Comments and acknowledgments:
The experience of the last 6 weeks (from 1/11 to 12/12/10) was new and strong for me, and has made me look for ways of reflecting in music the silent anguish and the images - some picturesque but never the less painful – of the reality that takes place on the streets, of prostitution and trafficking of human beings. From a practical point of view, it was a very short time to encounter, create, study and record a series of songs, but here they are. It is my intention to share the impressions of a brief period of immersion in Life on the Road: which is a reality that belongs to all of us.
Each song is unavoidable related to the moment that originated it:
“Wake up Africa” (original titel: The Call 18/2/2010) is a call from everyone to everyone. I wrote it in Sardinia, after I had read the first books related to human trafficking and what these people experience. It is not always easy to remember the reason which moves us to make and nourish our choices, and someone who decides to become a social worker (a noble but difficult job) needs to be very idealistic.
“Certo che dimentico” (Sure, I forget: 17/11) was motivated by a conversation I had with Giuliano.
“Ritmi per tenersi vivo” (Rhythms to keep alive: 5/11) was born at La Bonifica, a street of prostitution, after one of my visits with the ‘Mobile unity’, undertaking what they call “reduction of the damage”. The girls have little resonance in their voices; it's like there is no body there to sustain their voice – but they laugh and speak with rhythm, specially the Nigerians! Most of the text of this song comes directly from them.
“L'idea” (The Idea: 6/11) This song tells a story which starts with an idea of girl to attract the clients, the story ends in an extreme situation which induces the girl to leave the street.
The letter that precedes “Nuesro Tiempo” (Love, as our time demands: 20/11) explains its origin. This is not only the title of a song, it is also a actual challenge for us to consider not looking for the reasons why relationships are so difficult, but to try to find more freedom, compassion, trust and strength in our relationships through the experiences we have gone through.
One of the woman that lives in the shelter house of “On the Road”, spoke to me about her desire to go to Canada, so I wrote “The freedom of my mind” (10/11) for her. It was a success with all the girls and they sang it with great pleasure!
The “Cancion de cuna” (Lullaby 7/11) also finds its origins on the street; a pregnant girl who jokes about the fact that she is pregnant and can't have her baby. At the time I was reading “letter for an unborn child” from Oriana Fallaci.
“We're all on the Road” (original title - The Problem: 2/11) was written when I arrived in Grottamare. It comes from the questions: is the street not a common place to us all? and, is it not the street itself which can offer us answers?
The last three are independent songs:
“El vagabundo” (Vagabond at his own rhythm: 11/11) is a eulogy to ‘losing time’ which is a necessary quality of a good social worker.
“L'acqua è di tutti” (Water belongs to us all), I wrote for the as part of the campaign against privatizing water in Itlay in une 2011.
“Lo vamos a cambiar” (We'll change it!) is a song I wrote in February 2011 for the “Movimiento de Jovenes de la Calle” (Movemet of the street youth) in Guatemala City, and belongs to the
collection: Canta la Calle (The Street Sings).
I wish to thank Vincenzo Castelli for inviting me to come here, and for his inspiration; I dedicate this work of mine to the passion he has for his work.
I wish also to thank “On the Road”, because through getting to know the work of this association, I became a composer. I especially thank Cristiana, Alexandra, Annalia, Marco and Raffaela.
I wish to thank in a special way Olimpia Gobbi and Mary Pazzi, also Steffania Santuccio for her invaluable help translating the texts and her great support during this period.
Thanks also to the musicians that took part in the recording; to Alessandro Olori for sharing his music and ideas. Special appreciation goes to Daniele De Santis for his dedication, great work and our conversations.
And I want to thank with all my heart the women and men who shered their time and energy with me and who sing in 3 songs of this recording.
* “Letter to a person who has suffered from human
I ask you please to forgive me for hurting you with a song, but more than that, in the name of humankind, I want to apologize for the cruelty, deceit, ignorance and lack of spirituality of which we’re all victims to some degree, and the weight of which you bear.
I’d like to find a sweet or a soft word, but actually it’s the truth we need to express and hear; maybe we should create an incorruptible truth inside as a intimate value, shedding light on our hope, and to which we listen when the voices around us are full of confusion, violence or repression.
I feel angry towards the blindness born of hunger for power: withered hearts with mistreated destinies in which all images of peace are suffocated; and I feel sad that where there is wealth, we find so much indifference towards others -
it can only be decried by the weak voice left to the bereaved.