n. 11 Apr 2010 Tereza Salgueiro
n. 7 Aug 2009 Marco Moro
n. 6 Jun 2009 Marco Martuzzi
n. 5 Apr 2009 Serenella Iovino
n. 4 Aug 2008 Seamus Egan
n. 3 Apr 2008 Giovanni Allevi
n. 2 Feb 2008 Marco Bicego
n. 1 Nov 2007 Jan Garbarek

Online bimonthly
Reg. at Vicenza Court No. 1165 on 18 December 2007
Editor and director Bianca Nardon
Redazione STEP Srl ContrÓ Porti, 3 Vicenza

Year IV n. 10 April 2010

Meeting with Tereza Salgueiro

The gaze toward the ocean is the spirit of your country and is present in your music. How would you define your relationship with the sea?

It is a powerful link, a relationship of love, of great respect and of fascination. The sea is a great power and contains many forms of different life. Furthermore, it is not a means of division, but a road. The Portuguese have demonstrated over the course of history that the planet's sea is one and links all existing lands and peoples allowing the meeting of different cultures. Circumnavigating the globe, when the ocean was still more or less unknown and much feared, we made the world realise that it is all a single body of water.

According to some studies on climate change, the rising of sea levels has sped up and could put some coastal lands and cities at risk over the next centuries. What kind of reaction do you have to this?

It makes me think of the planet as a living being. For a long time we have not had this perception. Big structures and an enormous level of production were created in the industrial revolution that distanced people from work once conducted in contact with nature. The factories produced waste that was dumped into the environment, in particular into rivers and the sea, without realising that this affected the planet as a unique, living being. People created a life based on production, on the exchange of money and other economic values, but I do not think that this made them happy. The proper direction to take is perhaps towards a reconciliation with nature. We have to pursue activities that are closer to our way of feeling, avoiding producing all the pollution created up to now.

Do you think there is a 'nostalgia' for the past when we were less aware of global problems, including those of the environment? Has the widespread circulation of information made us more vulnerable or stronger?

I think we have to be realistic. We have to make use of knowledge, realising that some effects are irreversible and it is not possible to go back. Global awareness of these problems can, however, also make us more willing to make real changes in our lifestyle, in the distribution of the planet's resources, and therefore make ourselves stronger. We have to get to the point where we become aware that we don't have to possess much in order to be happy. Poverty is a problem not only in Africa, but also in other places closer to us, even in Europe itself. We have to be more careful about what happens. I was asked by the European Commission to be the Portuguese ambassador for the fight against poverty. I accepted because I have been thinking about the importance of this for a long time. I think that there is widespread discontent among people who do a job only to survive but from which they actually derive no satisfaction. Now that the level of communication is global, you can't say that you aren't aware of some things. Two facts are obvious: there is no sense in there still being war and poverty. War was once hand to hand combat to assert an idea or one's own strength. Now it is managed at a distance and is exclusively due to economic interests. The current recession must become an opportunity to improve, to discover one's real vocation. It is important to give children the opportunity to find their own way by means of the expression of creativity and learning craft activities. This can happen only through a radical rethinking of educational activities. Work should be seen as a more human activity. I don't think we will go back entirely to barter, though in some cases it could be useful. You can certainly be paid for your work, but it is wrong to think you have to all go to university and all choose the same profession, as happens now. We shouldn't become only engineers, accountants or lawyers. These are not the only possible choices and not necessarily those that make us happy.

Music and voice have an evocative power. Have you ever thought of singing about the suffering of some of the destroyed places on the planet or the feelings of the peoples related to these lands?

There are many different ways of talking about things and you can sing about many subjects. But I think that you should always sing about hope and the most noble human sentiments. The message should primarily be that we must all be mindful of ourselves and others. Respect is the most important thing there is. From this point of view music is a lesson of life. There are pieces of music that are played with different instruments, melodies and rhythms but a harmony is always created anyway, which depends on the participation of the listener. Music is a lesson of peace and civilisation.

Does the power of your voice and your talent keep you in a relationship with a divine dimension of nature?

To me God is the start and end of everything. He is a creative and undoubtedly intelligent power. One of his faces, the most interesting, is his constant mystery, which obliges us to think of our dimension. There will always be something that can't be known in life and this mystery is present in all of us. This is why respect is fundamental. All of nature and the world in which we are immersed are an extraordinarily intelligent, single creature.

Some important witnesses like the Dalai Lama, other spiritual masters and scholars of the social sciences claim that women have a key role in the rebalancing of some global problems, including environmental ones. What do you think?

Women have a special role, but have to express themselves by attaining a closer proximity to men,whether they be her sons or companions in life or work. I think that women have a very strong link to the earth, partly because of being born with the potential to be mothers, and that they have a very highly developed intuition, but that their function will be to contribute to the union of knowledge of all mankind, without thinking that the female part should have a superior role. It is important that she hands on her knowledge and sensitivity to men. There is a distance in the relationship between men and women created by the male world over the centuries. There are many things that we know how to do and for a long time have not been able to show them. The two roles are rather fundamental and there has to be respect on both sides. Only in the last century did this awareness begin to be asserted at a global level. The thing we have to appreciate is that it is not easy even to find men who respect themselves. Their social role in work and finance has been built up by and for them, but they are also victims of this. They are the product of a form of life and mentality that in my opinion must change completely and we have to help them do this.

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Online bimonthly
Reg. at Vicenza Court No. 1165 on 18 December 2007
Editor and director Bianca Nardon
Redazione STEP Srl Contrá Porti, 3 Vicenza