Interview

 

 

Maria Beltrão, a journalist from GLOBOSAT, a Brazilian cable TV channel, interviewed TERESA SALGUEIRO during the MadreDeus participation in a Portuguese cultural festival that took place in Niterói, a city near Rio de Janeiro, in May 1998.
The scenery of this interview is a beach in Niterói, and in the background it is seeing the brand-new Museum of Contemporary Art of Niterói, an exotic building projected by Oscar Niemeyer. The sea can be heard all through the interview... TERESA SALGUEIRO is in beige, beautiful and friendly as usual... she seems to be tired, she was probably waken up early for that interview...but, anyway, thanks to Maria Beltrão (she smiled all the time during the interview, a beautiful smile...maybe she is a MadreDeus fan too...and Globosat!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-) "MADREDEUS IN BRAZIL" - Interview with TERESA SALGUEIRO to GLOBOSAT-BRAZIL: GLOBOSAT - MARIA BELTRÃO - Collecting a remarkable number of awards, they have first become an European success and then they have boomed in Latin America and Asia. It is extraordinary already, but it is still more amazing if we consider that MadreDeus have this extraordinary success singing in... Portuguese. We are going to talk to TERESA SALGUEIRO, the leading voice of MadreDeus. Teresa, both Pedro Ayres Magalhães and Rodrigo Leão were very successful in Portugal Pop Music...How did they find you?
TERESA SALGUEIRO - Well, they had an idea of an acoustic group, a group dedicated to explore the "sung word", to discover the musicality of the Portuguese language and to sing the Portuguese words...they were looking for a female voice to join this project and, at this time, it was 1986, they were testing some female singers, and one day Rodrigo went to a café in which I was singing, I mean, I was there with a group of friends, and I was singing "a capella", just because my friends asked me to do so, and of course because I loved to do so...(laugh)...and Rodrigo invited me to do a test...I did it, and they chose me...
MARIA BELTRÃO - And you, with this marvelous voice... have you learned to sing by yourself?
TERESA SALGUEIRO - At the very beginning, yes, when we recorded the first album (OS DIAS DA MADREDEUS), yes...Then, I had the curiosity for getting some classes, and I got private classes for two years in Lisbon, and then I had one year of classes with Ms. Cristina Castro at the Conservatory and then I quit, because I hadn't had the opportunity to keep on studying, to have those classes in a regular frequency, and it was something that I really enjoyed doing, because one discovers the instrument that the voice is in a different way and one learns a lot, but I couldn't keep on studying because of the several tours and it is very important to have some discipline in these studies.
MARIA BELTRÃO - Well, yet in 1990 the album EXISTIR "boomed" in Europe... did you expected the same success in other countries?
TERESA SALGUEIRO - It is always very difficult to answer this question because we cannot say that we were expecting that, I mean, we cannot say that we guessed that our music would succeed...on the other hand, we would never work if we didn't expect that our music would be listened and appreciated... and since the very beginning, first in Portugal, we first had concerts only in Portugal, a few concerts, in the first two years they were about ten concerts for a year, always choosing the right theater or outdoor plot that we considered appropriated to the spirit of our music... since the very beginning we were always very lucky about the public, I mean, we were always congratulated by them and the Portugal public kept on knowing us little by little and fortunately we have been well accepted in every countries we have visited up to now...So, I cannot say that we expected the success but I cannot say either that we didn't hope that people like our music... When you work with music it is a kind of communication with the public...so, there is always some hope that someone would like what you're doing...(smile)
MARIA BELTRÃO - And have you ever been afraid about singing in Portuguese? ...I mean...Did you think that it could be an "obstacle" to your music throughout the world?
TERESA SALGUEIRO - No, because the original idea of this group was always to present songs dedicated to the Portuguese language, to sing in Portuguese, and the interest came little by little, I mean, we have never felt any problems about that because people listened to our music and, even if they didn't understand the lyrics in Portuguese, they kept on inviting us, and from different countries...
MARIA BELTRÃO - Teresa, would you mind to sing just a little of "O PASTOR"?
TERESA SALGUEIRO - (laugh) Well, a little of "O PASTOR"...(smile)...Let's see..What part do you want me to sing?
MARIA BELTRÃO - ...could be the refrain...
TERESA SALGUEIRO - (singing marvelously) "...ao largo, "Ainda" arde...a barca da fantasia..."
-- CUT to the videoclip from "O PASTOR" --
MARIA BELTRÃO - Do you always choose places that are appropriated to acoustic music? Have you ever performed outdoors...in big stadiums, for example?
TERESA SALGUEIRO - We have already performed in stadiums, not only in our concerts but also in concerts in which we performed with other music groups... well, more than being preoccupied about the place were we sing, we are always preoccupied about the acoustic, because it is an acoustic group, we are just a few instruments and it is something delicate, something to be thought about... it is not easy to amplify this kind of sound in stadiums, but there are ways to do so...it is a matter of...we have this experience, we have already made some shows in stadiums, in big theaters, in small theaters, outdoors...of course each place must be acoustically prepared for our music...
MARIA BELTRÃO - In O ESPÍRITO DA PAZ, MadreDeus had already changed something, mainly in the subjects of the songs, don't you?
TERESA SALGUEIRO - I beg your pardon..
MARIA BELTRÃO - I mean, the subjects changed a little... Love... I mean, it was not only about Portugal...
TERESA SALGUEIRO - The album O ESPÍRITO DA PAZ is more inspired in the tours and travels of the group throughout the world, the travels that the group were about to begin at that time or those from some years before those trips became the inspiration for the group at that time...and also because we already knew that this album would be released in many countries, not only in Portugal, in places that we had visited and we knew that we would come back... in a certain way, it was a metaphor, of course inspired in this travel, and they were the songs, the music we thought it was important to make in order to visit those countries, and they were several countries, we have traveled a lot...with O ESPÍRITO DA PAZ we had a three-year tour, of course with some pauses...
-- CUT to the videoclip of "VEM" --
MARIA BELTRÃO - Is there any place of the world in which you got surprised about the public's reaction? You have visited even Japan...
TERESA SALGUEIRO - Yes, Japan is always a great surprise, because it is a very different culture, a completely different language, a very large 'cultural gap', but they are very interested in everything that comes also from Portugal, specifically, and from every part of the world... They are very curious about everything and they are also very open to all that comes from abroad, they respect other people's culture...and in Japan we have always worked using legends, translating the lyrics, so people there listen to the songs and are able to understand what we are saying, although the languages and the cultures are different it becomes easy because they understand what is going on...But, of course, their answer is always great, we went there and we will always visit there. MARIA BELTRÃO - And, what about Brazil? The first time you came here...Did you expect such a success in our country?
TERESA SALGUEIRO - Well, the first time we came to Brazil it was an invitation to some concerts with Carlos Paredes, in 1991, with the album EXISTIR...they were small concerts, in small places, with few people but they were great... then, we returned to make a little tour in which we have visited Salvador, São Paulo -- the Teatro Municipal (a theater dedicated to Opera performances and erudite music...) and Belo Horizonte...
MARIA BELTRÃO - ...it was in 1995...
TERESA SALGUEIRO - I don't remember...uh...yes, 1995...(smile) so many tours, so many different dates, I forgot...(laugh)...well, you have asked me if we expected the success... that's what I told you: if there are people who invite us to play in a country, of course there is some expectations about that..."how will people react?"...but thank God we were always well accepted.
MARIA BELTRÃO - Teresa, I will ask you to sing another song...AO LONGE O MAR...
TERESA SALGUEIRO - (laugh) This song... It has been such a long time since the last time I sung this song...(laugh)...(sings wonderfully) 'Porto calmo de abrigo, num futuro maior, "Ainda" não está perdido...'
-- CUT the videoclip of AO LONGE O MAR --
MARIA BELTRÃO - ...(laugh) well, it seems that we are in the perfect scenery...(points to the sea behind them)...
TERESA SALGUEIRO - (laugh) you are right!
MARIA BELTRÃO - Teresa, have you ever imagined that you would be considered a great actress?
TERESA SALGUEIRO - (reacts with big surprise)
MARIA BELTRÃO - ...Because Wim Wenders told that you have such a great talent for acting...
TERESA SALGUEIRO - (smile) Well, A great actress...I can't say that because our participation in the movie ("Lisbon Story", directed by Wim Wenders) was totally unexpected...we were working on the soundtrack of the movie and, later, after meeting us, Wim Wenders decided that we must be part of the movie too, and also our participation in the film is quite small, our roles are not very significant, although music is an important subject in the film and, well, we are in fact playing the roles of our own lives, I mean, we were directed but we are still ourselves, I am still Teresa in the film, of course under Wender's direction, well, we have some speeches, some phrases that we say (smile)...so, it was not really an actress work... it was very important to do it, I liked it a lot.
-- CUT to a scene of LISBON STORY --
MARIA BELTRÃO - How did Wim Wenders find you?
TERESA SALGUEIRO - He was invited to do a film about Lisbon, a documentary, and he was looking for music from a Portuguese group that could match with the images he was about to film, and then he listened our albums EXISTIR and LISBOA, and contacted us. At that time we were about to go to the studio to record O ESPÍRITO DA PAZ, because it was such a long time, about three years, since we recorded EXISTIR, and there were a lot of songs to be recorded, and when he told us about the film, we suggested not to use our former albums and use, instead, new songs specifically for that film...so we recorded at the same time O ESPÍRITO DA PAZ and AINDA( "Lisbon Story" original soundtrack).
MARIA BELTRÃO - The last album, "O PARAÍSO", was recorded in Venice, Italy... why?
TERESA SALGUEIRO - Some practical reasons...I mean, in a certain way, it is easier to us to concentrate to the record sessions when we are out of Portugal... When we are in Lisbon, Portugal, the city where we live, well (smile)... we travel a lot and we don't have too much time with our families and friends, so we are not very concentrated in our work... So it is easier to be abroad to have the perfect level of concentration...this is the first reason...besides, Venice is a remarkable place, the studio was outside the city but we had to take a boat and then a bus everyday to get there, so the simple act of waking up and do this little trip was inspiring enough...we have never went there but it is in a country, Italy, in which we have many fans...
MARIA BELTRÃO - You joined the group very young, you were seventeen years old...Are you very different from that Teresa from twelve years ago? Do you feel more prepared to sing now?
TERESA SALGUEIRO - (smile) Yes... Twelve years...so I am very different, of course...in many ways, I can't say exactly how, but anyone changes a lot in twelve years...(laugh) I have traveled a lot and sung a lot, and this is the thing I like to do most, and I had the opportunity to travel because of the music, with the music's "passport", to know many different cultures and many different people and I always feel like returning to those places...and I always feel like composing new songs to have always new things to tell to those people and to be invited for them to return...

from the site Madredeus - O Porto - http://go.to/madredeus