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Daniele Reggiani

Tribute to all stray poets

Music is not dangerous

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“Making a musical statement means telling the truth, especially about ourselves, and not everyone is willing to do it”.

This is the sentence reported on the back cover of the interview book published in July 2019: Kodachrome Love. Words and sounds of love in the seasons of the digital age.

To those who do not practice music it may seem strange to speak of a “musical statement”, yet music, even when it is not accompanied by prose, speaks, and speaks more or less clearly – depending on how it is made and who is listening.

And does it tell the truth? Oh, it lies, it always lies, like each word, each gesture, each act. Humans have no chance when talking – or making music – not to lie. But music speaks the truth about ourselves, in the sense that, perhaps even better than the so-called verbal word, it betrays what we do not want to lie; therefore, betrays something true, not in the sense of a revealed truth, to be taken as such, placed on the tablets of the law and imposed on everyone (because the truth is indisputably one: that is, it is one, it is such, as long as we do not discuss it, taking it as sacred), but in the sense of an actual truth: the truth of something which I now find myself in front of, which does not fall within the canons of the established law and which, even if I wanted to do so, I would not be able to formulate without equivocation. This actual, singular and equivocal truth is a subject of a musical statement.

Making music therefore involves accepting a risk of truth beyond our intentions and our own ideas, or ideologies. Embracing what is in front of us, almost following a feeling – feeling is what comes to mind without being asked, as when a colour or anything else comes to mind, like that, apparently for no reason –, to take this risk of truth, in effect excludes the danger.

On the contrary, it would be dangerous to try to avoid what we find in front of us, in the way in which it is in front of us, to avoid our own thoughts, to avoid what I called feeling to avoid discomfort (considered negative), to settle in a “comfort zone” Apparently protected, guaranteed by reason and by law. Because everything that is expelled from the experience of words, of music – perhaps because it is deemed useless, ugly, non-functional or inconvenient – does not go away, does not disappear, does not “heal”, but returns to reality as a nightmare or a persecutor. Therefore, it is not right to say “I have too many thoughts”, “Do not think about it”, “We do not talk about it”, because the thoughts do not go away and if anything, for those who consider the nagging, they can only become even more nagging. But thoughts do nothing wrong, not even for those who think they have too many: if anything, it is their avoidance that does harm.

Therefore, music is not dangerous, but it is dangerous to chase away music, as it is to chase away thoughts or avoid dreams.

There are people who don't dream, or at least say they don't dream when they sleep. And there are people who don't want to listen to music. It is not about poverty: you can dream even having little money to eat, even eating badly – indeed, those who eat badly dream better, as they say – and today anyone can listen to music without buying it. Therefore, it is not a question of poverty, but of misery. But in any case, it can be done, one can also survive in misery, without dreams and without music, and without physical or external signs that denounce its lack. Yet it is dangerous, because the attempt not to get lost in the chimeras (in dreams, among the notes, in the midst of lying words) leads to drift: to stay with your feet firmly planted on the ground, you end up embracing madness in its entirety. Not so much psychiatric madness, the one staged by a medicalized person or a drifter, but rather the madness of normality, that of hell.

For the rest, not making music (listening to music is making music) nothing happens. No miracle will happen (miracle is that something happens, nothing to do with the magic of the fairy or thaumaturge), but neither will anyone die. More or less like no one has ever died from unrequited love, and least of all from never falling in love at all.

In short, in the end there would be really no danger, certainly not making music, but not even making it. But there are those who assume danger and await it, and therefore limit themselves, do not speak, do not do, do not write, for example for fear of getting naked or for fear of revealing a naked king who could get revenge. Indeed, there was nothing to disclose, no nudity to exhibit; yet this idea is sufficient to create the very non-existent danger from which one would like to save oneself.

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L’anima

copyleft 2021 Daniele Reggiani
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