IlluminArti, a magical festival

IlluminArti, a magical festival

My dear travellers in sound, today I want to share some thoughts about the “IlluminArti” Festival in Piedimonte Matese, not far from Naples, where I had the honour of singing on Friday 1st June… at the magnificent Palazzo Ducale.

I love sharing the background to events I’m invited to, the human stories I encounter on these journeys… These meetings and adventures are the things that strike me the most. They enrich me, make me reflect and so often teach me important things.

This festival is a veritable miracle of love – the love of a group of young people led by Giovanna and her husband, who in the name of love for the place where they live, seven years ago invented this Festival, “IlluminArti” (a name that, in Italian, combines the concepts of “Enlighten yourself” with “the enlightening arts”). It took great faith and determination to overcome the numerous bureaucratic obstacles that prevented them from making this wonderful project a reality… They have done everything themselves, without any major external help, winning the challenge of love, overcoming fear, victimization and adversities of all kinds… Today, more than 5 thousand people flock to the IlluminArti Festival in Piedimonte Matese, it has become one of the most prestigious festivals in the area … When I finished my concert the other Friday, I immediately receive a loving embrace from Giovanna and her partner, who explain to me how their beautiful festival was born, a festival in the name of Aurora, an Arcadian poet who made Piedimonte Matese one of the most important places in Neapolitan culture:

“The Ducal Palace, which belonged to the Gaetani family of L’Aquila d’Aragona, had a wonderful Court Theater, frescoed halls, concerts, plays, painters, artists… All thanks to Aurora, who made patronage her raison d’etre, bringing to court Handel, Luca Giordano, Paolo De Matteis, Solimena…

“And then time did what time does. The rooms fell empty, the theater is gone, but the town could not remain silent. Not after so much splendour. We wanted to rekindle those lights, revive those abandoned, crumbling places. Bring light to illuminate the minds of men and woman who have an eye for their origins. ‘Let’s light up the town,’ – we said one spring evening, seven years ago. ‘Let’s throw open the doors to art, culture and music, fill these forgotten spaces with beauty and magic…’

“And so a small group of dreamers – myself, Gianfrancesco, Ada, Ester and some other friends – set up the Byblos Cultural Association (www.byblosidee.it, www.facebook.com/illuminarti) and gave birth to IlluminArti.

“We light up the town with color, we throw open the doors of courtyards, churches are reborn, hidden corners rediscovered, music, readings, exhibitions… A whirlwind of emotions, wonder and enchantment… Even the locals stumble upon places they didn’t know existed, grateful to the organizers for the unique spectacle that takes place on one very special evening.

“Once it got going, there was no stopping IlluminArti… Seven years on, for one night anxiously awaited all year long, the town swarms with curious onlookers, entranced by the beauty, the magic, over forty events offered by that group of dreamers which has become a big family, a community that will not be beaten by neglect and abandonment…

“IlluminArti has made it thanks to a unique team of people who give their time and commitment for free: graphics, press office, installations, artistic direction and much more. All as a result of a love for the place they come from, for a past that cannot be forgotten, for their local area, its beauty, art and culture. We may be dreamers, but our dream has become a reality. And Aurora, we are sure, would be happy. Indeed, she is.”

Thank You London!

Thank You London!

Music, smiles, hugs, joy… Friendship, great hospitality, new people to meet, deep sharing and wondrous nature coloured and filled my heart, which continues to expand to embrace all of these great gifts.

This morning I woke up and felt the true nourishment of this marvellous trip to London… and I continue to be amazed at how happy I am, performing for people around the world.

My life of meditative singing is already intense and unique, and that’s before the incredible human relationships I find, that thrill me and make the experience unexpected, so very strong and special…

For example, Prashant, a man of irresistible energy, whose Mantra Therapy project conveys so much joy and positivity through mantras to people who have the greatest need… I was his guest at the first of my three concerts in London, with other artists from around the world, and it was incredible to see how much tireless passion and love he puts into everything he does, achieving great miracles from small things…

Then there’s Genevra Jolie, a sister of my soul, a beautiful seeker who for years has worked with healing crystal bowls, in which I have long had great faith, long dreamed of combining my voice with their pure sound… Since we met last October, at the  Mind Body and Soul Festival in London, we have not stopped working together. Today, we are a duo, “Crystal Light”, and we have just released our first album, “Conception”, which we presented at Mind Body & Spirit during this trip to London. With Genevra, Julia and Adriana, two wonderful women who work with Genebra, we are building a team to stage and spread Healing Concerts and Workshops of Alchemical Sound…

So many faces, so much laughter, long, moving looks and endless embraces, too many to fit on one page…

My great thanks to all of the people who hosted me and protected me in their homes: Ilaria and Frank, Dorian and Cath, Ben and Jane… And speaking of special human relationships, I must also mention Adam Victor, a light-powered motor, vital to this incredible adventure, a friend with a truly special heart, a priceless treasure, a writer and photographer of great sensitivity and talent, who has become my manager and co-producer of my meditative albums.

Here you can see a moment of this beautiful experience: https://www.instagram.com/p/BjUp0MTnWBM/

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