Echoes in the international music scene: the petitions for gut strings signed by a number of celebs

The music scene is moving! And fast….

The petitions to save gut strings in Italy and Europe were signed and supported by a large number of music professionals and friends, but also by people in other professions who are just sensitive to the cause and are spreading it through the social networks.

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A good number of world class artists signed, and you can see their photos at this link

Among them:

  • Claudio Ronco
  • Josè Vasquez
  • Federico Guglielmo
  • Jaap Ter Linden
  • Marco Beasley
  • Vincent Dumestre
  • Paola Erdas
  • Dario Luisi
  • Enrico Gatti
  • Simone Toni
  • Susanne Scholz
  • Dmitri Badiarov
  • Michael Talbot
  • Sergio Lamberto
  • Cinzia Pennesi
  • Federico Maria Sardelli
  • Oliver Webber
  • Marc Vanscheeuwijck
  • Rainer Zipperling
  • Alessandro Ciccolini
  • Richard Gwilt
  • Bettina Hoffmann
  • Alison Crum
  • Alice Piérot
  • Annette Otterstedt
  • Patrizio Barbieri
  • Miguel Ysrael
  • Giovanni Sollima
  • Johannes Boer
  • Kati Debretze
  • Hidemi Suzuki

Please stop by the page SALVIAMO le CORDE di BUDELLO to see how the music scene is interacting

Also read violin maker Dmitry Bladiarov’s  blog to find more news


– Italian petition

– European petition


POWER SIGNING – two on-line petitions to save the ancient art of gut strings making

Can a petition change the world? It surely can,  and not just the virtual world of social networks: signing a petition can signify making the difference between looking at a problem happening, and helping to speed a problem towards a real resolution. All this is possible especially thanks to the speed of inter-connected communication in the social network world.

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We all are living at on level of separation from anyone else in the world, and this is a true fact.  Though, many times we use the social network in an ineffective and naïve way.  For example, when we spend an incredible amount of time gaming, therefore consenting an application the use of our data, and to post on our profiles, with access to our photos, what we are really doing is bartering our personal information in exchange for some entertainment. When we let useless chain messages (the kind that usually ends with “post this if you care about my friendship”), and which are obviously often just metropolitan legends, poorly written, we are doing it on the base of an infantile sense of guilt or morality: really, what we are doing is simply taking part in the great experiment on how to manipulate and influence the opinions of large masses through the network’s capillary action.

But the network is also this, and we all have done it: mindless entertainment, a bit carefree. True, there are some who use social gaming to build corporate relations, but that’s a different story.

Like a colorful marketplace, you can find almost anything in the social network. Variety and all of its nuances and shadings of ideas and concepts are welcome there, under the conditions that the rules of peaceful coexistence of virtual and real neighbours be respected.

But we must remember that beyond  that which is virtual, there is also a real world, and this transpares when the network is used intelligently, for the purposes for  which it really was projected to exist: to be a place where you can communicate, to be like the Greek Agorà, and a place to showcase and present your professional work, to meet other people in social context, to share information and spread ideas.

In a nutshell, the new concept of reality is a widened concept, but not necessarily a false or negative concept: any tool can help you to complete a task, the difference is how you use it, and why.

My experience with the most beloved social network of all, Mr. Facebook, has been a positive one up to now: There is a world of colleagues in the field of Early and Classical Musica which are there, interconnected, and thatpossess an equal desire to communicate as I do. Therefore our dialogue becomes a lively conversation and it generates often real actions and initiatives.

This is for example what’s happening with the page “Salviamo le Corde di Budello” (Let’s save gut strings), which was born in response to a long-standing problem in the field: the tutelage and protection of the noble art of  “corderia”, gut string making . This is the art of manufacturing gut strings for musica instruments, and it is disappearing because the use of bovine gut has been forbidden by the Italian Government, in an attempt to apply European normative regarding the “mad cow disease” problem. Truth is, only organically farmed bovine gut can be effectively used for this craft, and if the gut comes from animals approved for the food industry, it is simply just not clear why we are allowed to eat the meat, but we cannot use the bowels to build strings (something I obviously will not be eating). Is there something someone is not telling us? I wonder.  This Facebook  page then is a tool with which hopefully we can spread knowledge of a problem not only to the community of music professionals, but also to the wider community of social contacts as well: read, do research, get informed.

Here is the link to this page on Facebook:

An important indicative in favor of democracy that can be found on the page are TWO ON-LINE PETITIONS

One is addressed to the Italian Government, the other to the European Union, to ask that artisans and manufacturers can continue to make strings and that this art will be recognized and protected by laws as part of the cultural patrimony of Humanity. As a matter of fact, without this material, manufacturing and purchasing gut strings for musical instruments (especially period instruments) will become economically unsustainable.

Early Music experienced a rebirth after centuries of abandon thanks to the passion and effort of many pioneers of ancient sound and philological studies. It has had the great merit to bring back to the center of the cultural scene a great number of masterpieces which are an immense richness to Humanity. A large part of this corpus of works belongs to Italy, where I live and work as a full time musician and writer.

The world of Early Music is on the move, and the miracle of social networks can be in the strength of the impact between clashing worlds: we are interacting with everyone, the musicologist, the listener, the performer, the grocer next door who loves the Opera, the young people who think it might be cool, the cult movie lovers who adore Farinelli… and so on.

Moreover, we are applying what we inherited form ancient Greece: democracy is to express one’s opinion and vote peacefully.

POWER SIGNING is then the awareness of carrying on a simple action which has a real effect: like signing these petitions. Behind this there are real people. The legislative proposals will have a weight and will stand if they are supported by people expressing their will trough a signature.  IDENTITY COUNTS.

So, what are you still waiting for? Get informed. read and sign. A little of your time counts a lot in the matter and it will influence the world of music and culture positively in many ways: the petitions will be brought to Gevernment Offices once they reach proper numbersm and the Offices and Ministries can change the situation and produce laws which will allow artigianal craft to go on, saving it from disappearing.

An here is the hidden parable in this all: to be aware of the real power of free communication and freedom of information: writing empowers us, we can speak. We have the power to share, to interrogate our friends, to inform our contacts, to ask our colleagues, to publish that in which we believe.  Watch the impact of numbers! If many sign, the impact on social networks is immediate and exponential, we obtain the attention of governmental organs.

So, we have voted. The world changes, in a small but not necessarily marginal way. What does this change in favour of gut strings mean?

  • Laws which allow many professionals to carry on their work, either manufacturing, performing or studying, at sustainable costs and conditions, using good quality materials.
  • Tutelage and protection of an art which is a historical heritage speaking for the cultural greatness of a Country.
  • Tutelage and protecion of artisan’s craft, manufacturing and small companies which will otherwise be forced to bankrupcy and closing, as has already happened in France and Italy.
  • Creating awareness and wider knowledge of the cultural relevance of musica and Early Music at a grassroots level, through the involvement of the great social network.
  • Breaking schemes which induce us to think that we cannot modify reality: to act means that we believe we can break out a Matrix.
Musician, poet, writer and voice of Early Music group Silentia Lunae, Maria Lives in Parma, Italy.

Mosaic, the art of right image

Is image void of substance? Image communicates, even when it deceives you, when it does not correspond to reality. There is an essence of things which lies beyond words, and that arises visual thinking: we are into the full vortex of a new way to communicate. We are shrewd, we know how to read. Though something escapes….

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We know written language, and this has certainly been a conquest for humanity which made it possible to realize abstract thiking. We are also knowing the age of visual thinking, and this is creating the next mindset revolution in humanity. Yet, we still have not known the power of “intelligent thinking” through sound.

The written word communicates concepts, and reflects on reality, ordering it into a logical sequence of thought.

Image communicates direct essence through perception, it evokes the dimensions and the subtleties of reality, and it can be crude and powerful: when I see the image of a wood, I feel its color green, the coolness, the smell of lichens, the songs of birds  and the sounds of Nature. It took me quite a few words to communicate that which one single image can evoke.

Then, what is sound?  Is it the ultimate root of a word, something onomatopoeic which arises from the experience to describe it? Is it a catching of feelings to express them or manipulate them? Is it the image of a reality which cannot be expressed otherwise?

I think sound is solid reality. Then, the reality of which I speak is a mosaic of elements.

I am a mosaic of elements, words, images and sounds. But I am not that which represents me or that trough which I portray myself. Though, all this expresses me, and it communicates that which can be known about me. The sensory dimension of my person communicates as well.

So here is the art of Mosaic: the right image is an art with which I can construct a world, while I express in some way my life’s experience, and my imaginary world as well, together with one’s tendency to have a desire to express will and being.

A post by Maria Caruso, musician, writer and mediatic Muse of Silentia Lunae, the Early Music consort of Parma, Italy.

POWER SIGNING – a parable about social networks and on-line petitions

POWER SIGNING – la parabola del social network e delle petizioni on line.

Dear Readers,

For those of you who read and appreciate Italian language, here is a post on the theme of the importance of social network in today’s activism and democracy.  The Italian Early Music scene and Facebook network is moving and taking action to save the production and art of gut strings making in this country. Two petitions on line were born with the purpose to change the actual laws which forbid the use of bovine materials and practically force many good manufacturers to shut down.

My Parable of Power Signing is that if there are real people behind a network, and if all understand the power of large numbers acting together and communicating freely to inform one another of an outstanding problem, than the social network has served one of its best purposes: to put us at only one degree of separation with “the world”, and to make real changes possible in spite of slow moving and often obtuse bureocracy.

I hope you enjoy reading, and promise to publish “double posts soon in Englis as well. In the meantime, stay cool…

– Maria, mediatic muse of the 21st Century

POWER SIGNING – la parabola del social network e delle petizioni on line

Le petizioni possono cambiare il mondo? Certo che sì, e non solo quello virtuale, ma possono fare la differenza sostanziale tra un problema in atto ed uno in fase di risoluzione – e tutto questo anche grazie alla velocità e al modo di comunicare interconnessi del social network.

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Siamo ad un solo livello di separazione da chiunque nel mondo, è davvero così. Ma molte volte usiamo il social network in modo inefficace, ingenuo. Quando giochiamo o acconsentiamo ad una applicazione l’accesso ai nostri dati, stiamo cedendo le nostre statistiche in cambio di intrattenimento. Quando lasciamo circolare catene inutili, ovviamente leggende metropolitane anche scritte male, sulla base di sensi di colpa e moralità infantili, stiamo in realtà partecipando ad un grande esperimento su come manipolare ed influenzare l’opinione di grandi masse attraverso l’azione capillare del network. Ma il network è anche questo: intrattenimento, un po’ spensierato.

Come un mercato colorato, vi si trova un po’ di tutto e ben vengano la varietà e tutte le sfumature di idee e concetti, purché si rispettino le regole della pacifica convivenza.

Ma esiste anche un mondo vero, dietro ciò che è virtuale, e questo traspare quando il network viene usato con intelligenza veramente quello che è nato per essere: un posto dove comunicare ed incontrarsi tra persone reali, un’agorà, un posto per presentare il proprio lavoro, conoscere altre persone socialmente, comunicare idee, condividere informazioni… insomma, il nuovo concetto di realtà è un concetto allargato, non necessariamente finto o negativo.

Infatti, la mia esperienza con il social network più amato, Facebook, è stata prevalentemente fino ad ora positiva: esiste un mondo di colleghi musicisti che sono presenti, interconnessi, e che hanno voglia di comunicare quanto me, e quindi il dialogo diventa vivo e genera anche iniziative concrete.

Questo è il caso della pagina Salviamo le Corde di Budello, che è nata in risposta al problema (ormai di lunga data) della tutela e salvaguardia dell’arte della corderia (per i non addetti ai lavoro, l’arte di fabbricare corde in budello per strumenti musicali) e che è un mezzo con cui si spera di diffondere la conoscenza del problema non solo nel mondo musicale, ma tra i contatti sociali in senso più ampio.

Ecco il link alla pagina

Un’iniziativa importante della pagina sono le due PETIZIONI on line, una per il Governo italiano, e una per l’Unione Europea, affinché venga permesso agli artigiani di continuare a produrre corde e venga tutelata questa arte come patrimonio dell’umanità: infatti, senza questo materiale, diverrà insostenibile economicamente produrre e acquistare corde per gli strumenti soprattutto antichi.

La musica antica è rinata dopo secoli di abbandono proprio grazie alla passione e allo sforzo di tanti pionieri del suono e della filologia, e ha avuto il grande merito di riportare al centro della scena artistica un patrimonio immenso di opere musicali, di cui una larga parte appartenente al nostro Paese.

E’ proprio il mondo della musica antica che si sta mobilitando, ma il miracolo del social network può essere la forza di impatto anche con altri mondi. Quindi, vi invito ad esercitare un sano e genuino diritto di cittadinanza: impariamo dalla Grecia antica, la democrazia è esprimere il proprio parere, il proprio voto.

POWER SIGNING è semplicemente la consapevolezza di star compiendo un’azione semplice che ha un effetto concreto: firmare queste due petizioni. Alle spalle ci sono persone vere. Le proposte legislative hanno peso se appoggiate da persone che esprimono un volere tramite una firma.

Allora, che aspettiamo? informiamoci, leggiamo, firmiamo. Un po’ del nostro tempo per un’azione concreta che influenzerà il mondo della musica e della cultura positivamente: le petizioni saranno consegnate ad organi di governo che possono emettere normative e decreti e cambiare lo stato attuale delle cose, in modo che le produzioni artigianali non siano costrette a chiudere e scomparire.

Inoltre, la motivazione nascosta in questa parabola può essere quella di essere consapevoli del reale potere della comunicazione libera: tra di noi, possiamo condividere informazioni. Abbiamo il potere di diffondere, di chiedere ai nostri amici, ai contatti, ai colleghi, di condividere qualcosa in cui crediamo. L’impatto dei numeri può creare il miracolo: se tanti approvano, e firmano, l’impatto diviene concreto ed è immediato ed esponenziale: quindi, otteniamo ascolto presso gli organi di governo.

Abbiamo votato. Il mondo, anche se in un piccolo aspetto , ma non per questo marginale, cambia. E questo cambiamento in favore delle corde di budello che significa?

  • Permettere a tanti di lavorare, di suonare, di studiare a costi sostenibili, usando materiali appropriati e di buona qualità
  • Proteggere un’arte che testimonia il patrimonio culturale del Paese
  • Tutelare artigianato, manifattura, piccole aziende che altrimenti scompaiono, e non solo in Italia
  • Creare una consapevolezza e una conoscenza più vasta della cultura musicale e della musica antica a livello popolare, tramite la diffusione ed il coinvolgimento del grande social network
  • Rompere gli schemi che ci inducono a pensare di non poter modificare la realtà: agire significa anche uscire dal Matrix
Musician, poet, writer and voice of Early Music group Silentia Lunae, Maria Lives in Parma, Italy.