Keeping Creativity Alive: “Improvvisatore Involontario”
Some ripped pieces of paper, a high-pitched voice and a rhythmic sound coming from two little sticks is not a new movie by visionary director David Lynch but experimental music spawned from the creative minds of the avant-garde musicians of the project “Improvvisatore Involontario”, a group of over twenty different artists from all over Europe joined together to explore new musical horizons.
On March 10 at Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, home of the Department of Italian Studies of New York University, director Stefano Albertini hosted a special event. The talented musicians gathered for an extravagant and improvised concert and a panel discussion with Marco Cappelli, professor of classic guitar at Palermo's Conservatory, who curated the New York show, Nicola Cipani, Senior Language Lecturer of Italian at New York University and Mauro Pagani, Italian musician and composer.
Pagani affirmed he had a very emotional relation to all the musicians involved in the project: “I had the pleasure of communicating with people on stage in a very deep way…you see something happening that only a great composer in a very good moment could organize because he has the creativity of a lot of people working together”, he claimed.
“This work is a continuous balance between remembering the rules and trying to break them”, it is an exercise “to keep your creative work alive”.
Marco Cappelli explained how glad he was for having met the artists involved in the project: “The reason I decided to move from Italy to New York was the need to find an environment to develop creative ideas and I didn’t find room for it where I was living”, and then “I got in touch with Improvvisatore Involontario and decided to become a member of the group”.
Drummer Francesco Cusa, President and co-founder of the association, talked about the idea behind the project and jokingly claimed that the group is like an esoteric cult.
“Our goal is conveying a message through music, and we want to clearly affirm that Italy is not only pizza, spaghetti and mandolins”.
Creativity and improvisation were the key words for the rest of the night, with some performances offered by the extravagant and eclectic musicians involving guitars, saxophones, trumpets and every kind of object useful to a greater purpose: to explore music.
The audience was thrilled and, at the same time, entertained by the imaginative and whimsical show, rich in creativity and experimental sounds.
“The funny thing you can say about this, is that you have to know what you’re denying, you have to know the rules, otherwise it’s just too random” admitted Pagani, during the Q&A that followed. “When you play with another musician and you improvise, what you build is a common sensitivity”.
Members of “Improvvisatore Involontario” performed several shows all over New York City, on March 6 at the Downtown Music Gallery, on March 7 at The Local 269 and on March 8 at the White Box. The tour continued on March 9 at the Teatro of The Italian Academy at Columbia University and they closed their series of performances on March 12 at the Brecht Forum and on March 13 at the Issue Project Room in Brooklyn.
“Improvvisatore Involontario” has given proof that Italy has still something to say. Creativity is not dead, as many want us to think. It is the room for it that is missing, perhaps. We are still capable to invent and to create and Francesco Cusa and his group of talented artists are here to remind us.