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Mogol: A Classical Music Project With Berklee College

Monica Straniero (July 19, 2019)
Mogol, the poet of Italian music, has worked with great singers such as Battisti, Mina, Riccardo Cocciante, Adriano Celentano, Mango, Gianni Morandi and many others. His literary works embrace the notes, creating musical milestones that have topped the charts 121 times throughout his career.

Giulio Rapetti, in art Mogol, author of the most famous Italian songs, received the Special OFF11 Sangemini Lifetime Award at the Ortigia Film Festival in Siracusa. Just last year, the famous songwriter received a lifetime recognition from the Berklee College of Music. From there a partnership was born between the famed music school and the CET (European Center of Toscolano) - a citadel built by the artist in the Umbrian forest and in which he invested all the rights from his texts. A project aimed at spreading classical music on an international scale, especially amongst young people. 

Mogol, the poet of Italian music, has worked with great singers such as Battisti, Mina, Riccardo Cocciante, Adriano Celentano, Mango, Gianni Morandi, and many others. His literary works embrace the notes, creating musical milestones that have topped the charts 121 times in his career. 

And to think that in the beginning he didn’t like that name, “Mogol,” the pseudonym of the leader of the Junior Woodchucks (boy scouts in the Disney universe) “then, in time, it brought me luck.”

What did you learn in your lifelong career?

Absolute freedom. To live in the service of no one, to avoid seeking success at all cost, or trying to be liked by everyone. The freedom to transform music into words. My songs follow a path where music lightly spreads over the words to create the perfect melody. I take inspiration from my life, from the experiences that have marked my life. I give voice to my heart to talk about authenticity.

What inspires you to write?

I believe in God and I think that is a privileged source of inspiration. You still have to look at real life, the one we live every day. Often people create fictions to attract more listeners, but when you manage to produce real life, it has a different color, a different smell, and a different light. I write about situations and emotions in which people can recognize themselves. We all experience the same feelings. And you can tell if a text comes from life. 

What song still moves you?

There are many songs that I have written and then forgotten about. There are others that I listen to and always find myself proud to have been the one to write them.

Your partnership with Battisti: how did it all begin?

Lucio was introduced to me by a friend who wanted to promote him as a new singer on the Italian music scene. The first impression wasn’t too exciting but then we tried to make something. And that’s how it began on the 29th of September. Battisti had a vast musical culture and he absorbed everything. And he understood me immediately.

Your songs are in 525 million CDs sold all around the world...

It’s an incredible result that I never anticipated. There are certainly 121 songs that have reached the top of international charts. 

You are a guest at the Ortigia Film Festival, what is your relationship to cinema?

I like to watch films but I never thought about making one. Anyway, my songs are like little movies. My creativity is expressed through writing. 

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