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Episode 37 : Ateliers d’écriture dans les écoles de Sao Nicolau / Composing lyrics with the schoolch

It’s been over 3 weeks now since we’ve been in Tarrafal and have started working with the schoolchildren to compose their lyrics. When we first presented the project, we were thrilled to see how quickly the schools embraced it and how easy and natural it was to put into place.

The first sessions took place with a presentation of the melody and the musical creations composed by the schoolchildren in France. We then explained the common theme of the project, Vive la Vie, and from there the brainstorming began. Once Thierry describe the method of creating the musical phrases, respecting a certain number of syllables, the kids caught on and started counting on their fingers.

The 6-7 year olds are finishing their verse to the song, C’est l’histoire d’une chanson/It’s a story of a song, which talks about a song created in France that travels to the Cap Verde islands. They talk about their village and finish by inviting the French kids to come discover their island.

The second song, Vive la Vie, begins in France with the kids telling a story that symbolizes the theme. The kids here in Tarrafal continue in the same vein but they stress upon the importance of helping others; they talk about how they help a blind man buy his bread and how grateful he is.

The junior high kids are continuing the song, Regarde bien la vie/ Take a good look at life. If you open your eyes, you’ll see that life is beautiful. Their lyrics are more abstract but quite poetic, mentioning Césaria Evora and describing their island.

The 21 schoolchildren of Hortela, the small mountain village tucked on the side of Monto Gordo, are completing the song, Petit cadeau/A small gift. The song came as a gift to the cap verdean schoolchildren who in turn will send it back to the French kids once they have presented the uniqueness of their village.

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