In love with fado
Michel Schöpping heard Cristina Branco sing for the very first time in Amsterdam in 1998. It was the first professional concert by this unique, yet entirely unknown talent. Michel had already sold his heart to fado music, but this evening he went home with a special feeling: he had fallen in love with the fado performance by Cristina Branco and the remarkable guitarist and composer Custódio Castelo.
Cristina and Custódio collaborated with Michel on Cristina's debut CD: Cristina live in Holland.
Cristina and Custódio's manager introduced them to translated poetry written by J.J. Slauerhoff. His poems about Lissabon, the river Taag, about life and death were surprisingly intriguing and they decided to set them to music. Michel Schöpping was approached to work as a music director on the CD Cristina canta Slauerhoff. The CD was a huge success and sold 'platinum'.
Their program offers traditional fado as well as innovative compositions. Appealing to a traditional Portuguese audience proved harder. In its country of origin, an innovative approach to fado is often looked upon as betrayal.
Custódio comments: In twenty years time a new fado singer will arise and perform 'Slauerhoff'. By then it will be considered traditional fado.
In the film directors Leendert Pot and Michel Schöpping visit Cristina and Custódio at their countryside home. There we experience how a Cape Verdian poem leads to a new composition. Cristina and Custódio continue to explore boundaries and reinterpret fado music.
Custódio: The new composition is neither a traditonal Cape Verdian Morna, nor a Fado. It's a unique style.
Everyone who sees Cristina Branco - a Minha Casa will fall in love with Cristina's voice and be moved by Custódio's compositions and guitar playing.
Leendert Pot (1959) has made several music films since 1986, including: In de greep van de tango (honourable IDFA jury mention, nomination for the Dutch Golden Calf Award), De korenslag and Saudade. The poetic short Ithaka, based on a poem by Konstantin Kavafis, can be seen as an overture for Cristina Branco - A Minha Casa.
Michel Schöpping (1957) studied musicology in Utrecht. For many years he conducted a Cape Verdian choir. He also worked as a music director on several CD's, including those by the Oeral Cossack Choir, Tango ensemble Bailongo and Canta Slauerhoff. Together with Mart Dominicus he made the music documentary Het Derde Oor.
In addition, he has worked on a large number of films as a sound designer, sound editor and sound mixer. (Karakter, Bela Bela, De Grote Vakantie, Naar de klote and Zus & zo.)
This film was funded by the Dutch Cultural Broadcasting Fund and VPRO Television.
Written and directed by: Leendert Pot & Michel Schöpping
Camera: Peter Brugman
Additional camera: Brigit Hillenius
Sound: Rik Meier
Sound editing/mixing: Michel Schöpping
Editing: Barbara Hin
Production: Sylvia Baan & Hetty Krapels
Publicity: Sara Höhner & Karin van der Hulst
Producer: Pieter van Huystee Film & TV
Commissioning editors VPRO: Saskia van Schaik, Vera de Vries, Carine Eijsbouts