Readers of Fernando Pessoa take the ‘Portuguese sea’ to Berlin

Waves and seagulls enter the auditorium of the Ibero-American Institute of Berlin, transforming it into the ‘Portuguese Sea’. This is one of several poems by Fernando Pessoa recited by Vasco Esteves and music by Daniel Pircher.

Even before the voice of Vasco Esteves was heard, the sound of the sea turns the audience, because “there is nothing more Portuguese than the sea,” says the Portuguese actor. It is a kind of introduction to an initiative that brings together reading, music, sounds and “anything” in theatre.

Living in Berlin for almost five decades says that the readings of Fernando Pessoa started “more or less by chance” in 2013. Then, Vasco Esteves decided to add another touch.

“About three years ago, I thought it was worthwhile to improve music because the poetry of Pessoa is very deep, very meditative, cannot be consumed quickly.” So I thought of joining pauses with music, music without text. Vasco Esteves.

He tried to contact Portuguese musicians, and Daniel Pircher, who was born in Austria but lived in Portugal for several years, said at once.

“It was an opportunity to integrate, for the first time, a Portuguese project and to be able to make music by itself, without lyrics.” It is not Portuguese music, but it fits in well with the poetry of Fernando Pessoa, “says the musician.

There is poetry in German, in Portuguese, pauses with music, history of Fernando Pessoa and sounds created by Daniel Pircher himself.

“The reading is done mainly in German because most of the people that appear are German, and even the Portuguese or Brazilians who come, speak German. But at the same time, I did not want to lose the sound of Portuguese, so I always read poetry original “, reveals Vasco Esteves.

Maria de Lourdes Schlemmer holds the part with the program. She came with her German husband. Living for 46 years in Germany, he confesses that Portuguese is not always easy. Occupy one of the front rows.

“This is the third time I have seen a reading of Vasco, not only because I like Fernando Pessoa, but also because I like the way he can read it,” admits the Portuguese.

“The Germans come, and they are grateful,” says the actor, who worked for several years as a mathematician and computer scientist.

“The feedback is very good, people like my way of saying things differently, more emotional, a little theatrical. Most readings here in Germany are boring, monotonous,” says Vasco Esteves, who adds, between laughs, that, with him, “people will not fall asleep for sure”.

The objective of this project, which should be called “O.Mar”, is “to promote Portuguese culture, especially Portuguese poetry, in Germany”.

“Fernando Pessoa is simply extraordinary, he is a mystic, passionate person that I like from my youth. He is also our greatest poet in modern times, Portuguese literature,” says Vasco Esteves.

The collaboration between the Portuguese actor and the Austrian musician went well from the beginning, says Daniel Pircher: “I think it was not difficult. This collaboration is very interesting for me, from listening to the poems, to being able to play with the sounds. new things, new noises, new songs, we always try to improve and add things. ”

(“What I am worth more than a flower”, from the heteronym Alberto Caeiro) or “Tabakladen” (“Tabacaria”, “Tabacaria”), “Portugiesiches Meer” (“Portuguese Sea” by Fernando Pessoa), “Bin ich mehr Wert als eine Blume” the heteronym Álvaro de Campos “) are some of the poems chosen.

“Most of the excerpts I read are taken from books with official translations, but I also adapted some parts. This time I have a translation that is mine alone, from the poem ‘Sometimes in a sad dream.” It was difficult, I even asked my woman and some German friends to give their opinion, and each went to a different side, “explains Vasco Esteves.

This was the seventh time the Portuguese actor and the Austrian musician came together for this project. The initiative, which was held at the Ibero-American Institute on Friday night, brought together, among others, academics, students of Portuguese and lovers of the writing of Fernando Pessoa.

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