Thursday, 19 June 2008

Paolo Ferrarini: An Introduction: Parts 1 & 2

This is Paolo, explaining what he's all about.

Just to give you an idea of what to expect, he talks about the following:

* [Linguistics] (including music as language)
* [Philosophy]
* [Catholicism]
* [Atheism] (including music as a way to atheism)
* [Sexuality], [homosexuality] and [gay identity]
* [Activism]

These are some of my favourite quotes from the interviews:

[concerning his artistic vision]

“In my artistic and also my activist’s vision [...] [I want] to transform the general perception [of homosexuality] in such a way that strolling in a park, hand in hand with another boy will finally become a gesture of affection, and no longer a political provocation, a slap in the face of the silent majority. I’d like to get to the point of doing it with total nonchalance, without even worrying about peoples’ gazes. I doubt I will live to enjoy such a privilege.”

"One thing is certain, I couldn’t have been gay and a catholic! I would have felt like a black guy with a subscription to the KKK, or like a Jew, perversely serving in the SS."

[what is [god]?]

"We are talking about a linguistic label devoid of entity, a fancy wrapping without a product, a nothing around which we build a sophisticated, folkloric structure that is metaphorical in nature. It is strongly delusional, to the extent that only a few get to the point of questioning what that metaphor really refers to. As a linguist with an interest in cognitive sciences, the label of atheist does not really fit me, in that I don’t consider [god] to be a mystery or a matter of faith. I know exactly what [god] is and where it dwells. [god] is a metaphor with no referent, a nothing that exists in the skulls of people who use it as a conceptual category to interpret reality."

I'll let you find the other gems for yourselves!

The subtitles are a work in progress - they were dictated by P[aolo] over the phone to another Italian speaker. When you bear that in mind, it's a pretty good job! I understand that this issue will be addressed at some point but in the mean time, they get the point across well enough, to my mind.

So settle back, listen and enjoy! Feel free to comment too, we like interactivity!

The difficult first post....

Ok so you should know right off that just because I consider Paolo to be one of my best friends, it doesn't automatically follow that I would praise just anything he did. I am not, after all, his mother. [Actually in Paolo's case that's not the best comparison, but let's not go there...] In fact, P[aolo] will probably be the first to confirm that I have been as quick to laugh at some of his earlier musical forrays as I have been to compliment them.

When he told me that he was really focussing on his music, I must admit I was a bit dubious. This is the guy who used to have-at his guitar like a mad man, and the howling that sometimes accompanied this instrumental abuse was often a little alarming. When we lived in Edmonton in London we used to drive the neighbours nuts with seriously off-key renditions of Tori Amos songs, accompanied by scary guitar interpretations and some very dodgy piano playing.

So you can perhaps imagine why, when he told me he was doing some performing, I was as concerned for his audience's eardrums as I was for what their reaction might be.

It's hard when a friend starts doing anything creative - you're either going to like it or you're not - and what do you do if you don't like it?

It was with a giant sigh of relief, then, that I listened to the first track, and then the next, and the next - relief first, and then unabashed delight and exictement at what I was hearing. Paolo and I have a few key musical influences in common, (Dead Can Dance, Lisa Gerrard, Tori Amos - up to and including To Venus and Back but not a lot further, I'm sorry to say, Bjork, Sigur Ross and so on,)and while I could hear some stylistic elements of those in his work, there was no musical plaigerism but rather a fusion that seems to have created something entirely new, and something which is, in my opinion, fabulous.

[Did I mention how bloody relieved I am?]

It's a little bit sad for me, to be here in the UK while all this exciting stuff is going on in Italy. And maybe it's a little bit sadder that my only real way to participate is to blog.

But I'll take any piece of this pi[e]I can get, participation-wise.

And my p[rognisis]? It's worth it!