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With Amundsen Leo Pari weaves a new path in ten stages, an intense story of research and discovery, inspired by the figure of the great Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, delivering the harvest of a long journey towards the deepest and most difficult exploration: that of oneself.
Leo when born Amundsen and how did you build it? And how does it inaugurate a new chapter in your artistic life?
I started writing it about two years ago and I’ve been working on it a lot. In the first phase I was alone in the studio with a few instruments and I threw down the auditions by spinning the groove. Sleep it came later and is the last born. Then I involved the musicians and so there was a meticulous post-production but the whole project was meticulous. For me it represents maturity even if, by birth, out of time. An inner strength led me to speak honestly about my life. I first laid bare to myself. Amundsen it started out as a little self-therapy and I thought it could do many others good too.
It is curious that Amundsen was born near the North Pole and was the first to arrive at the South Pole: where does your journey in a stubborn and contrary direction lead? A journey that took place in a complex period of your life.
It’s an introspective journey. Amundsen’s story was the perfect metaphor to tell the hostilities and the cold that sometimes is inside us. Admitting who you are really means crossing Antarctica with a sled and four dogs.
“Life scares me more than death.” Already Epicurus invited not to fear death. What scares you about life today? And since it scares you, don’t leave anything to the loving generations who don’t know how to love… Don’t you think your artistic heritage is already a beautiful legacy?
The smallness of life scares me. I am thinking of characters who have put their lives at risk, sometimes even losing it as happened to Amundsen when he tried to save Umberto Nobile at the North Pole; his was a life dedicated to courage and it is the figures that are missing. There is little passion and everything is sudden, fast and fleeting. There’s no time to fall in love with a record, a film, a painter. The opportunities are endless but there is little bonding, there is little desire to research, to go beyond one’s possibilities and the focus is more on emulation and homologation.
You say “enough with the philosophy of numbers” but in your world we live on numbers and algorithms: do you feel like an alien?
I feel better since I decided to do what I want. I put in a bit of transgression and malice.
Is the night always the time when dreams become songs?
Before falling asleep I reflect on the day and between waking and dreaming melodies arrive and therefore I have to get up and look for the phone to fix them and not lose them.
East Rome it’s a song while Roma Sud is just a verse but our heart beats in it… is it an inner derby? Do you go around Rome with a compass?
I’m from the southern area, from Garbatella. East Rome is clubs and a large shopping center and I play in the song. In the past it had disreputable areas and the shopping center represents the fall in values and therefore I could tell about the collapse of our expectations. The song is a foxtrot between past and present born when I saw my old room once I went to visit my mother.
A cold year it’s like a posthumous letter: is doing it live emotionally difficult?
I’ll be forced, they pointed it out to me in the concert in Rome where it wasn’t in the lineup.
Last scene it starts with the rain. An element that is also found in other texts. Are you fascinated by the rain? Furthermore, is the Rome you describe the real one, the one you would like or the one you would not like… because it “knows how to pretend well”?
The song has a dreamlike dimension starting from the sound, there is a goodbye in an undefined place. In Rome, when it has to rain… it really rains and the rain represents an inner spleen. There is the contrast between happy music and sad lyrics.
“While you drown inside the ice cream”… if it were reality, what flavor would you like to sink into? And what is the drink resting on the bedside table?
I imagine the ice cream honeyed, a cream like kiss or truffle. Almost disgusting chocolate on chocolate. On the bedside table I imagine a mojito in a plastic cup returning from a concert, something fresh. In the text are the first rays of spring.
Can being reborn today from our mistakes make us better or will we always be repeat offenders?
As you get older you can logically and rationally understand the mistakes of the past, but instinct leads us to make the same or similar ones. You get older but you don’t get better.
Sleep it’s a curious piece because it puts you in front of places and people, tragic and mysterious situations. Then there’s the snow that makes no noise and everything seems to be muffled to protect a rebirth: how do you feed hope?
I’m an optimist, I have hope and here it is represented by love for a person, who can also be a child or a grandchild. You give him refuge from the ugliness of our world.
At the end of this chat can we say that you have found your Northwest Passage?
Ships often got stuck in ice. The lockdown was our standing still, not going forward or backward. Even if you find it, it is impractical and still risky.
What will happen in the coming weeks?
I have another concert in Milan on April 27th and then the summer tour will come. I’m already working on some new songs and a new project.