a beginning: a song

I want to tell you of a song.

It is entitled Lamento per la morte di Pasolini, Lament for the Death of Pasolini and it follows the structure of a traditional extra-liturgical religious ballad from Central Italy, the Orazione di San Donato, Prayer of Saint Donatus. It was written in December 1975 after Pier Paolo Pasolini’s death by an Italian singer called Giovanna Marini. It begins like this:

Persi le forze mie, persi l’ingegno…

I lost all my strength, I lost my ability…

I lost all my strength and my ability, at some point about three years ago. Call me a writer of sound. I write of it soaring through the air, leaking into fabrics of words, haunting places and recollections, inhabiting visions and books. At some point about three years ago I no longer could see a consistent picture in all I’d done and written over the previous ten years. What had appeared until then like a congruous body of work, crumbled in a myriad scattered pieces that I knew I had to stitch together again. I lost all my strength and my ability and as I write these pages I go back to my old notebooks. As I read, as I listen and as I write I’m engulfed in an assonant riddle. It hovers between chi sono? – in Italian meaning both who am I? and who are they? – and chi suono?whom do I sound? – voicing the aural universe where my research moves. Many questions, infested by many who’s. These pages swarm with the voices of those questions, and when I say I it is in fact they: my archive of voices, of words, of sounds, outlining the landscape in which I moves. This blog is shaped through my collection and my recollections of books, music, sounds, songs; of encounters with books, music, sounds and songs. I inhabit my landscape of readings and of listening moments at times as a guest, at times as a stranger, at times as a parasite, at times as a ghost. I go for a walk around my favourite places of listening, I look for another way of understanding and of stitching those broken pieces together. Until I reach the edge of an abyss.

This is not the outpouring of an autobiographical image: it is an image distorted, reiterated, projected, reinvented and echoed into clusters of words. And not even just one image but clouds of them, attached to the same landscape. It has to do with remembering and returning, today and every other today; with the fixed rhythmic gestures that move my listening, my reading and my writing, where the formulaic quality of certain recurring images outlines the limits within which I can say I again.

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