April 27, 2022 – 06:54
The singer-songwriter tells his story by presenting the new album: “Young men are as curious as Ulysses”
from Katrina Roger Dragona
“And if you can’t run/even walk/I will teach you to fly.” It is a hymn to life, always and anyway, even in the face of adversity, the song that Roberto Veccioni and Francesco Guccini dedicated to Alex Zanardi, with a quote from Kavafis: “If I leave for Ithaca, a long journey will wait for you…”. Indeed, Odysseus’ Journey is the supreme literary reference for “Infinito”, Roberto Viccione’s latest album, to which he dedicated his “Infinite, Words and Music” tour, which stops on Thursday (9.15pm) in Politeama Prato.
Are you happy to be back in Prato?
“So much! The memory of one of the most beautiful seminars of my life connects us with Prato: a gigantic clamor! I was between 30 and 40 years old: after the concert in a sports field, I stopped with the workers of a woolen factory in a bad place (perhaps a basement) all night to sing, chat and joke .. things in life. I was struck by the great acumen of the Tuscans, the capacity to mock tragic things, to anger in a sarcastic way, sometimes sloppy, and always with great wit.”.
In Florence, however, he has a bitter memory recounted in the song “Two Days Florence”…
“Actually I was in the hills around Scandic with my first wife when I found out about her infidelity. And the marriage ended. The very beautiful background hit my pain, I ran away. But Florence has no flaws. It is a symbol of humanity, because Italy starts from there, and only positive thoughts inspire me ».
It is located halfway between Milan and Naples, the birthplace of his parents…
“They are three cities so different that they can belong to three countries. Milan today is the only European city in Italy: everything happens there and everything can happen. Florence is the jewel of antiquity that reaches the present with art and culture. Naples is a dream, a fantasy, A hope, a desire, a mass of all possible spirituality. I could never leave Milan which is my mother, my father, my son and my dog.”
Let’s go back to the last album: What is infinity to you?
“A great circle, as all great thinkers say so well. The relationship between infinity and the curves of a woman is frequent. On the other hand, even atoms are circular; We humans built the only flat things in the universe. To imagine the infinite we must instead think of Ulysses, and yearn for a return.”
His tour is a kind of return, a look into the past, from which a new idea of his love for life emerges…
“As you get older you become more familiar with the details. As you reach 60, you have big ideas—world peace, freedom for all, the existence of God…—, at my age you would think of yourself. I paraphrase Descartes, I think, so I Exist. I do not exist because I think; but alive whatever the world. And then I enjoy the little things, like the love of grandchildren, the poems I can write, the smiles I can give to the people I meet. Little things but very important.”
How have you lived the past two years?
“With a great magoon. People cannot imagine what a lack of theater for an artist is. Not as a worker without a workshop or a lawyer without studying. Because only when the artist goes up on stage is he wholly himself.”
How did he survive the closure?
“With a wonderful wife, she keeps letters from friends and colleagues, my four grandchildren, when I can see them again. I published the novel for Einaudi Flying and landing lessonsFabulous gold. And now I am writing again about a universal woman, the sum total of all the women I have known and all the greats in history, from Marie Curie to Emily Dickinson, and from Sappho to Vitoria Colonna.”
The joke is that for the song “I Want a Woman” he was accused of anti-feminism…
“He didn’t understand my provocation. I said “I want a woman with a skirt” to celebrate the woman’s femininity, and to invite her not to give up disagreement with the male. I will never talk about gender equality, but about gender equality.”
How did you face your first child’s homosexuality?
“Francesca was fifteen when she came to me and whispered in fear ‘Dad, I have to tell you something.’ I asked her: What is this? Are you addicted? Have you fallen in love with a killer? No? So fave…, you made me take a hit” . I’ve always known that, and I never cared about it. Thirty years ago, I was a pioneer. I believe that love is universal and everyone can make their own choices. Three times I accompanied Francesca to Amsterdam to assist with fertilization. Finally, two twins, now 9 years old, arrived. I know she did it for me, because she wanted me to be serious. Then Carolina also has two daughters. For the four of them, I am a grandfather who plays a lot.”
Was Francesca discriminated against?
“Sure; but it’s a bulldozer. In addition to dealing with PR and essay writing, he founded and chairs the Diversity Society, which at the May event will bring together thinkers, intellectuals and actors. At the age of 18, he chose to come and live in Milan for the sake of the university; we have always been” Papa e Sicia Even Eduardo (the last child, whom his current wife Daria Colombo gave birth to after Carolina and Arrigo, while Francesca was born from her first marriage) looks a lot like me. The only little drama for my children is the sense of a copycat. They feel like artists, a bit out of this world, and they have ambitions. Literary. Perhaps my fault: I made them dream too much, and gave too little reality. But the truth is that there is a need to deal with life, with people, with work.’
How do you explain to young people the war on the borders of Europe?
Young people are very different. When I was studying in high school, I adapted to their differences. With everyone, you need to talk a lot, also because they tend to be idealistic and assertive. It’s okay to be a pacifist, but even if Jesus had received a series of punches instead of one, he probably wouldn’t have turned the other cheek… In short, Ukraine could not avoid war; But something has gone wrong in the past few years. Global balances were separate. If we studied ancient history more, we would live more peacefully. At IULM, in the Contemporary Ancient course, I know precisely what answers the past can give us. Instead, we all live on the fifth floor of a building under which there is nothing. Then it becomes clear that he begins to squeak.”
In the song “I will teach you to fly” he repeats that it does not matter that you arrive first, but that you are stronger than fate …
“Children must be like Ulysses again, with his curiosity for the world. Unfortunately today Ulysses will not make his journey to discover the world, but to find wealth and power.”
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April 27, 2022 | 06:54
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