For Goa’s well-known drummer-boy – Carlos Gonsalves from Mapusa, music is a sound through which he expresses his emotions of joy and happiness. And now with the release of his first album – Talking Drums – he has done what he does best – create music through his drums. But why the name Talking Drums, and pat comes the reply, “Because when I play its just like I’m talking to my drums. My drums do the talking.”
Carlos’ musical journey started at a very young age when he would grab hold of any utensils at home and use them as makeshift drums. His parents realising the talent in young Carlos got him enrolled in a music school and he was hooked. Later at age 17, he even became a part of a college band – Deep red – which became quite a rage at that time. He even joined Raul de Souza (a drummer) learning notations and other basics of musicology.
Carlos was later introduced to world music by Goa’s music greats Lester Godinho (drummer) and Colin D’cruz (bassist) and he even joined their latin assemblage Obligato as a percussionist and performed in a lot of shows all over India.
But Carlos was more interested in improvising with different types of music and this urge to learn drove him to Ireland where he played with Irish folk musicians for some time. He even learnt the Irish percussion instrument ‘Duff’ when he was over there. But Goa beckoned and he was back to freelance with an Indian fusion band Shanti comprising of Goan musicians through which he strengthened his roots in Indian music. He even played alongside national and world-renowned musicians like Hari kumar, a violinist who learnt music from L Subramaniam, Goa’s very own Remo, Graeme Hamilton (UB40’s trumpet and saxophone player) and many more. “Playing with Graeme Hamilton was one of the greatest moments of my musical carrer.” He says with admiration.
Ask him about the different types of percussion instruments he plays and his face lights up, “I play the drums, Djembe, Indian duss, etc, but actually I don’t need any particular instrument. I can get a tune or sound even if I play on glass,” says Carlos.
He is a regular feature at the Heritage Jazz Yatra and has regaled audiences who just love what he does.