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Lisbon Poetry Orchestra: Portuguese surrealism also has heirs



Lisbon Poetry Orchestra: Portuguese surrealism also has heirs

“Breathe / don’t distract me.” The lines that end the poem No timewritten by surrealist Fernando Lemos, reflects the mission of the Lisbon Poetry Orchestra in a new CD album, surrealists. But soon we will go there, to these pages and music tracks filled with creativity and fantasy. In the meantime, let’s go back to 2013 and settle in Cais do Sodre in Lisbon. Every Monday, this is where people dreamed with open eyes: Poetas do Povo poetry meetings, open to public participation, where invited musicians and locals illustrated recitations, enchanted poets and singers, dreamers and lovers.

“Since then, our main goal has been to show that poetry does not have to be elitist,” says Alexandre Cortés, musician and former Rádio Macau member, one of the founders of the project, to VISÃO.

Between the success of the first performance in the theater (on World Poetry Day in 2015, tickets to the Small Hall of the Belem Cultural Center were sold out) and the release of the first album-disc in 2018.modern Portuguese poetsAbysmo), there was a project that remained on the dream menu of this collective: to create a CD-book dedicated to Portuguese surrealism.

“In 2015, at the Festival Silêncio in Lisbon, we were doing a show about surrealism and wanted to delve deeper into the history of these unknown artists,” continues Alexander Cortés, who is responsible for conceptualizing the new work of the group, which reached bookstores at the end of August. “In 2019, we began to idealize the book. We even did some shows inspired by surrealism, but then the pandemic came. It was not the right time for us to promote such valuable Surrealist work.”

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Seven years later, the project finally saw the light of day. More than 100 pages are meticulously illustrated by the “out-of-his-time surrealist” Joao Alves, whose oil and acrylic paintings accompany the verses of the restless Mario Cesarini, the always provocative Alexander O’Neill or the stubborn Antonio José Forte. In the 40s and 50s of the last century, the Lisbon Surrealists challenged the rules of language and logic. They used violent metaphors, called for a “revolution of the spirit”, defended simultaneous writing by several people under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They were united by only one banner: the desire for freedom.

all arts João Alves’ paintings illustrate the verses from this record book, which also counts in collaboration with Adolfo Luxuria Canibal and Garota Nao in voice and Fred Ferreira and To Trips in music. Image: Joao Alves

“These poets knew their time very well,” says Alexander Cortes, laughing and looking fascinated at the story he tells. “Faced with the dictatorship of Salazar, they wanted freedom – political, social, artistic. And they tried to achieve this through lyricism mixed with rebellion.”

However, the musician leaves a warning: the record book is not a manifesto against the lack of freedom caused by the pandemic or the war in Ukraine. “We didn’t think about a book from the extreme situations of the last two years. The Surrealists alone are inspiring enough.”

My verse, my verse, is there anyone freer than me?

To give voice and rhythm to verses d’surrealistslike imaginary lovea man of honorPedro Oom, or urban repression d’Poet from Lisbon, Antonio José Forte, had only one requirement to fulfill: to do so with almost total freedom. And the word “almost” is not used out of politeness: a set of restrictions is added to the confusing energy of the reciters so that the original meaning of the verses is not distorted.

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“It’s a tricky balance,” begins journalist Nuno Miguel Guedes, author of the book’s foreword and member of the Lisbon Poetry Orchestra since 2013, with a story from VISÃO. “The poems always make me think about the current context, but above all, these poems already existed. I cannot ignore the feelings and spontaneity that inspired these poets more than 50 years ago.”

surrealists (“Naked City”, 112 pages, 24.99 euros)

And it is this spontaneity that still distinguishes the work of the team. It was not necessary to follow the previous structure to align the texts. Immersed in surreal Lisbon – and seeing “an open ceiling to drop the fork in the middle of the room” (General callMario-Enrique Leiria) and confront “crocodiles drinking lemonade” (Specialized person, Pedro Oom) – the artists included all the poems, which, according to Nuno, “seem to travel to us, which naturally fit into each other.” This is how a scenario emerged in which freedom and love are the main actors, but which, as Nuno Miguel Guedes assures, has no fixed interpretation: “We want to put people in a territory of freedom, where everyone can travel in their own way. through work.

Each reader-listener (or listener-reader, such is the dichotomy between writing and music) can combine their journey in two: between the black and white pages of the book and the surreal melodies that make up the work. To do this, simply read the QR codes included in the book and get access to over an hour of recitations filled with pops, noises and silence, interspersed with the band’s usual pop style. “We don’t want music to be an additional factor. This work only makes sense because the melodies and verses harmonize with each other,” concludes Nuno Miguel Guedes.

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The Lisbon Poetry Orchestra continues to tour the country with the usual themed shows, now mostly dedicated to the new record book. This Saturday, the 17th, it is in Castelo de São Jorge that he will present a new book of records to a city that hailed the brilliant absurdity of the Portuguese Surrealists nearly 80 years ago.

As for the music tracks they write and the stanzas they write, the members of the band don’t say much, but they guarantee us one thing: they will continue to tell stories through ever more amazing verses. In general, this is the spirit of an orchestra of poets.

Lisbon Poetry Orchestra: Surrealists > Castelo de São Jorge, Lisbon > Sep 17, Sat 21:30 > Free of charge > Pick up tickets at the Castelo de São Jorge box office on the same day from 15:00 (limit 2 per person)

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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