Wednesday, 26 September 2007
When I dropped out of college, halfway a study for medical doctor, I spend some time in Curacao. That is now 25 years ago. I went there with a friend, Jos Corstjens, who was raised there. He moved to Holland to study when he was 18 or so, and stayed here. His parents and sister still lived in Curacao. When he asked me to come with him for a long vacation I had no reason to say no. It helped that the people on Curacao speak Dutch; I don’t like being in places where I don’t speak the language.
As things go, from then on I have had a link with that island.
It is very small, there is little to do, and I don’t know much about it, but it has a place in my heart.
There are not much records made in Curacao, and little of what has been produced there is not of my taste. But I collect it anyway, and over the years I discovered enough to begin dreaming about a Curacao soul compilation. But then I found out that other people were already working on it. And far more serious than I would ever do it.
Last week I read in the second issue of Beyond an article by audio archaeologist Tim de Wolf. In the late nineties he discovered a forgotten shed on Curacao, containing a few thousand records. Mainly 78’s, from Thomas Henrique’s “Music & Sports store”. Thomas Henrique had been recording recording records there for his Musika-label until he died in 1955. The shop continued to exist until it was destroyed by riots in 1969. The shed in the backyard was forgotten, until Tim de Wolf re-discovered it 25 years later. He has made a project out of rescuing as much as possible from the music and history of the music made in this tiny spot on the map.
A series of 30 CD’s has been made for libraries and archives, and a compilation with some of the best music is released for a wider audience, on Otrabanda Records. I love the picture in Beyond, showing Tim de Wolff amidst a part of the records that he saved.
I am not deeply interested in all the music from Curacao, although I wouldn’t mind having a listen to those 30 CD’s . I am mainly after the pop, rock and soul. When I asked Jos Corstens what he remembered of the bands that were popular when he grew up, he sent me some photo’s , flyers and articles from magazines. There was a lively music scene in the 60’s on Curacao. But Jos didn’t remember that any of those bands made any records. Still, in a future story I will share with you some of the information and pictures that he gave me.
Here is one of records that I like: Thanks by Boy Wout & The Three Voices. It sounds as a 60’s recording but the label design looks more 70’s to me. Anyway, this is the kind of music from Curacao that I would love to have a CD-box of.