the air-conditioning is on for a few minutes without making the power go out).
The kids set up all their equipment and then they started recording - I've never been in a recording studio before. I've seen it on T.V. but I've only seen the singing part - I've never seen recording instruments. This is common knowledge to some of you, but to me it was all new. They had each instrument play sozinho (“solo” or “alone” – one of my favorite Portuguese words) one at a time inside the sound proof booth, all starting with the drum.
Gil is only 13 years old and he is the drummer who had to start the entire thing and set the beat. He sat in the sound proof booth and had to drum the entire song completely alone with no help. He was SO concentrated and did a great job! Nobody in the band has ever played their part without the whole rest of the band to play off, so each person going sozinho was really impressive because it was not easy. Next came keyboard and then a guitar and then came the saxophone. Everyone is now calling the saxophone "menina de Domingos" (Domingos' girl) because it NEVER leaves him and is always treated like a baby - when all the other instruments stay in the concrete rondoval, the "menina" (saxophone) stays in our house. When the other instruments wait in the car, the "menina" goes out with the people.
Anyway - after the saxophone came Clara singing, then Graça singing and then Anabela singing. They all did an amazing job. Graça got a positive malaria test at the hospital the day before and felt kind of like a fever but she sang her heart out. She was wearing a big fleece in the recording booth and when she was in there all alone singing her heart out, with everyone else on the other side of the glass watching her - seeing her little face in there - so innocent and beautiful and calm - it made me so emotional. I looked at Victor and he had his head down because he was so emotional too. Graça is SO adorable.
There was another part of the recording where they had to do another drum to go with Gil's drumming and Domingos was SO into it that he went into the sound booth and meticulously and SO aggressively beat the drum for the duration of the song - everyone else was just watching him like it was the most interesting sight ever. Victor was saying it looked like he was killing a cobra and everyone agreed. Domingos is the kids music teacher and he is an amazing musician. He is like a mad man with every detail but still coaching and encouraging every kid with complete patience and kindness.
After our first-day trial song finished it was late into the night but Frango King was still open, so we all went there for dinner (which is a HUGE treat for all of us)!
I think being able to record this CD for the small fee it cost is one of the best bargains I have ever seen in my LIFE. I thought I was going to get bored sitting in that tiny recording studio for hours and hours, watching each kid play or sing their part one by one, but it was SO much fun and so wonderful. There was even hair braiding while waiting (which feels so good - like a head massage). Now I want to be in the studio for the duration of the CD recording!
Anyway - I just wanted to share the WONDERFUL experience that I (and 11 others) had this day!!! I absolutely can not WAIT until everyone will be able to hear this CD!!!