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“Maraviglia” is the prevailing sentiment to which the Baroque corresponded” wrote the archaeologist and art historian Corrado Ricci. And it is wonderful, to quote Domenico Modugno’s famous song, to listen to Morgan. Between happy intuitions, cultured reflections, brilliant correspondences, the artist has introduced us to the first edition of BaRock Festival” which will take place from 28 to 30 April in the splendid baroque city of Piazza Armerina in Sicily. The project funded by Ministry of Tourism and promoted byMunicipal administrationproduced by Georgia Lo Faro Eventi and in collaboration with Civita and Globart it includes three days of concerts and performances that will enliven the most significant streets and squares of the city. The leitmotiv of the Festival is to enhance the architectural and artistic beauties present in the area of Piazza Armerina through music and in particular rock. Admission to all concerts is free.
FIND THE PROGRAM HERE
The interview with Morgan
The BaRock Festival was born from the idea of establishing a dialogue between Baroque and Rock, two apparently distant artistic expressions. But what is the Baroque for you?
It is a movement that must make us proud to be Italian. It was an explosion of creativity in all fields: from music to architecture to painting. It is a model that we should value today, to re-propose an art that is just as powerful. At the moment, a minimalism reigns that flattens certain artistic scenarios a bit. The Baroque represents a flowering, a luxuriant art, especially as regards music. Therefore, when we define a certain type of rock as baroque, we mean a rock rich in chords, sonorities, solutions, panoramas. If I have to give an example of minimalist rock versus baroque rock, I’m thinking of Nirvana versus Queen. They are both very interesting groups, but I am more in line with a baroque attitude to musical art which has its roots in Vivaldi and then in Bach. Vivaldi probably represents the origin of western tonal music. A harmonic richness that is collected by Bach and transformed into a system. This is where classicism and romanticism start. Then all this will be destroyed in the early twentieth century with the advent of dodecaphony, atonal music and concrete music. But starting from the middle of the 20th century we realize that in reality nothing has been destroyed. Any musical structure intimately preserves what was the proposal of tonal harmony. So what was done musically in the Baroque is indispensable. It’s in our DNA, Leonardo Da Vinci is right when he claims that beauty lies within the forms of natural proportion. This is why Bach is considered the demiurge, the god of music, because he has touched the natural absolute in his codification. Baroque is all of this because it represents beauty.
What does it mean for you, a great admirer and interpreter of Franco Battiato, to give a concert in Piazza Armerina and perform at the BaRock Festival which has a strong social intention? Do you believe that art and music can help improve and help our country?
I am happy to perform in Sicily. I haven’t completed the lineup yet, but it will certainly take into account Bach and Battiato. As Italians we must remember that we have the primacy of art. We are the first world power in terms of art. We are the nation that has created the most works of art. We are surrounded by extraordinary architecture and monuments. We have built beauty, in fact we are “Il bel Paese. But we often don’t realize it. We dislike ourselves. Instead, we should be proud and put humanities, art and history at the center of education above all. This is our true essence. Instead we try to be what we are not and end up becoming tail lights. In addition to enriching the spirit, investing in art would bring economic wealth.
Pasolini spoke of the “scandalous revolutionary force of the past” and basically it is a concept also reproposed by the BaRock Festival.
We are in a historical moment in which the past is devalued in favor of something not better defined, of an unwritten future. But the philosopher Emil Cioran said: “The infinity of the past is much more infinity than the infinity of the future”. Therefore the future does not exist if there is no awareness of the past. The actions of human beings are based on history. In any field, without the knowledge of what has been, one goes around in circles, one struggles. The concept of modernity is present in every era. It is not tied to the passage of time. Modernity is a quality of the human being, linked to his ability to invent, to innovate, because revolution is always revolutionary. And in the construction of the new, the true must be present. Otherwise it is youthfulness of a novelty for its own sake, something meaningless. When, on the other hand, truth is included, therefore the past, it is art. Without the knowledge and study of the past we don’t have the modules, the tools to create.
Kandinsky said: “The soul is a piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that, by touching this or that key, makes the soul vibrate”. What does this instrument that will accompany your performance at the BaRock Festival represent for you?
I agree with the Russian painter’s statement. The piano is a wonderful invention of human beings. When you play it, you realize that it releases a metaphysics. After all these years I still haven’t gotten tired of playing it every day. Every time I listen to a piano I feel a sort of orgasm, a pleasure for the senses. The piano is divine, it is not only the prince of instruments, but it is the god of instruments.
After the four episodes of StraMorgan, do you have other television projects?
Yes. StraMorgan was the first step, a small taste of my music dissemination project. I’m interested in bringing music to television, and I’m working a lot on this because I think it deserves a wider space.
Moving from the small to the big screen, after working on the films The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things and Vanity Serum, would you like to go back to composing a soundtrack for a feature film?
Very. Actually I would like to write many soundtracks, for as many films. When I composed for the cinema I experienced the thrill of true pure music. It’s a very free and profound way of writing music. I make a public appeal to Italian directors. Call me, let me try it, I’d do it for free, like setting ten minutes of film to music or creating a theme. And then let’s see.