Music & clubs

Wassermusik: Caribbean waters

Bogotá based jazz quartet Bituin chats about Wassermusik's 2016 theme, "The Other Caribbean". Starting Jul 8, Haus der Kulturen der Welt brings you four weekends of summery world music and films to stage.

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Photo by Lina Botero

From July 8-30, the Wassermusik festival brings summery world music and films to HKW’s stage. Juanita and Valentina Añez of Bogotá jazz quartet Bituin gave us their take on the festival’s theme, “The Other Caribbean”.

Juanita: It’s great that there’s Caribbean music made with less influence from the big city and other countries; mixing it all up is more something that happens in cities. We were born in Bogotá, but we’ve always loved music from various rural places in Latin America, maybe because it sounds very personal and unique, something you can’t hear anywhere else. That’s what inspires us to create new music.

Valentina: From jazz, we borrowed that it’s not about rhythm but a concept. We sort of deconstruct and then rebuild a song from scratch. It always sounds like a new composition, because we take a lot of influences also from experimental and contemporary music, but it is important to us that the traditional spirit remains.

Juanita: We treat the music with respect – older people at our concerts are sometimes thankful that we remind them of these songs, which they haven’t heard for 20 years – and also try to break with genre prejudices. For this concert, we found a lot of melancholic music from Venezuela, which is also influenced by the Caribbean, for instance. The lyrics [of “Punto Y Raya”] basically say that the borders in Latin America aren’t logical. That’s what we try to enrich with our arrangements. Borrowing rhythms from various countries, we realised that they are very similar, and that, in the end, the border between music genres is not so clear.

Jul 8-30, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Tiergarten), see website for full programme