A Great Finale to a Great Arts Festival

So it’ all over for another year. Our Bagni di Lucca’s Arts festival’s third year ended in a gentle, almost melancholic way, after a day filled with unpredictable rain storms, at the cantina by the river with a party and a jazz concert given by the FM (Francesco Massagli) jazz quartet consisting of Francesco Massagli, piano, Tommaso Iacoviello, trumpet and flugelhorn, Francesco Sarrini, double bass and Duccio Bonciani, drums.

The Francesco Massagli Quartet started up in 2014 at la Fondazione Siena Jazz where Francesco studied. Last May they issued their first album. ‘Journey of hope’ and were finalists in Barga’s 2014 jazz festival.

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FM’s jazz is very cool, heats up with some Latin American rhythm, pays homage to greats like McCoy Tyner and Mile Davis and always keep us guessing at the group’s subtle interplay which gives ample time for each of the superb musicians to show off their improvisational skills

FM’s web site at https://soundcloud.com/francesco-massagli4et will give you some flavour of their unique style.

To describe it as the journey of a river from source to mouth could not be more appropriate. It’s fluid, divides, joins and rises to great waterfalls of sound – an appropriate music to one recurring theme in the festival which was water in all its permutations and associations: water as a graveyard in Darlington’s ever more poignant and evolving tableau of what the Mediterranean has become for so many fleeing the horror of events in so much of the world; water in the haunting fish of Pieroni which were now inhabiting the wall and ceiling of La cantina almost converted into a giant aquarium;  water in the amazing conference; water, depicted in poems in the camera oscura space, new for this year; water with Mr Kepler himself in the river Lima.

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The fluidity of the painters, Mirta Vignatti, Andrea Perelli, David Finkbeiner, Zhu Ye, Filippelli, and Magoni, the textures of sculptors Lorenzo Vignoni and Anna Cordiviola, the video film and installation by Paolo Fiorellini, Glauco Disacco and Sergio Talenti the photograph of Peter Dematté all seemed to merge, for all their differences, into the great theme of our planet, its resources and that precious water, liquid light, which so welcomingly came yesterday to refresh not only the landscape around us but our minds too.

There is always a feeling of nostalgia when an event on this scale which, like the element of water so much of it celebrated, brings life to Ponte a Serraglio, is over.

I can’t stand it when books have to end, cannot abide those goodbyes at railway stations, those adieus at airport check-ins, those closing parties until I realise that every ending means a new beginning, every goodbye a different hello and every door closed on this year’s wonderful arts festival, so adeptly organised by Jaqueline and Jake, opened into innovative portals onto a new year in which art in all its highest and most humane qualities will disseminate hope in the future, faith within our lives and love towards our planet.

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Last night celebrated a truly a big thank-you for all those who contributed in every possible way towards a festival which is ever going to re-create itself. I was so glad to be a part of it all.


Where have we come from?

Where are we?

Where are we going to?

In this trilogy of creation all I know is that within the speck of time that circumscribes our lives we have touched our bodies and minds, reaching out one for another across two parallel tracks in the cosmic space, coming from unknown regions, going to unwritten countries.

Where are we?

This anniversary is the anniversary of our decision to look at the same scenery for awhile, listen to the same music, feel each other’s breathing, share a life in two, live through fire and water, love one other.

Where are we going to?

Will there be other meetings beyond this breath, other journeys, other meetings, other worlds? Who will take us then for themselves?

The eternal questions

The temporal answers


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