In his first episode hosting Mastering Finland, Matt met with Pedro Bergamo to talk about his experience working as a musician in Finland. Matt originally moved to Finland for love, and he now calls Finland home.
Pedro credits his family’s musical background for his love of music. He grew up watching his grandfather play the viola caipira and watching street musicians in Brazil. Pedro’s father has also been an accomplished musician for 50 years.
For Pedro, music has always been a spiritual and emotional experience. His first experience performing music was in a church choir at age 7. He later went on to play guitar and other musical instruments in church and cover bands. Now, Pedro makes his own music. His primary instrument is the viola caipira, but he plays at least 10 other instruments, too.
When Pedro was 12, he dreamt that he entered a church where a man and angels were playing music and singing. When he woke up, he tried recreating the song he heard in his dream. This experience made the connection between spirituality and music clear to Pedro, and he expresses that connection through the music he creates.
Pedro describes his writing and composing process as a sort of spontaneous transmutation of a song or feeling into being.
“It’s very irrational,” he said. “If it’s not irrational, the result is not good… it usually happens when I am not thinking or not expecting.”
Pedro’s music is influenced by flamenco music and Brazilian singer-songwriters who were popular about 50 years ago. The way they used music to tell stories before the digital age inspires Pedro to do the same through his music. He sees storytelling through music as a way to connect with others across barriers like language.
“Music is so funny,” he said. “You don’t need to understand the language, but you hear it and it moves you and you don’t know why.”
While working on his PhD, Pedro lived abroad in Sweden, Dublin, and the Netherlands. During this time, he devoted himself to his studies and did not play music often. He planned to focus on his music career after returning to Finland, but the timing was not the best. Upon his return to Finland, COVID-19 forced the closure of public music venues.“I hope after this thing ends I will be able to just perform,” he said.
He has even considered translating songs into Finnish songs so that more people could sing along, because he misses the feeling of singing together with others in a crowd.
Tune in to listen to Pedro’s song, “Abrahadabra!” and to hear his music recommendations. As always, check out the links below to learn more about our guest.