Before Christmas I would like to invite you on a poetic journey through a significant period of my artistic adventure with “Anima Irradiata,” an album I published many years ago, though never officially launched or promoted.
"Anima Irradiata" is the title of an album I published many years ago, never properly ‘officialized’ and promoted. The original idea behind the production of this album came from a conversation with the incredibly talented actor I used to work with, named Piero Marcelli. One day he decided to put my poems on stage, and to do that, we needed to find the right music to support their content in a live performance. I have always loved writing poems, but I never thought of sharing them with an audience.
It all started during the rehearsal of a reading & music performance in the city of Mantova.
I was hiding in the vaults of the Bibiena theatre while Piero was practicing the readings, accompanied by the marvellous music of a pianist called Stefano Gueresi.
I couldn’t stop writing. The beauty of the music, the enchantment, and magic of that theatre, and Piero’s voice reading passages extracted from everlasting novels created a suspend time around me, and an undefinable flow of emotions poured out of my pen into my small notebook. I wrote one poem after another, caught by an unstoppable rush, a sort of delirium ignited by an inexplicable force. I suppose that was the flame artists call inspiration or channelling something from the unknown, without any logical reasoning, or calculated decisions. When Piero read those poems, along with the others I wrote some time before, he came up with the idea of making them into a show. The selection of poems included in the album covers a period that spans from 2002 to 2006, fragmented into six ‘life chapters’, each one connected to a different location: Berlin, Rome, Mantua, Normandie, Madrid, and New York. Berlin represents the journey towards freedom, Rome and Mantua the immersion in the world of art, Normandie the questions about love and war, Madrid the deepest embrace with literature, and New York the time of renewal and rebirth. The structure of the background music was created on purpose to allow a guitar synth to play simple melodies on top of it, mainly to introduce or conclude the readings. Five songs from different albums have been included to vary the acoustic landscape along the performance. The poems were originally read by Piero, and successively re-recorded by me to prevent copyright issues, since unfortunately our professional relationship and friendship came to an end a few years after.
Since 1998, when my dearest friend Igor moved to live in Berlin, I started travelling to Germany quite regularly, and that incredible city became my first ‘promised land’. I loved everything about that place - the people, the culture, the architecture, the bright and the dark sides. I was moving on my own across a foreign land, progressively realising that I was part of a whole, and there were no barriers.
During five fantastic years of theatrical tours and artistic collaborations, Piero and I developed a deep friendship that took us around Italy, performing plays and devouring every cultural attraction a city could offer us. The injection of art I had during that time was so intense that I was constantly in need of creating something, no matter in which form. Hence, my writing intensified dramatically in every direction, from poems to songs, to theatre plays, to screenplays for short films.
During that time, my heart was instead traveling to France, and Paris became my second source of inspiration. My feelings were discovering a new world of magic, and the set was so extraordinary that it was impossible not to be entranced. Alongside the romance, exploring the northern side of France put me again in front of the tragic consequences of a war. After spending some time in Bosnia as a soldier during the winter of 1997 and having witnessed the devastation produced by the human madness, I found myself walking through thousands of crosses of 20-year-old men covering interminable fields. That experience had a strong impact on me and pushed me to research and develop a better understanding of human nature and geo-political dynamics.
The desire to change and dive even more deeply into the ‘world outside’ was becoming overwhelming. So, during the summer of 2006, I packed my car with the idea of moving to London. During that journey, I planned to visit my dear friend Valerie in Toulouse, but then something unexpected changed my trajectory, sending me to Madrid instead.
I spent almost two months studying like an obsessed at the Biblioteca National de Madrid. I was spending every morning reading Italian or Spanish masterpieces, and during the afternoon, all the impressions and remarks I had, found their shape in a poem or two. I was living in a different dimension and life was pulling me around throughout the most incredible places and creations of humanity. I won’t ever be able to write another body of poems so densely structured, and I’m so grateful I had the luck to go through a similar experience.
The year before, my journey to New York reopened my wings that had been trapped and chained since 1996. Elisa put me on that flight without asking me. She knew that seeing New York was one of my dreams, but she also knew that I was terrified of flying. After crashing with a Cessna in the South Pacific Ocean with my friend Igor on the 25th of August 1996, the idea of sitting on a plane has been removed from my ‘vehicle traveling options’. Thanks to Elisa, the trauma started to heal, and my passion for the sky came back, and I could finally look far away again. On a desolate beach near the Californian town of Half Moon Bay, I have seen the end of my life approaching; the world and the time immediately started shrinking, but landing in New York gave me new hope and showed me the path I had to pursue.
I hope you will enjoy listening to this album and travel with me, with your memories or your fantasy, across these fantastic places.
A few years ago, I decided to collect all the poems I wrote between 2002-2015 in a book that I edited and published on Amazon. If you would like to learn more about this poetic journey, here are the links to purchase the book “Viandanti nelle terre del sole”. Enjoy the reading!