In difficult times and crisis, the thirst and hunger for art seems to become a general need. Pablo Picasso wrote a sentence that crystallizes in a glimpse what art means for our soul: “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life”. So true and a beautiful metaphor at the same time. Just think of what a difference it makes, if you just pay attention to your breakfast, that it is not only nurturing, but as colorful as possible, that you inhale some extra minutes the enchanting perfume of your favorite coffee listening to a great song or symphony. In everyday life maybe we take art too much for granted, and don’t make the most of our own private moments, creating small works of art out of our lives. In times of crisis it is the soul who seeks by itself its food, as if telling us it has to be nurtured, it needs to rejoice, to be caressed caress it in midst of a storm. Art reconfirms itself yet another time as our official food for the soul.
In this crisis of Covid virus, art is being made available to the world more than ever in order to meet the need of the human heart and soul. This is a beautiful thing, that reminds us of the fact that art is there for us all to enjoy always, but we need also seek it by ourselves and nurture it by sustaining it in every possible way, going to live concerts, exhibitions, buying books and reading them etc. Art needs our love and care in return of what it gives. May these strange times evoke mindfulness for art’s importance in our lives, and encourage our direct participation in it in our everyday lives.
I made a small summary of art on-line that I know about. I haven’t visited but a small part of it, because I have so much music to make, books to read, vinyls to listen to, films to watch of my own home of art, but it is so comforting feel all this beauty nearby on-line reminding of all the beauty out there. Looking so much forward to go to summer concerts and stand in a long line for tickets at Italy’s museums, feeling grateful in ever step towards my soulfood centers, for the fact to be able to listen and see to works of art directly in person from the source.
Exhibitions and films
Some old fashioned timeless books and vinyl
Books are ever so precious, they take you wherever you wish, lending wings to our soul and spirit, giving our fantasy unlimited power and provide us with knowledge, insight and so many other things. Of course the benefit depends on what you read, but the book in itself is stimulating, reading a well written novel or article is stress reducing and often transports you to other dimensions. Reading improves memory and expands your vocabulary, strengthens your analytical thinking skills, improves focus and concentration, makes your own writing skills better, soothes and relaxes, and is completely free in your local library if you wish not to buy every book you read, that is a beautiful sharing place. The book as music and art is timeless and secure shelter and restoring place for our soul.
Here are some of my reads in these days:
Live Like Da Vinci – Michael G. Gelp, had this fantastic idea to do write this highly inspiring and inventive guide teaching readers how to develop their full potential by following the examples of the greatest genious of all time, Leonardo Da Vinci. A very actual read in these days that helps us understand how to face so many and different everyday tasks in a creative and positive way.
Hygge – The Danish Art of Happiness – Marie Tourell Söderberg
Marie tells us through stories, recipes, photos and advice how to produce that magical feel-good atmosphere in every aspect of your life, called “hygge” in Danish.
Le donne che leggono sono pericolose – Stefan Bollmann/Elke Heidenreich
An enchanting voyage through paintings, drawings and photographs telling the passionate story of female reading from Middle Ages to the XXI century
Italian Hours – Henry James
A literary masterpiece of great American novelist and Italy lover Henry James. A precious document of a highly acute observer what Italy was from 1870 to 1908.
Come si mangia l’olio – Andrea Leonardi/Filippo Falugiani/Marco Provinciali
The first practical handbook pairing gourmet food with the precious golden liquid, extra virgin olive oil.
The Inner Game of Music – Barry Green/W. Timothy Gallwey
An invaluable book to anyone seriously interested in music, whether professional or amateur, teacher or performer, or simply an appreciative listener.
12 Rules for Life – Jordan B. Peterson
Here author the psychologist Jordan Peterson, takes you on an intellectual journey and provides twelve profound and practical principles for how to live a meaningful life, where happiness is not the goal, but the search for meaning. The book offers an antidote to the chaos in our lives: eternal truths applied to our modern problems.
Only the Lover Sings – Josef Pieper
Here we have a set of reflections, where the author explores what he retains to be the “hidden root” in all music, fine art and poetry: contemplation. Its beautiful title is echoed by Van Gogh who insisted that “art and lover are one”.
The precious vinyl
Just as my eyes and my mind need the book ever and always, my ears need live music, and if not live then the sound that gets nearest to that, the good old analog vinyl. Having also to turn it around, pull it out and put it in again to its white envelop, make you more aware of the great value of the music you’re listening to, all the work that has been put into the making of the disc, the recording, mixing, manufacturing, printing and so on. Some of humanity’s greatest an most fertile minds – including Walt Whitman, Olive Sacks, Virginia Woolf, Kurt Vonnegut, and Friedrich Nietzsche, just to name a few, have contemplated the power of music, and still leaves the big question about why music moves us so unanswered. Maybe there is no answer to why music can pervade our deepest memories, help os in moments of grieve and sorrow, and save our lives. Here are some of my vinyl listenings these weeks:
Mary Poppins – The soundtrack of this world beloved film, really heightens your spirit and fills your heart with great joy and hope.
Mantovani and his orchestra – Italia Mia
A collection of Italian opera arias and Napoli songs in a creamy smooth orchestra arrangements.
Songs in the key of life – Stevie Wonder
Listening and relistening to the first song: Love’s in Need for Love Today of this highly inspired and inspiring vinyl including masterpieces like Sir Duke, Knocks me off my feet and Isn’t she lovely.
Ella Fitzgerald sings the Rodgers and Hart Songbook
The voice of Ella is one of the most harmonic and soothing one I can think of, and Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart are my favorite compositor/lyricist couple of the American Songbook. So listening to this album fills every angle of my being with bliss and meaning. It is one of those albums on my “What gives meaning to existence” – list.
Mozart Sonata No. 17 in C
A definately a pick-me-up piece in need of brightness and hope to the soul. It really seems impossible to be sad and play this piece. What a joy hearing the gradually intensified interplay between the instruments reacting to the master’s encouragement, that encourages us in return.