Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mudanças (short movie) soundtrack

I composed the soundtrack for a short movie "Mudanças", which is about an encounter of two people who accidentally meet because of a book which was left in an apartment while moving. This is a video from the studio with one of the songs (the final theme).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A geeky invitation

Half-dutch, half-cannibal, Mauritz Tapiaguaçu is obviously a mad scientist. Like all mad scientists he dwells in an urban cave nearby where he works day and night inventing things. He invents all kinds of things. Things you can touch and things you can’t; things you can only imagine, things that may touch you deeply.

He thinks and thinks, scribbles and scribbles, and when he can, he mixes the ingredients, ignites the electrodes and triggers the reactions. As a good scientist, he measures the effects, but doesn’t always write them down (sometimes he does, but only some can decipher them.)

Oh, yes. I forgot. Sometimes he eats the results, but that’s because he is also a cannibal.

Oh, but he does serious research! Right now he is working on what he calls the nonsense generator. It is a very, very simple Java algorithm which should be capable, when completed, of writing self-help books automatically without human intervention. It will be a great success and he may get rich.

But his favorite invention is the time machine. Although he hasn’t worked much on it lately, two days ago he accidentally discovered a new never-used-before time-twisting artifact, but it remains untested. He needs edible volunteers with a scientific view of life.

(No, no, no! Don’t fuck it up, Mauritz!)

Ok, the volunteers need not be edible. After a dozen or so calculations he arrived at the conclusion that there are only two requirements: 1) that the candidate should practice some kind of martial art, preferably asian kickboxing of some sort; 2) that the candidate should enjoy cold Portuguese green wine on a hot and damp December night (at the price of perhaps not kicking and boxing for a day).

Since he is a mad, mad, mad scientist, he is obviously a shy and socially inapt geek, and has no ability to convince his potential candidates of his good intentions, but he is a good and fun fellow, and you’ll have a great time if you can see him beyond these stereotypes. I wrote this email for him (he was too shy to do it himself). Do reply if you accept the invitation.

(December 2006)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Pretend it's just your imagination

He walked toward the sheets of flame. They did not bite his flesh, they caressed him and flooded him without heat or combustion. With relief, with humiliation, with terror, he understood that he also was an illusion,
that someone else was dreaming him.

(Jorge Luis Borges, in The Circular Ruins)
I do not really exist, and neither does she.
We are creations of a mind.
We can't exist.
But we pretend we do.

I said I, and not he. Perhaps because when I think about her, I am not myself the rational one who writes, but I am he the one who exists in my imagination, the one who loves as if he were human, and not a mere character of my mind living an adventure on stage.

We pretend very well.
We are not simply creations of a mind but collective creations of two minds.
We shouldn't exist.
But we couldn't resist not doing so.

I said we, and not they. Perhaps because when we think of each other we can't see the rational beings that act and write, but breathe only for the two lovers in their imaginary world as if they were not mere illusions.

I once wrote about a world on fire, and when I read it I was sweating. I then put the words in my character's imaginary mind, and when he finally played his part he set his heart on fire. I could feel the flames, but it was just a play.

She pretends it's just a play.
The play doesn't really exist.
The play is over. We shouldn't be here.
We are just pretending.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ghosts



Saturday, 9 p.m. A dark living room. A sofa. A table. A door. There is some yellow light leaking under the door, otherwise we would see nothing. All is silent.

But now someone seems to be trying to open the door from the outside. We hear the key turning once, twice. We look away when the door opens because of the light, which is too bright. The air seems to ignite.

Everything is very white and too bright. We are blind. But, after a while, it gradually fades away and once more we perceive the room. Nobody is there. The room is dark, as it always was. Whoever crossed it did not mind to turn on the lights. He or she left something (a backpack, it seems) on the messy table and ran inside. There is some faint light elsewhere in the house which can be seen reflecting on the walls and on the furniture, from the corridor. We can hear the sound of water pouring, someone pissing. The toilet is flushed, a door is closed, a light is turned off with a click. No one returns to the living room. All is dark once more. All we hear now is a distant violin.

The dark wooden table has four dark wooden chairs. There are books spread over the table, sheets of paper, spilled coffee. We can't make out the details. The room is too dark. It smells like coffee. There is a portrait of a woman on the wall. She looks up but does not smile.

There is no living soul in the room. Some may believe there are two people seated, but that is not true. There is no one in the room. Some may believe those two people are having a conversation, but it's probably just their imagination.

"Can you see it?"
"I can't see anything. It's too dark."
"It smells like wood. It's been a long time since I smelled anything. I forgot I could smell."
"I can't smell anything."
"When we crossed that street, that afternoon, the cars braked very close, very near. I could smell the tires. I could feel the air that was displaced. You didn't stop, you didn't return. You just ran towards it."
"When was that? I remember that."
"It was cold, wasn't it? Did you feel it pulsating? Did it feel like you were falling?"
"I... I still don't understand that."
"You are still too young."

The violin now plays louder. Somewhere, a door has opened. We hear footsteps and some light spreads in the corridor, reflecting on the walls. Someone coughs. "Shit!" says a man's voice. A surface is being scraped. Some one sneezes, inhales loudly and sneezes again. Lights are clicked off. More footsteps. A door slams. Darkness is back and the violin is again, far away.

But it suddenly stops. After a couple of clicks, silence is replaced by the loud sounds of an electric guitar, hammering drums, screaming voices. Seems like some rock band from the seventies. Did you hear voices playing backwards? No? I thought I did.

"Lower that. I don't like it."
"Just don't hear it. You don't need to. Hear the cables instead."
"The cables?"
"Yes. They're good to feel as well. They vibrate. And they are warm."
"I don't know how to feel."

The phone starts ringing. After each ring, the echo fades in the silence. It rings three times. When it ends, the music is lower and we can hear a man's voice. It comes from the room. I would know what he said if the other voices in my head would keep quiet, but they do not.

"Remember when we used to play?"
"What?"
"I mean, I used to climb that cherry tree in our backyard and hide in such a way that mom would not find me even if she looked straight at me."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"It was a Saturday, I think. I don't know what I did wrong. I slipped, I guess. I still remember the movie in my mind, as if it were now. The ground coming my way, slowly, the grass getting darker, the wind, the sunlight. I remember the branches cutting the skin on my arm, the leaves on my face. It suddenly became dark and cold."
"What are you talking about?"
"It's warm and wet when you touch it, but it feels cold when it flows over the skin, pulsating. Now I can remember all of it, the grass, the cherry tree, the smell of rain, the insects. I didn't feel like I was falling. I felt like I was floating. I still can't remember my name, but you knew it."
"Me?"
"Yes. You were there before me. You were the one who called her, and she was so sad. I had done it. I told her before we left I would be able to do it. I told her that, but she didn't believe it. She thought I was kidding."

The music is turned off with a loud click. The man's voice in the room is louder. We can hear "... going there now ... I don't care ... see you soon." and a click.

"I'm not really sure I get it."
"You will after I leave you. It takes a while to make sense."
"Why are going to leave me?"
"I have to."
"Where are you going?"
"Not far. We'll meet again. Someday."
"When?"
"I don't know, but we will."
"Will we remember each other."
"Kind of. Maybe. Maybe not. We might feel that we know each other."
"Won't we recognize each other?"
"Perhaps in our dreams, maybe, in our dreams."

Coughs.

"Is he sick?"
"He's moving. I already told you that."
"Where?"
"Here."
"But, is he not here?"
"Not really. Not yet."

Intense white blinding light takes over the room. In the white darkness we hear footsteps, the door closing, the keys turning. But then it all fades away slowly towards darkness. All is silent again. Not really. We can hear the cables vibrating. If you concentrate you can make out different frequencies, interruptions, like voices.

"Where did he go?"
"Meet her."
"When will he return."
"In a couple of hours, perhaps sooner."
"Sooner."
"And he will be moving here. I hope."
"Here?"
"Yes, here."
"What about the light?"
"There will no longer be any light."
"He might see us!"
"He will."
"But, what will he think of us? What will happen?"
"He'll probably be confused, like when you saw me for the first time."
"What shall we do?"
"You. I won't be here. I'm moving there. I hope."
"Today?"
"Yes."
"But I need you. I can't exist alone."
"You don't. And if you did, you wouldn't be alone. He will be here with you. Ask him if he can smell the rain, if he could taste it, if it was cold. Guide him."
"I don't know how to do it."
"Yes you do. You'll discover."

Cars passing in the streets project their lights inside the dark room. We can no longer hear the cables because of the rain. Hissing like a radio, it tunes my mind into its frequencies, and I hear the voices.

"I have to go."
"But, he didn't arrive yet."
"He is there, lying on the sofa. He will wake up soon."
"Where are you going?"
"Meet her. I'm moving there. I hope."
"And you won't return?"
"No. I hope not."
"You hope?"
"I hope she keeps it."
"What if she doesn't? Will you return?"
"No. I will move elsewhere. I hope."
"I will miss you."
"Me too."

Lightning. Thunder. The cables no longer vibrate.

The room is dark and silent. It smells like coffee. There is a portrait of a woman on the wall. She looks up and does not smile. There is no living soul in the room. Some may believe there is one person sleeping on the sofa and another one seated by the table watching him, but that is not true. There is no one in the room. It's probably just my imagination.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Don't think about it

http://denise-r.smugmug.com

     She was a bright girl, and he was just another guy, perhaps a dreamer. They just acted their parts in life as everyone else. But one day she discovered his treasure island and saw him in different eyes. And a few days later he found himself in her eyes. In the beginning nothing was said and nothing was done. They just spoke their own tongues and made sense of everything. In the beginning they simply blew along, lightly, shining. Like dandelion seeds they drifted in the winds, not caring to ask where they were to land, or if they were actually going anywhere.

     “What do you think of all this?” she asked one day.

     “I don’t know”, he said, “I don’t think about it, I just let it flow.”

     She was a smart girl and he was just another dreamer, perhaps in love. They just acted their parts in life for everyone else. One day she discovered another treasure island and saw him in different eyes. And a few days later he no longer found himself in her eyes. In the end nothing was said but all was done. They just spoke their own tongues and made sense of nothing. In the end they simply blew away, darkly, bleeding. Like dandelion seeds they drifted in the winds, not daring to ask why they did not land on fertile ground, or if they actually ever meant to go anywhere.

     “What do you think of all this?” he asked one day.

     “I don’t know”, she said, “don’t think about it; just let me go.”

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The end of the world

When I finally reached the end of the world, the end of my long journey, I saw land far away in the distance. But I was on a cliff, and could no longer continue. The oceans had ceased. The land had ceased. And now I would have to look down. But there was no end down. There was only land in the distance. Only in the distance. It was unreachable. This was the end of the world.

And then I saw, from a distance beyond my body, from eyes way above my self, my own person there, standing, before the cliff. I was myself but no longer there, in my body. I was myself but with eyes that saw more. And the more I saw the more I rose, and soon I was far, very far, and saw that same land in the distance, and that small dot at the tip of the cliff, and then I saw, at last, the border above.

The lands in the distance at the end of the world were indeed unreachable. There was no ground, there was no way, in air, to reach it. I lived in some sort of aquarium and that was, at last, the end of my search. But when I moved my hand toward my face, when I was high above myself, high above my world, and the aquarium and the border of my world, I felt it and it touched my face (it was, indeed, my face.) And so I looked ahead, and saw the world. My real world. Not the world of the one who lived in the aquarium, which I thought I was, but the world of the real me, who lived outside of it: the creator and the full mind of the dot which faced the precipice.

But I did wake up from that dream and found myself once more before the cliff. And for I moment I saw god which was I, the one who lives beyond the glass and who knows about me, the dot. And for a moment I understood that God was I, and I was the most important person in my world, and that my god heard me because he was me, and that he knew things I did not know, but he sometimes tried to tell me, but I didn’t always hear him; I didn't always hear myself.

Finally I moved away from the cliff, turned left and entered the subway station. Sitting in the train I opened my book and the man beside me said my name. I looked at him. He had large eyes, a beard and a turban. He looked strangely familiar. He must have seen my name on my book, but I hadn’t written my name on my book. And so he spoke, and said:

“You see, all these people you see here, only some are real.”

Surprised with such an uncommon comment, I closed my book, and didn’t say a word, but looked at him with interest. He didn't take his off of me, and he spoke once more:

“This is your world and one day it will end. It will end for you but not for many others. It is your world, and you are your god, the one and only one, in your world. But this world you see here will continue, even if your world ends, because it is not real.”

“Is this a dream?”, I asked.

“Of course it is. Not only this one, but the one outside of it as well, and the one where you write, as well, and so on. All are dreams, and all are real. Real is what we share now. This is real in your mind, but in another mind, it will seem different, quite unreal, but you don’t think so, as the other doesn’t think you think different.”

I was confused. This could be a dream, but he spoke confusing words so clearly. Reason didn't help me understand anything he said, but it seemed as if everything was perfectly clear.

“I am dropping off at the next station.”

“Who are you?”

“Who else could I be?

“What do you mean? What is this all about?”

“It’s about everything. You created this world just to be near them. There is no other reason. That is your reason. Don’t forget that.”

“Near them? Them who?”

“All of them. The ones that have left, the ones that are here now, the ones who will come and the ones you will never find.”

He stood up and started to leave.

“Wait. What’s your name?”

“You know the answer”, he answered while he left. The doors closed and the train moved once more. I looked ahead, and an old lady stared at me. But it didn't last long and she looked ahead as well.

I dropped off at the next station into my living room. As soon as I entered I was blinded by this strong red light. I moved away and it faded shortly after. It was the sun shining on my face. It was red because my eyes were closed.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

In my room there is an angel

In my room there is an angel. I can't see her, but she is always around; she has been around since I can remember. She is there, in my room, in my dream. She has my eyes and something more I can only find in my mind, but she is not I, as I am not she. I am sure.

I stand by the window watching the universe roll, and I sing. I look down and see nothing so I let my head drop, and I fall, I fly. It's a strange sensation. I feel the wind, it stretches me, it's kind of painful, but hitting the ground is not. I feel the scent of the ocean. She is there again. I can feel her breath caressing my ear.

This place near the sea is way beyond the window. Last time I had to cross a labyrinth of bridges and trolls to get here. When I found her somewhere within the castle, we held hands and climbed the spiral staircases of the highest tower. Up there we opened the door and found ourselves on that same moonlit beach. There, facing the sea, was the blue crooked tree.

But that was last time. This time I just fell off the window.

There I am just a young boy. We sit on the swing that hangs from the largest branch of the blue cherry tree. We sit face to face, and in her eyes I see myself. I never remember her face.

I fell asleep once more, and when I woke up I was again before my window, but the sky was cloudy and below me was not the void, but the city.