Wednesday 9 November 2011


That's how Bévinda and I are going to name our collaborative project. She had been saying that she wanted a name for us, not just Aaken & Bévinda. 
Since no name came to us, I told her to seize the first book that she'd find, open a page at random and point somewhere on the page with her eyes closed. 
Fukaeri was the name. She had picked Murakami's latest novel. The name of one of the characters. I liked it instantly. 
"What's the meaning of that name?" she asked.
I had no idea. And even after looking it up on the internet, I still didn't know. But regardless of the meaning, we both liked it.

We have nine songs now. The last three are actually songs that I had written back in the late 90's, one being Ru em, a lullaby which I wrote, with Bévinda in my mind! Another song I wrote with Bévinda in mind was an Afro-urban number which immediately inspired. At that time, Bévinda and I were not yet friends. She was getting singing lessons with Julia, I loved her music, would attend her concerts, but never dared to think I would submit the song to her. Now nearly 14 years later...
"I met a girl I had not seen for 30 years yesterday! she told me one day as we were having a cup of coffee. "The sister of a good friend of mine. She's completely damaged psychologically. She hears voices, she is in her own world. They had to institutionalise her a long time ago. However she's free to go out as she wants."
Bévinda had a smile on her face.
"It was crazy. She was saying nonsense most of the time, but somehow, it made sense. It had some kind of truth" she went on. "At some point she told me in her raspy voice: You know what Bévinda? Tonight, when you sleep, dream of me. And you and I are going to dream that we riding a bicycle together!"
Bévinda showed me a text she had scribbled on the back of a magazine about this woman as soon as she was back home. When I played her the afro-urban song on the piano, she had that smile, grabbed the magazine and tried to match the text to the melody. Some adjustments were necessary, but it worked!  
The last of the three songs is also a lullaby I wrote for a friend's daughter, Lily, which I never got to play to her. I never met Lily either. That friend and I lost touch of each other. How old is Lily now? 11? Older? I never gave her the song because I didn't have lyrics to go with it. A few years later I used for the musical Auntie. The lyricist Yu Guo wrote a beautiful text to the music, about lost childhood and confused parents. I will keep it as it is. Bévinda will add a few lines in Portuguese.
Funny how nothing is lost... These songs which have been loitering in limbo are now finally going to materialise! 

"What about Another Self as a title?" Bévinda asked me.
"Fukaeri | Another Self.... Why not? Yeah!"

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