Recently I declared my desire to travel with my work and begin to apease the persistent, growing urge to walk on foreign streets and meet people from new places. 

There are is so much on this planet I have yet to see and will probably remain unseen by me but I need to make some sort of start. 

The response, peppered with tones of trepidation was, 'It's a big world out there, Carol.' 

Maybe this person assumed they  were being kind and warning me of all the unknown dangers waiting to take me out but how did they know?

I detected fear and some incredulity. 

Their caution had the opposite effect. 

It is for this very reason that I must go. 

Considering that we only live once (at a time?)  would it not be a good idea to do something stimulating and expanding while you do? 

Your choice. And there always is one. 

This weekend I had the pleasure of performing in Italy, a country I had never visited before. The added opportunity of bringing my music there was the Parmesan on the pasta. 

The invitation was to Ripatransone in the Marche region. Having no prior knowledge of the names of anywhere outside of the big cities in Italy I needed to do a little research and get an idea of where I would be geographically. 

On the Saturday morning that I left for the airport I was humoured by the fact that in just a few hours I would be in a completely new country. This also helped alleviate the tedium of the airport procedures. 

The exhilaration of liftoff will never be lost on me. To suddenly be elevated out of one physical space and culture and for a time exist  in an uncharted limbo en route to the next is a miracle and a privilege I am always grateful to experience. 

Hurtling through the air in a metal tube should technically be impossible but because of vision and persistence it has become such a ubiquitous event that the wonder of it is taken for granted. 

The audacity of chasing a seemingly crazy idea until it is realised.

I like that. 

When I arrived at Bologna airport I was greeted by my friend and event organiser Lorenzo de Angelis. 

We met in 2013 at an event related to my then 'day' job but we had kept on contact via Facebook and he had seen the gradual progression of my music project and now here I was invited to play. 

The view from my room was arresting. Lavish  countryside rolling out past the point of my vision and surrounding the Colle De Giglio 360 degrees. I also appreciated their silence it was unlike any I had experienced before. A deep, deep stillness.  

True peace. 

The event was called 'Attraction' and the venue was turned into a exhibition space displaying the works of artist Mono Carrasco. 

During my performance Francesca Luzi spoke to the audience in Italian between each of my songs to explain the reason they were written or the decision behind my choices of cover version so at the very least they would have the intention in mind as they listened. 

My Italian is ignorantly non existent. Even with the assistance of hastily downloaded phrase book apps I was at a loss to engage linguistically. 

Despite this I enjoyed being out of my comfort zone. All senses needed to be alert and there was no chance to slip into the inertia caused by familiarity. As a welcome result time stretched out and the two days I spent there were so filled to the brim with new experiences that I felt like longer. 

New foods, new people and general abundance of love and generosity. 

The feedback I received was positive. I need not have worried about being understood. The language of music, communicating from heart and soul is universal. 

It transcends man made boundaries. 

The plan is to return this Summer with  performances around the region. 

 

Until then... 

Ciao Italia…

Amare se stessi

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