Paolo Benvegnù: “I found my balance between dreams and unconsciousness”

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To use the word rare is to be optimistic. Because when does it ever happen to go to talk about music and find yourself lost between Melville and Buzzati, Caligula, Faust and Dorian Gray? But if you are in front of it Paolo Benvegnu you will go beyond the Pillars of Hercules of the soul, in an endless journey. With “Only Flowers”his new album, Paolo Benvegnuwhich we will find on the stage of May Day in Rome, tells us the beauty of living in an infinite elsewhere.

Paolo, when did you start thinking about the themes of “Solo Fiori” and when did the work take shape?

I started with the idea that the album was called Transmirabilia because now first world humans mix arrogance and misery in a stupid and idiotic way. Then came the desire to oppose the narration of the current world and re-reading Shakespeare and the classics, from Homer onwards, came the idea of ​​not telling my world but going elsewhere, towards love in the broadest sense. Today everything is functional and love is useless if evaluated on a pragmatic level, therefore being less verbose and intercepting the mystery of the other means living in an infinite elsewhere.
One of the doubts you ask is whether the experience is formative: if it were like this today who could you be, would so many stories and so much music have been born?

Man is like a tree, he is the stratification of his own experience. But trees are more prepared than us for metamorphosis, they can survive a hurricane. We desperately seek a state of happiness when we don’t know what that means. In enthusiasm, and not only that, I feel no different from a first grader.
You speak of love in a chivalrous, almost stylnovistic way and yet we live in this “Italia Pornography” where in the cannons there is everything except flowers. In Sanremo Blanco showed little respect for flowers. No one leafs through a daisy anymore to ask I love you I don’t love you. Do you feel like a guest in the greenhouse of the heart?

I feel like a guest, almost a ghost, in this historic moment. But abolishing the ego and thinking about us and otherness, which is not haughtiness, I wonder if I can consider myself a human being if I don’t give someone close to me an intuition or a flower. Isn’t it perhaps from a small gesture that the revolution can start?
Twenty-one grams of gold for redemption”: if it is true that the soul weighs twenty-one grams…it would also be cheap, don’t you think? Even if today gold has very high quotations.

A sense linked to one’s identity is worth much more. Then there may be a plea deal. In this text there is Christ as Dorian Gray and Faust and the question is: would you forget the love for a functional and useful life? We are abdicating the metaphysical, the anthropomorphic figure evoked by Umberto Galimberti: we look like men but we function like a machine.
Legend has it that Caligula appointed his horse Incitatus consul: is your provocation “if you were a horse I’d make you a senator” a real but anxious portrait of a policy of “small aid” and that it comes not only from your uncle the cardinal?

Italy is founded not on value but on friendship and membership. It is a lobbying country. The one between the State and the Mafia is a negotiation between itself and itself.
“Our Love Song” opens with Ishmael meaning God Hears. In addition to the Bible, he is also mentioned in the Koran as a prophet of God: do you consider him the glue of two worlds and two religions? The end of every crusade or holy war?

For me it is the transition between possible and impossible. God listens to man and in this context, if you think about it, Ishmael is the only witness of Moby Dick’s ship, he is the one who passes through the ocean of senses welcomed in my passage: he tells the love of the body, he tells membership.
When is the last time the impossible overwhelmed you? Is your shipwreck in love the evolution of Leopardi’s “shipwreck is sweet to me in this sea”?

No, my shipwreck is not sweet. It is an incredible loss of consciousness and does not give any sweetness other than the surrender to the impossibility of control in life. This is a violent shipwreck, it is Prometheus chained with the eagle digging into his chest because he has gone too deeply into the relationship between man and divinity. We are always ready to live the impossible but our perception is: if we were bees we would see the world differently. Man has the limit of partial and subjective truths: for me they shouldn’t be exposed but found within himself.
“We inhabit the absence to love each other and disappear”: you poeticize this idea but in a more real key isn’t it also the photograph of love in the time of social media? Love each other and disappear.

It might as well be that. I thought about the chases between Ariosto’s characters. Love must also be chasing each other. In social networks, you chase yourself, because you are the subject, instead you have to get lost in the other.
Did you find the bridge between the levees? And the flowing river, symbol of the passing of time, doesn’t it contrast a bit with the incipit of the project, or rather the possible preservation of childhood feeling?

I found it and that’s why the river remembers childhood. Every single drop of water is complete in its essence, then we can fractionate it and make H2O but when we drink from the hand it is a whole particle that is renewed every day. I found the bridge between dreams and unconsciousness and for this I say thanks to senility.
In “Tulips” you say “I will wait for you forever”: is it a hero who uses the concept of forever in love? And have you thought that you could end up like Captain Drogo in “The Desert of the Tartars”: die waiting for an enemy, or a friend, who will never appear?

Yes and that’s the great thing. Di Dino Buzzati drives me crazy his way of expressing the concept of uselessness. Everything should be useful while we spend time doing useless things. You wait forever even for something you know you will be denied but you still wait without wanting anything in return.
I am fascinated by the idea of ​​the geometry of the wind: what is its theorem?

The sirocco goes from one side to the other and is a geometry which is then refined by the morphological characteristics of the hills it meets and by the morphology of the Mediterranean but we can say this, not him. Every day we are confronted with the geometry of thought which is linked to the narration of us and is human.
In the end and despite everything, can we say that the future is splendid?

For me it is the set of infinite present and it is splendid. It is not if it is linked to religious precepts and other impositions. The magic is that in every single moment you can choose.
What will happen in the coming weeks?

I will present a couple of pieces at the May 1st concert and then I will be in concert on May 6th in Rome and on the 12th in Milan. We’ll see later. I would like to go back to playing a lot because it is on stage that the confrontation with oneself ignites.