BY NILANKUR DAS
Roz Angon’s premier show in South Goa was a significant event that took place on August 19, 2023. Music enthusiasts were welcomed to the hallowed Silva Heritage, a 350-year-old ancestral house in Benaulim, to partake in the occasion.
The air seemed charged with anticipation, a promise of an exceptional evening ahead. As the echoes of history reverberated through the centuries-old walls, Roz Angon took the stage, embodying their ethos through every note.
In this ever-evolving landscape of music, some artists manage to bridge the gap between eras, cultures and emotions, leaving an indelible mark that transcends time.
Such is the remarkable essence of Roz Angon, a musical ensemble that seamlessly marries the classical with the contemporary, the past with the present.
Listening to Roz Angon is akin to a journey through time and space, evoking memories, emotions and a sense of cultural resonance that lingers long after the last note fades away.
Comparing the experience of listening to Roz Angon to the immersion in the hypnotic albums Hum Dono or Konkan Dance by the Amancio D’Silva Quartet, is not mere hyperbole.
It’s an acknowledgement of the intricate layers of sound and emotion that Roz Angon weaves into its compositions. Drawing inspiration from the past while infusing their own modernity, the band's music creates a magical realism, a fusion of Goan sounds within the ever-expanding tapestry of world music.
The synergy of Roz Angon's sound is a testament to the band's dedication to preserving and reinventing Konkani musical heritage.
The band, a 7-piece ensemble, led by the charismatic Jose Neil Gomes, showcases an amalgamation of talents, including vocalists Kaprila and Sampriti, who masterfully adopt the Konkani tonality under Gomes' expert guidance.
The soulful saxophone melodies, soaring trumpet notes, and groovy basslines collectively create the signature Roz Angon sound – a sound that carries with it a coolness quotient that resonates with audiences worldwide.
The roots of Roz Angon run deep, stemming from Gomes' childhood memories of listening to the enchanting songs that played on the radio during his formative years in Benaulim.
Returning to Goa years later, he was astonished by the resilience of these decades-old melodies. The realisation that these songs had truly stood the test of time ignited a creative spark within him.
Thus, the concept of Roz Angon was born – a project that aimed to reinterpret and revitalise these classic tunes for a modern audience.
More than just a musical venture, Roz Angon is Gomes' heartfelt attempt to carve a unique space for Goan culture within the global music scene. In a world where genres often bear geographical labels, Gomes envisions a distinct Goan soundscape.
He seeks to celebrate his cherished Goa of yesteryears while acknowledging the challenges that contemporary times bring to the culture and heritage he holds dear.
The very name “Roz Angon”, meaning “the rose garden”, encapsulates Gomes' sentiment behind the project. A symbol of beauty and growth, the rose represents the Goa he fondly remembers, while the thorns symbolise the challenges of modernisation and cultural erosion.
In this juxtaposition lies the heart of Roz Angon's narrative – a dedication to preserving the intrinsic beauty of Goa's heritage while acknowledging the bittersweet realities of progress.
Roz Angon is more than a band; it's a cultural vessel that carries within it the essence of Goa's history and future.
As their music reverberates through time, listeners are invited to not only relive the past but also to contemplate the delicate balance between tradition and transformation.
In an era where the present often overshadows the past, Roz Angon stands as a living testament to the power of music to bridge the gap and create a harmonious continuum.