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Brazilian Artist Launches Poetry in Portuguese in New York

Editora Multifoco, February 2008

Brazilian artist launches poetry in Portuguese in New York

by Marcela Canavarro

A baritone, an actress, a percussionist and two American musicians trying the Brazilian music. The mix, which is typical in New York, is also the main characteristic of the Brazilian musician, playwright,
screenwriter, theatre director and poet Guilherme Parreiras, or just
Guil. They played together for the first time in occasion of his poetry book release, published by Editora Multifoco, from Rio de Janeiro, on February 26th, in NYC. "Pensamentos Poéticos Sobre a Vida e a Morte" (Poet Thoughts about Life and Death, in free translation), brings the first poetry published by Guil, 34 years old. The passion started when he was just a teenager

- I wrote "Horizonte Noturno" (Night Horizon) when I was 18 and forgot about it. My mother found the old paper and I even wanted to see it at first. But then I liked it and decided to include in the book.

The influence comes from Brazilian poets such as Mário Quintana and Vinícius de Moraes. Guil has been living in NYC for 17 years and used his writings to keep connected to his mother language. The challenge was releasing a book in Portuguese in a country dominated by English language.

The solution was using other artistic talents and three of his poems also became songs for the launching night.

- I wrote the music for "Soneto à Vida Póstuma" (Sonnet for Posthumous Life), "A Visita" (The Visit) and "Conselho ao Boêmio" (Counsel for a Bohemian) and the arrangement was done by the band at the rehearsals.

The band met themselves by diverse and curious ways. The first meeting with the actress Débora Balardini, who lend her beautiful voice for the poems, was in the cinema backstage. The percussionist Caco Oliveira was introduced by a friend. The baritone Cláudio Mascarenhas was in the vocals and got to the group after a concert at the United Nations Headquarters. The Americans Caleigh Drane e Hugh Ash were found through an open call add on Craigslist.

- I feel I connect very well with Brazilian music and it goes pretty good with cello - miss Drane told.

And Guil doesn't stop. The artist is already working on the first screenplay for a trilogy movie and on his second poetry book, still with no title. Fan of ancient stories, Guil used references from a Pompaii mosaic for the cover of "Pensamentos Poéticos Sobre a Vida e a Morte". The art is by Raphael Santos.

- We used a skull, a butterfly and a wheel that represent the death, the life and the fortune wheel, which is always changing - the poet reveals.