illustrations, voice Stefano Ricci
collaboration to the project Danio Manfredini
doublebass Giacomo Piermatti
live electronics Vincenzo Core
projections director Cristiano Pinna
in the frame of VIE Festival
Duration 1h 15′
By Stefano Ricci, world famous painter and illustrator whose new beautiful book “My mother’s name is Loredana” has just hit the shelves. The book, edited by Quodlibet, tells the story of his mother using both words and pictures. At VIE, Ricci will be stage his work for the first time, with the collaboration of Danio Manfredini. He will be drawing live in front of the audience, telling the story of Loredana, accompanied by Giacomo Piermatti on the double bass.
I don’t know how to swim, but I like diving. There’s that wonderful moment while you’re diving, which feels like you’re flying, your eyes open, and you let yourself fall.
Drawing for me is like allowing myself to fall, further down, to Giacomo’s music.
Drawing, playing instruments, and using the voice are all ancient instruments, secretly united, that we are trying to evoke together, to tell a story. The story is called “My mother’s name is Loredana”.
Three years ago, I started drawing in order to tell my mother’s story, for the pleasure of it, and also because I needed to do it, without knowing that it would become a book. In these last three years, I’ve been able to draw a lot, live with musicians. It was a slow process, full of discoveries, and in some ways, it was enigmatic. I needed time to better understand how to follow along with them, to be in sync with them, trusting the music that only they are capable of playing. It was an invitation to go where I’ve never been before.
One night, I read and recorded the text from the book, and Giacomo started playing together, and, with this voice, this story, something happened. Something “clicked” and started to exist and move, unintentionally.
We did some short trips, rehearsals, and some improvisation that was full of both direction and failure. At that point, Dario Manfredini came to meet us, and it couldn’t have gotten any better than that. His look, his concentration, and his questions were exactly what we were waiting for to give this thing its form, which starts and finishes like this:
My uncle Callisto drew it in 1944 during a bombing. They were in a shelter that the landlord dug out in the courtyard of my parents house. My mother was 15 and she was sewing. She was wearing two coats and a thick nightgown.
He drew her in my parents house on a Sunday morning in 1991. My mother had her back to my uncle’s drawing. She was in the exact same position and she was rolling dough. She was 62.
My mother came to visit us. She had the two portraits at her back. She tried to give them to me when I left for Germany. Seventy years had passed since that drawing. She was in the exact same position. I started to draw her and took note of what she was doing so I wouldn’t forget.
This morning I chopped some wood. My mom put it in a wagon and we left it out to dry. We even managed to stack two walls and get them to stand up. We laughed as we congratulated one another. She wanted to help me do it before going home and she wouldn’t take no for an answer. She’s just turned 86 and her trip back home will be a long one tomorrow. It’s the second summer that she’s come to visit us. I talk about all the things that we didn’t have time to do, that we’ll do next summer. She smiles and says, we’ll see.
I’ll wait for you, anyway.