Banda Taverna from Brazil is one of this year’s staring performers performing in the Don Garen Festival Tent. Since having the opportunity to interview her for an article published in the August issue of The Scottish Banner, I have become a super fan of front woman Mariana Roque.
She and I both lived in Ireland around the same time. While I was partying Grafton Street through Temple Bar and over the Liffey to O’Connell Street, Mariana was diligently studying Gaelic and traditional Celtic Folk Music. Upon her return to Brazil, as if willed by the fates, other musicians with a passion for the Celtic style found her and Banda Taverna was born.
I love the music video for Scarborough Fair. It is based on a Medieval song from 13th century England. In it, Mariana turns from beautiful maiden to a demoness with blazing crimson eyes to cast a spell over her band mates, playing the role of the soldiers.
The story goes much deeper than it appears. Blending folklore from both Celtic and Norse mythology, the menacing apparition Mariana plays is not a Witch mercilessly killing the soldiers as it appears. She is a Valkyrie liberating them from an illusion they are trapped in. When she told me this, I watched the video three more times to tease out all the nuances of the story.
The band’s new album is called Libertas, and as Mariana explained, it is about liberation from our common waking dream where we imagine ourselves as small and powerless. Banda Taverna believes we should all see ourselves as the heroes of a great epic that each one of us authors. This is one of the many reasons they are a must see band at this year’s Canmore Highland Games.