Daniele Silvestri is not only one of the best Italian singer-songwriters. He is a tightrope walker, who, playing with words and his music, after more than 20 years in his career, has found himself to be a marvelous balancing act artist in a world of hopeful acrobats.
In Umbria, in Foligno, he initially celebrated the publication of his new album «Acrobati», indeed, on the roads of the city, and then he played it far and wide (almost three hours in concert!), with the addition of his best-known songs, in the Auditorium of San Domenico. His ‘data zero’ concert sold out and with high emotions.
He has been making discs for 22 years, he brings with him a load of experiences which he hides in his hair that is beginning to go white and the dark circles under his eyes like those who love the night. And yet, even though he confesses to have been out late reveling, Silvestri has a disarming clearness when, in the press room he tells about his new work and about himself. «Sorry about the noise last night, but we had a reason to celebrate, we rang in the publication of my disc around the city – he says to break the ice – Here you eat well and you drink well, maybe too well!».
Let’s start with the balance of “Acrobati”.
«Ah! It would take a two-hour long press conference to explain it all and the eighteen pieces on the disc. I declared, exaggerating even and making the mistake of saying that ‘Acrobati’ is the most beautiful thing I have made so far. Apart from my children, obviously. It is what I think and feel. I hope that you can understand that listening to my disc».
A disc that has come after five years of silence. When did you record it?
«We went away to Puglia in the last months. A few days to tell the truth, but recordings with a rare intensity. I simply gathered the ideas that I had put aside for some time. As well as during the tour with Max and Niccolò (Gazzè e Fabi, editor’s note) I never stopped taking notes on my telephone. I put away seeds to plant. In the studio, then we didn’t do anything else but give birth to these plants with a team that was almost adolescent. To tell it all, I had put away an excessive amount of songs which then in part remained out of the disc».
How did you choose the tracks on the disc?
«There was a time limit, I had to put a stop and choose. The disc is made of 74 minutes of music, I used all the space that there was on the disc to stop myself. It has rarely happened to me to have such a creative period, maybe just at the beginning of my career. A true and real creative explosion, that I had not imagined. I am at an age in which I thought it was time to use my expertise. And instead…».
You were “the man with the megaphone”, you cried out against society. In “Acrobati”, instead, we find a Silvestri who is very different from the past.
«Yes, actually, the only piece from this disc which allows itself to be permeated with the current times is the single ‘Quali Alibi’: a piece in which I am not speaking about this moment alone, but of a tendency that I see in Italy and in the Old Continent: I am speaking of the habit that we have from a political and institutional point of view where we feel frightened about urgencies that regard our society, the planet, the environment and which are told to us taking advantage of our fears. They are times in which we speak more about our belly than about our brain. They are times of the politics of emergencies. The alibi of the emergency which makes everything pass as a good thing. They take advantage of alibis in order to not have scruples».
Here come the politics. . .
«I can only say that I am lacking an Italian Bernie Sanders. . .».
For the first time Daniele Silvestri has chosen a theatrical tour, why?
«It was the right moment. I feel, as it came in my disc as well, free and at the same time sure of myself and of my means, I have no need to demonstrate anything or respect the expectations. Then the possibilities what the theatre gives you are beautiful: you can tell fairy tales and eliminate the distance from the public».
«It is the song that is the heart of the disc. It tells a vision: acrobatics is a way to read the disc. It imposes an acrobatic effort on those who listen to it. An invitation to freedom and to continuous risk. It is the thing which I have asked to my musician as well. And then acrobatics is a word which describes all of us. Western society lives in continuous balance, often induced. Individual, social, and political balance. To find a position for ourselves which doesn’t let us fall on one side or the other. Our world is full of participants but you don’t hardly ever see a prospective, there isn’t much memory and this makes us acrobats. Instead man, to make himself feel sure, needs the before and after, he can’t be happy with the here and now. And it is from this that the title and cover of the disc come from. Stay like this in balance to fascinate those who are watching».
Last question, why did you choose Foligno as your data zero location?
«Because it is “lu centru de lu munnu” isn’t it? Because here there is balance and harmony, a little bit like the disc».