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An old shepherd now blind awaits the return of his son, while the storm rages around him: he fears that he might get lost due to the passions that agitate his heart. From this cue, taken from The Old Man of the Mountain by Grace DeleddaStefano Starace took inspiration for the text of Dead eyesone of the songs from my new cd, Grace the motherreleased a few days ago with Squilibri, where ten songs have been transposed into music as many novels by the great Sardinian writer, Nobel Prize for Literature.
The song speaks of an ancestral Sardinia, still in a remote time in which men and nature dance the same dance, merge and confuse influencing one another and I thought that to tell this song well the images captured by Remo Branca were needed just before everything changed. Branca shot his documentary film, Itinerari deleddiani, in 1961 returning to the places where Grazia Deledda had lived: Nuoro, her birthplace, the dusty roads traveled by carts, the Orthobene, the sanctuary of San Francesco di Lula, the trades and celebratory anniversaries of that ancient community that had seen her born and grow and that she had then sung and celebrated in her novels, carved in stone in memory as a model and inspiration, as a starting point for understanding the present and an outside world , foreign and hostile, that the ambitious and pugnacious young writer would have faced by abandoning ‘su connottu’, the known, an entire universe of values, language, myths and spirituality, to move to Rome and realize the dream of living in own art.
Remo Branca’s film, recently restored by the Cineteca di Cagliari, evokes that world of origins very well. Thus, in the video we see a solitary rider wandering in the desolate landscapes of his land and, accompanied only by his faithful horse, never seems to find a point of arrival. His father awaits him but cannot see him, he can only imagine him in his gloomy solitude while their world continues to live in parties, laughter, daily encounters, in the small merriment of family occasions, from which the two of them, father and son, are now
separated. Fabio Sanna then inserted, between the shots of Remo Branca, a visual cue that brings the same representation back to today: a lonely woman dances and then rests, unable to do anything but wait for her son who doesn’t return.
The video opens with the invocation to the Madonna and the saints taken from the novel by Grazia Deledda and recited by the painter and poetess of Berchidda Roxana Rossi. The invocation to the queen of the mountain is repeated in the refrains where my voice is joined by those of Fabio Manconi and Andrea Lubino, authors of the music and arrangements of all the songs on the album. The guitar is by Fabio Manconi, the bass is by Massimo Canu of Tazenda, a group to which I gave my voice for two years, before founding my own band, Chichimeca: but that’s another story.