“We have to rethink our way of evaluating the beauty of slowness and fragility.”
For 66 years now, Sanremo, the small city in Northwest Italy, has been home to the annual Sanremo Music Festival. The five night festival is a competition: previously unreleased songs are performed and a mix of public voting, polls, and an expert jury come together to determine the winner.
This year’s winner was Stadio with their song, “Un giorno mi dirai” (“One day you’ll tell me”). But it was a guest performance that stole the show and captured the audience’s heart.
Ezio Bosso is one of the most influential living composers. Currently the principal conductor of the London Strings, Bosso was a child prodigy formed in Vienna. You would never guess it by his impressive resumé, but the composer has ALS (the disease brought to light by Lou Gehrig, Stephen Hawking, and the ice bucket challenge, among others).
Ezio’s entrance onto the stage was full of emotion, to say the least. It was also an act of courage: “I am a slow man. I speak poorly. I am shy. But we have to rethink our way of evaluating the beauty of slowness and fragility.”
See him play and you will understand why. After you watch him performing the song in the video above, watch the video of the music festival below. The first part is in Italian, but watch just a few seconds in order to really understand what he’s talking about. When he comes out on stage you notice two things: first, his joy; second, you notice that he can barely sit up, speak, and struggles to control his movements.
And then he plays.
The title is “Following a bird,” which seems so appropriate, because that’s what you see happening: you follow the soul of that man, like a bird trapped in cage, fly free when his fingers touch the piano.
Thank you Ezio for your gift.
Costanza D’Ardia and Libby Reichert