Saturday, May 19

He has a dent in the bottom of his shoes...

...because he has been pushing that darn pedal for days on end.

Marino Formenti turns out to be a ruddy good pianist. I had never heard of him, but H and I stumbled into his Nowhere installation, experience, performance event this afternoon and it was pretty unique. Strangely enough it turned out to be situated just around the corner from my school. 

Judgung by the scribbled print on the walls, he's been playing the piano everyday from 10am to midnight, for quite a few days with his day list including Bach, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Froberger, Brian Eno, at times playing the same piece two, three, or four times. Pretty impressive I say, as an amateur pianist that rattles off a Mozart Sonata omce every two weeks. He certainly looked like he'd been playing a while when we rocked up at 5pm.

During our stay, Formenti went so far to write on the wall 'If you came to see me you should think about it', which could have reflected his frustration for how the six of us present at the time were on our phones, reading a book, or apparently sleeping. Eitherway his piano touch is mesmerising, as is the emotion with which he plays. I would imagine most people would go stir crazy being watched by a love stream camera and an average of ten people at any time, yet he aproached each 'sitting' with an astounding level of concentration and attention, letting himself just twinkle away.

Behind Formenti's piano stool was a two-by-two IKEA shelf with sheet music laid on and inside it. From this he took music on a few occasions, definitely for a Bach Sarabande, which meant his Ray Ban glasses were added to his facial composure. Other times he played head bent, flowing into the piano, and with others, he grunted along with the melody he was emitting from the grand piano.

Curiously at one point he moved the tripodded live stream camera to point towards one of the handwritten walls. All his actions taken in, or ignored, by whoever happened to be in thebroom at the time. Turns out this isn't the first time his played an installation of this kind, and I hope I can experience another one in my lifetime.



Sunday, May 6

Going home

“You’ll be homesick, desperately homesick, but you’ll never get home again.” Jeremiah 22:27 MSG

When I'm in Italy and I'm preparing myself to go to England, I say "I'm going home.".

When I'm in England and I'm on my way back to Italy, I say "I'm going home.".

The transition from Milan to England always follows the same pattern: first there's the excitement of knowing I'm returning to England for a bit. I plan who I'm going to see, what I'll do and what I'll buy and perhaps eat. Then, the travel time itself comes with apprehension as I have to ensure I'm on time, that I get the connections to go where I'm going, and although I've relaxed somewhat over these last seven years, the tension of travelling can still worry me. After that, once the excitement of seeing familiar places and faces passes a few hours after arrival, I normally start to feel the tug of the 'other'. It curbs my enthusiasm as I miss the faces, places, routine and familiarity of Italy, and now that I'm married, it is harder.

To me, the word 'home' resonates with being settled, but sometimes wanting to be somewhere else. It's a state of living in a fixed point, but always stretching to what's past, with the line between the fixed point and the before, being 'home', the memories. Home is both here and there, today and yesterday, and therefore what will be too. Which, funnily enough, sounds a lot like Hebrews 13:8 in my well-loved New King James Bible: 'Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.'

And so although I remain 'homesick, desperately homesick' (Jeremiah 22:27, MSG), I am home when I focus on God as Trinity*: praying to the Father, waiting and looking for Christ, and living in the Spirit.


*God as Trinity is explored by Richard Rohr in a lot of his writings, more recently in a book called The Divine Dance which I recommend to any wanting to explore this concept further.